Management: In contrast to his relatively low profile, Swinton’s chief executive Peter Halpin has been making waves this year.

In June we revealed that the broker was in talks to buy Brunsdon Westinsure. Swinton’s French parent, Covea, which also owns MMA Insurance, spent £70m on motor insurer Provident in April and plans to spend around £20m on launching an aggregator to rival the big four – Gocompare, Comparethemarket, Confused and Moneysupermarket.

Aviva sang Swinton’s praises in January, announcing that one month after tying up with the broker, private motor insurance had increased 166% compared with the same period in 2009.

Strategy: Swinton will no doubt be prominent on the new price comparison website, which will be backed by a major advertising and marketing blitz kicking off in January 2012.

This will provide the broker with an important new route to market in addition to its strong presence both online and through its 570 high street branches, further boosting its already strong business. Swinton’s profit after tax increased 14.7% to £28.2m in 2010 from £24.5m in 2009.

And with the annual Swinton cocktail party in December being the top event to be seen at, who in the industry wouldn’t wish it well?

Big story: As a big personal lines broker, the threat of a ban on referral fees is a key concern for Swinton, which makes money from the fees.

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