Towergate recently made its 23rd acqusition in just four years, when it bought Canterbury-based broker Canterbury Insurance Practice for an undisclosed sum.

CIP was created in 1997, the result of the combination of three local brokerages, and handles gross written premiums approaching £4m.

Towergate chief executive Peter Cullum said: “Canterbury Insurance Practice is a good model for the way professional intermediaries can establish firm relationships, with both personal and commercial clients, based upon service and local understanding.”

Towergate was launched at the end of 1997 and has subsequently blazed an acquisitions trail with mezzanine backing from Royal Bank of Scotland.

Self-styled as a virtual insurer, before the word became associated with the internet and ecommerce, the company provides marketing, IT and finance, while allowing the broker to retain its brand identity.

Towergate's management originally worked as underwriters for Economic Insurance, where they staged a management buyout in 1993 before selling to Hiscox in 1996.