AN INSURANCE broker has brought together 300 staff in a ‘super centre’ at Bournemouth’s former Abbey Life building.

The move by four companies from the UK arm of the Arthur J Gallagher group is thought to be Bournemouth’s biggest office letting since 2008.

The group has refurbished the 23,000sq ft premises at 100 Holdenhurst Road, known locally as the ‘wedding cake’ and originally built for Abbey Life.

It will be the US-based insurance broker’s biggest UK base outside London.

The move brings together staff from the group’s four locally based businesses – Deacon, Insure4Retirmeent, Charity Solutions and Deputy Bond.

The group says the premises has bespoke training facilities, state-of-the-art telephony and AV systems.

The businesses will have a centralised service team dealing with product development, pricing and IT as well as specialists in customer acquisition and retention strategy.

Andrew Wallin, managing director for the Direct business unit at Gallagher Insurance Solutions, said: “Our growth by acquisition means we now have four great specialist businesses operating in the Bournemouth area, which we knew would benefit from coming together to share expertise and best practice as they look to expand within the Gallagher family.

“Personal lines and specialist scheme insurance is a highly competitive and fast-moving business. We recognised that we needed to evolve our strategy to stay at the forefront of developments, which also demands a big investment in the latest technology and creation of a great working environment for our employees.”

Des O’Connor, MD of Gallagher Insurance Solutions, added: “Having spent the past two years building our business by selective acquisition, recruiting top talent and planning our path of expansion, 2014 is all about delivery. “Our new ‘super centre’ in Bournemouth now provides the ideal platform to execute our ambitious growth strategy.”

Arthur J Gallagher’s UK distribution arm is led by MD Des O’Connor and divided into two business units – Direct and Partnerships.

Arthur J Gallagher – the brand name for Arthur J Gallagher & Co outside the US – employs 3,500 staff across the UK, Australia, Singapore, the Caribbean, Canada, Chile and Norway.