AMP's insurance broking division, Towry Law, will expand by taking on 15 of AMP Pearl's direct sales force from 1 April.

AMP Pearl announced its decision to axe its life, pensions and commercial direct sales force on 3 December 2002. Existing commercial policies will be transferred to Towry Law, and managing director Martin Wright described the size of the existing book of business as "fairly substantial".

Towry Law's core broking business focuses on small to medium enterprises with a turnover of £10m-£100m.

Wright said the commecial direct sales force will write combined packages for car dealerships, shops, offices and hotels with turnovers below £10m, creating a new market segment for the company.

NIG underwrote the commercial products sold by AMP Pearl's direct sales force, and Wright said this relationship is critical to the profitability of the new business.

"There is a huge opportunity at this end of the marketplace," Wright said.

"By working in partnership with an insurer it becomes more profitable."

Under AMP Pearl, the direct sales force wrote premiums up to £5,000. Wright is aiming to write premiums up to £10,000, with premiums of less than £2,500 being handled by NIG's telemarketing team.