Insurer plans to reach £30m by end of 2003

Zenith Commercial will double the business it writes to £30m by the end of 2003, building its broker panel to 250.

The insurer will open three new offices in London, Manchester and Glasgow at the beginning of next year and increase its frontline staff from 50 to 65.

Zenith Commercial managing director David Drew revealed the ambitious expansion plans less than six months after the insurer opened for business.

Drew and his team left Folgate Insurance in July and transferred commercial business to Zenith.

Lloyd's Syndicate 2002 backed the new Zenith subsidiary.

It already has offices in Birmingham, St Albans and Maidstone.

Drew said the insurer's new London office, headed by Frank Such, would write £2m by the end of 2003.

It will increase its existing panel of six London brokers to 20.

The new Glasgow office will write £500,000 in the coming year and establish a panel of up to 25 brokers.

Roddy MacInnes, formerly of Groupama, has been appointed to run the office.

The insurer already writes £3m-plus business in the North-West, but expects the figure to double with the opening of a new Manchester office headed by Alison Pendlebury.

"We're opening doors for some added brokers in that area," Drew said.

"We want to build from 20 to 35 or 40, but we're interested in quality."

Drew said the offices were seeking premiums from £5,000 to £50,000.

"Most of our business is written on commercial combined or property owners' forms," Drew said.

"Our business is about 75% property and 25% liability and we survey everything we write."

Drew said he was confident Zenith Commercial could further increase its business to £50m by the end of 2004, despite competing with the largest insurers.