Chambers & Newman to give VP a Manchester hub

Venture Preference (VP) has established a presence in the North West, in the little consolidated Manchester area, with the acquisition of broker and financial services specialist Chambers & Newman.

The location holds strategic significance because brokers in this region have largely been unreceptive to the advances of consolidators to date. The purchase also establishes a Manchester base for VP.

The deal was lead by Smart & Cook, which will oversee the broking business of the Stockport-based firm, while the financial services arm will come under fellow VP broker Layton Blackham.

The deal represents an increase in gross written premium of £8m and 24 staff to VP on the broking side, plus18 financial services staff. Its offices and all staff will be retained as will the firm’s branding pending the announcement of the rebrand of VP during 2008.

Chambers & Newman, which has been trading commercial insurances for 45 years, boasts outstanding client retention with many clients having been on its books since it began trading.

VP Joint chief executive Paul Meehan said: “Chambers & Newman represents another excellent purchase for VP as its business ethos matches our own, namely providing exceptional levels of client service backed by first class technical expertise. I am delighted that we have acquired such a well established firm which brings fantastic experience to our rapidly expanding team and particularly one in the North West market, which many consolidators have had difficulty breaking into.”

Chambers & Newman managing director of broking Stuart Fraser-Thomson said: “This deal represents many great benefits to our existing and new clients due to VP’s market leading expertise and range of specialist insurance products and services. I am delighted with the deal and look forward to working with Smart & Cook to strengthen our position and client offering.”