Venture Preference buys THIG

Axa subsidiary Venture Preference has entered the private medical market with the acquisition of The Health Insurance Group (THIG).

The company says the deal sees its gross premium income exceed the 500m mark and keeps it on course to achieve its aim of controlling 1bn of gross written premium by 2010. It says this target is to be achieved through further cquisitions THIG, which was purchased for an undisclosed sum, is a fast-growing independent UK private medical intermediary. Established in 2003, THIG has achieved rapid growth since then – currently generating 45m of gross premium income. THIG will retain its full independence and will continue to trade under its current brand name.

The business provides PMI for the individual and corporate SME markets through a network of appointed representatives, the internet and a telemarketing operation. The products offered are provided by a wide range of leading healthcare insurers.

VP currently controls 480m of gross written premium and is made up of various commercial brokers including Smart & Cook, Layton Blackham and Stuart Alexander.

Chris Blackham joint chief executive of VP says: “By purchasing a significant health insurance intermediary we are taking an important strategic step in our distribution strategy. The deal also broadens VP’s capabilities and enhances its presence as the second largest SME broker in the UK.”