Danny Walkinshaw looks at the latest insurance stories online

There was plenty going on over the festive period to keep our online readers glued to the site. As firms wound down for Christmas, it was still all go at global broker Marsh, which announced the completion of its £135m acquisition of HSBC Insurance Brokers.

It was insurancetimes.co.uk that originally reported details of Marsh’s interest in the business back in November, a ‘most read’ story that became the site’s second most popular news item of 2009.

This time round, online readers flocked back to the site as Marsh’s chief executive Dan Glaser and UK boss Martin South officially made the deal public.

Second to that was the follow-up story, in which Marsh’s Glaser stated that the prospect of job losses within HSBC Insurance Broker’s 1,400 staff would not be decided until 2010.

The Marsh/HSBC deal received widespread online coverage in the UK and in the USA, where the broker also confirmed expansion plans through acquisition.

Meanwhile, the long-running Zenith saga finally came to a halt as motor insurer Markerstudy announced a deal to acquire the business, which was put on the block by Caribbean-based parent company Guardian Holdings. As online subscribers tucked into their turkey sandwiches, an email arrived from Insurance Times with news of the deal.

Photos from our latest Broker Forum event also received plenty of clicks, as did the story of an Allianz credit hire challenge involving Sunderland footballer Darren Bent. On that note, it would be wrong not to mention Insurance Times Fantasy Football, which kept managers occupied during the hectic festive fixtures.

Online Top 10

The ten most read stories at insurancetimes.co.uk this week

Marsh confirms HSBC Insurance Brokers acquisition

Marsh also agrees preferred strategic partnership with bank

HSBC Insurance Brokers job cuts yet to be considered

Marsh’s Glaser says future of staff ‘yet to be decided’

Markerstudy swoops for Zenith

Ambitious motor specialist wants to compete with large UK insurers

Photo special: Insurance Times Broker Forum

Snaps from the latest broker event

Footballer Bent caught up in Allianz credit hire challenge

Sunderland striker at centre of dispute with Accident Exchange

QBE acquires Evergreen

Insurer buys property specialist from Munich Re’s underwriting agency

Aviva appoints new UK marketing head

Insurer creates new role across UK life and GI businesses

Motor boss quits QBE

Steve Stone heads to Markerstudy

Amlin swoops on Lockton arm

Lloyd’s insurer in talks over insolvency practitioners’ business

‘Crash for cash’ mistress jailed

Ex-girlfriend of Mohammed Patel jailed for living high life on insurance scam money