Norwich Union buys 100th broker book

Article date: 1 March 2005

Norwich Union has acquired its 100th book of brokerbusiness – and is anticipating a steady level of acquisitionactivity in 2005.

This takes the value of purchases in the past 18 months to £58mand covers 145,000 customers.

Despite an anticipated deluge of brokers exiting the market,the majority of those selling to Norwich Union are continuing totrade and re-focusing their businesses, according to thecompany’s head of broker solutions, David Leary:

“As many as 80 brokers have sold their personal linesbook to concentrate resources on developing their commercialbusiness and identifying the most profitable lines.

“Most have chosen to off-load their personal book througheconomies of scale or because it was either a marginal orloss-making piece of business.”

An unexpected development of acquisition has been the amount ofrepeat business being generated. Leary explains: “Somebrokers are conducting a ‘staged exit’, firstlyselling their motor book and then following up later with theirhousehold book.”

Brokers selling their books to exit the market altogether arebeing influenced by a readiness to retire or the impact of FSAregulation, according to Leary: “It is allowing thesebrokers to make an orderly exit without leaving orphanedclients.”

Leary continues: “It’s an achievement to havereached this point in 18 months, which must be attributed to ourconsultative approach. By gaining a true understanding of brokersplans and aspirations, we have been able to help their decisionmaking process”

“Rather than acquisition being a controversial concept, itis filling a need in the ever-changing broker market place.

"Some key challenges remain for large parts of the brokermarket, primarily a huge age time bomb, with many brokers facingdiminishing profits through falling premiums and increasing costsof trading and FSA regulations.”

- Ends -

For further information, please contact: Jon Clements atStaniforth on 0161 274 0100/ 07989 414486 or David Ross at NorwichUnion on 08703 66 68 65/07800 699665.

Notes to editors

Norwich Union Insurance

Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market share ofaround 13 per cent

With a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses,Norwich Union insures:

  • one in five households
  • one in seven motor vehicles
  • more than 800,000 businesses

Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners such asbanks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.

Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority

Members of the Aviva group

Back to top