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Farewell to the brokers' broker

Dear friend,

I’m just putting the finishing touches to our June/July edition and so I suppose I don’t have much time to linger in front of my keyboard today

But why not linger? Let’s break the rules.

What’s the point of being an editor if you can’t do that? One more paragraph for the road, then.

This week saw an interesting milestone for me — the last of my former reinsurance broking employers was finally wiped off the face of the earth by the unstoppable juggernaut of consolidation.

Ten years after Aon took my first broking house off the market, Cooper Gay snapped up the remnants of Heath Re as part of a transfer of employees and business.

As the Heath employees packed up their rolodexes into plastic crates and moved a few hundred yards to their new home, so another ancient sub-section of my CV joined the ranks of the no longer verifiable.

With a frog in my throat and a tear in my eye I forwarded the news to an ex Heath Re colleague out in Spain, now more happily employed elsewhere.

The contents of his reply are unprintable, but suffice to say that he still bore the scars of the firm’s long-term retreat from global broking contender to a mainly retail UK operation.

So long, Heath Re, for so many years known in the market as the brokers’ broker.

And despite the risks, there is still no shortage of contenders making their play for stardom. Just look at the abovementioned Cooper Gay, and then HRH, Lockton and Colemont, all ploughing ahead with expansion.

In the spirit of fair play I wish them all good luck.

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