Insurance giant AXA UK has acquired independent commercial broker The Davis Group, strengthening its position as the operator of the UK's second largest small- to medium-sized enterprises broker.

<p>Under the terms of the acquisition, AXA UK will buy the entire share capital of The Davis Group through its subsidiary Venture Preference (VPL), which owns the recently acquired Smart & Cook, Stuart Alexander and Layton Blackham businesses, purchased earlier in 2007.<br /><br />The Davis Group specializes in commercial and transport insurance, and has a particularly good reputation in the provision of specialist products and services for the freight transport and marine industries. <br /><br />Stuart Reid, joint CEO of VPL, said: I am very pleased that The Davis Group is joining us. It is a well run business and will add diversity to the VPL proposition as we had little presence in the freight and logistics markets.<br /><br />This acquisition is further proof that AXA remains the preferred choice for many quality brokers who wish to become part of a fast growing, quality brokerage in the UK. The combination of both independence and the strength of AXA give us a unique position within the UK, Mr Reid continued.</p>