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Equity acquires ODIS to expand Northern Ireland operations

UK personal lines insurance group Equity Insurance has acquired Belfast broker Open and Direct Insurance Services as part of its expansion plans in Northern Ireland. According to Equity, this makes it the largest retail broking operation in the province.

The purchase will increase Equity’s presence in Northern Ireland, which was established through its acquisition of JMW in October 2004, to 17 branches. The company has said that all existing Open and Direct Insurance Services (ODIS) staff will remain with the business.

Neil Utley, CEO of Equity, commented: Buoyant market conditions in Northern Ireland present attractive new opportunities for the group to make further investments in successful broking businesses and accelerates our stated expansion strategy.

ODIS specializes in providing private car, motorcycle, home taxi and commercial insurances. Equity will now take over the eight branches that ODIS has set up throughout the province since it was established in 2002.

ODIS managing director Gareth Brady added: Equity has proven itself the most ambitious and fast-growing high street broker in the UK, with its success based on a commitment to customer service through staff development.