General Insurance Article - BIBA and IIB merger confirmed

 The British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA) has confirmed that it will join together with the Institute of Insurance Brokers (IIB) to provide one trade association and lobbying voice for general insurance brokers.
 From 1 November 2011, BIBA and the IIB will merge with a number of the IIB board directors joining BIBA's board. Barbara Bradshaw, the IIB Chief Executive, will also join BIBA's board and become a member of the BIBA Executive reporting to Eric Galbraith.

 Barbara will have specific responsibility to integrate the IIB's membership and develop a new and important group focused on the issues that affect smaller firms. This will cover all BIBA regions and, working with the resource of the combined organisations, help merge and increase the services offered to members.

 Eric Galbraith, BIBA's Chief Executive, said: "We have always strongly believed that one voice within the broking sector is needed and I believe that it is for the benefit of the sector that both organisations come together.

 "One association, and one voice, will add strength to our lobbying campaigns on the big issues affecting our members. Next year is a very important year for brokers and BIBA will, of course, continue to focus on representing members on the forthcoming regulation changes and the review of the FSCS."

 Barbara Bradshaw, the IIB's Chief Executive, added: "What is planned, as Eric has outlined, most certainly plays to IIB's strengths in its relationship with, and understanding of, the smaller insurance broking firms.

 "I have long thought that one voice, and a strong voice at that, is needed to represent all sectors of the insurance broking market. Looking at the merger wearing a cost benefits analysis hat, taking out duplication of operations and capitalising on each other's strengths has a clear advantage for all."

 Patrick Smith, BIBA's Chairman, commented: "I'm delighted that the two representative bodies have come together. IIB has, over the years been a great and vociferous defender of the interests of the smaller broker and we look forward to reinforcing that focus in the combined body."

 Graham Gomm, the IIB Chairman, concluded: "As a founder member of the IIB and an insurance broker for a considerable time, I have seen the creation of a range of trade associations for brokers and intermediaries. The market has changed beyond recognition and if ever there was a need for one united front to represent all types of general insurance brokers it is now."

 The two brands will remain while the two organisations are brought together and IIB members will be integrated into BIBA's membership. 

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