Towergate, a UK-based independently owned insurance intermediary, has strengthened its acquisition capabilities with the appointed of Stephen Hinbest as new head of acquisitions.

In his new role, Stephen will manage the acquisition team and will report to group CEO Andy Homer.

Towergate said that the appointment is in response to the increasing number of brokers in discussions with the company regarding possible sale, and its growth plans and additional £90m acquisition fund following the recent completion of their long-term refinancing.

Stephen joined Towergate in 2006 as regional managing director for Towergate underwriting, and his recent roles include heading product development, and project management.

Towergate executive chairman Peter Cullum said the acquisition market has been relatively slow in a landscape of great economic uncertainty, and brokers with recession-hit client bases.

"However, time stands still for nobody and there are many brokers keen to plan their exit or retirement, and Towergate’s track record and firepower makes us an obvious first port of call for a lot of them. We are seeing a raft of great opportunities from larger regional brokers right through to specialist niche portfolios," Cullum said.