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Marsh Bowring CEO holds helm at Gibbs Hartley Cooper

Five months after Marsh set Gibbs Hartley Cooper (GHC) up as its independent London market wholesale broker the search continues for a CEO, The Insurance Insider has learnt.

Nick Bacon, CEO of Marsh Bowring, has been acting as the interim head at the respected and recently resuscitated HSBC Insurance Brokers brand.

Marsh brought the GHC name back into business in the wake of its £135mn takeover of HSBC earlier this year.

In May, Marsh UK CEO Martin South told The Insurance Insider that GHC was Marsh's play to get back into the London market independent wholesale space.

South said that the wholesaler will be run at arm's length, adding that if that means GHC and Marsh compete then "that's what we'll do".

The Insurance Insider understands that at least one CEO of a rival London independent has rejected an approach by Marsh to fill the vacancy.

In the meantime Bacon, CEO of specialist international arm Marsh Bowring, is overseeing GHC's operations in tandem with his other responsibilities.

GHC has around 100 staff at present, although Marsh is encouraging the business to expand aggressively. It has specie, marine and general aviation teams and it writes some binder facilities.

The decision to revive GHC returns Marsh to its pre-2006 structure, when the now-independent Price Forbes played the same role.

Explaining the decision to return to the independent wholesale market earlier this year, South said that it is "a big segment of the [London] market". He also acknowledged that previously it "has been a gap in our arsenal" that had restricted the company's access to business.

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