French insurance broker Verlingue has acquired Manchester, UK-based brokerage Alec Finch Group for an undisclosed amount. According to the brokers, which both specialize in covering enterprise risks, the new enlarged group will employ 600 people and will generate premiums in excess of GBP400 million.

Alec Finch Group already has offices in Halifax, London and Manchester, and the brokers have said that the enlarged group will have offices in London, Paris and eight regional centers. According to Verlingue, the acquisition, which is the group’s first venture outside of France, will place it among France’s 10 largest brokers.

Alec Finch, who will continue as chairman of the company’s UK operations, said: We have for some time, recognized the importance of scale in planning for the future. Given the international nature of much of our business it was a natural decision to look outside the UK and enter into a partnership with one of Europe’s leading independent financial services groups.

Jacques Verlingue, president of the Verlingue organization, added: Our two firms have been working together in worldwide broker network for the last 15 years and we know each other very well. I am excited by the prospect of the synergies we will generate by combining the best of British and French cultures for the benefit of our employees and clients.