Management: Since private equity company Charterhouse backed a management buyout in 2008, the firm under the leadership of chief executive Chris Giles has been highly acquisitive, aiming to jump from medium-sized broker to sector leader.

Strategy: Giles shares the dream of an IPO with Hyperion but faces the same questions: is it big enough to be a liquid stock or will few investors be interested in trading it?

One way forward would be for Giles and its backer, Charterhouse, to open up the company for a trade sale. A mega-broker such as Aon or Marsh might well take the opportunity to increase market share.

Meanwhile, Giles has only spent £168m of the £500m Charterhouse gave it in 2008 to buy smaller commercial brokers. So expect the spending spree to continue.

Big story: In August Giles agreed to buy CBG Group for 32p a share in cash, valuing it at £5.1m. It intends to pay CBG’s chief executive Michael Askew a £200,000 retention bonus, and other key executives will also receive bonuses.

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