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Swinton strengthens online presence with its4me buy

UK-based high street broker Swinton Group is merging with internet motor insurance company its4me.co.uk, in a move that will substantially increase the group's online presence.

Swinton and its4me have been trading as sister companies under the ownership of French mutual insurance company MMA. The merger will see Swinton’s policy book grow to 2.25 million, larger than that of any other UK broker.

Its4me, which was founded in February 2000, will continue its internet-only motor insurance operations from its Norwich base. It will, however, be under the overall control of the Swinton Group, and will compete alongside Swinton’s on and offline products.

All of the internet company’s staff will continue to be employed by Swinton and Patrick Smith, current CEO and chairman of its4me and CEO of Swinton, will continue to manage the newly merged organization.

Mr Smith commented that the deal continues Swinton’s growth strategy and said: It makes great sense for these two businesses to merge. It allows the group to offer a fully integrated online and offline service to our customers.

Swinton has made over 250 broker acquisitions during the last five years and expects that its 2005 gross premium income of GBP440 million will grow to more than GBP600 million in 2007 as a result of its latest purchase.