Barbon Insurance Group, trading as HomeLet and Rentshield, has announced that it is to merge with Rent Alliance.
The rent protection firms will now operate under the name of Barbon Holdings, allowing both firms to cut running costs but continue to trade separately under their respective brands.
Martin Totty will maintain his role as group chief executive of Barbon Holdings whilst Andy Halstead will remain as chief executive at Let Alliance. Halstead will also assume an executive director position on the Barbon Group board.
Speaking of the merger, Totty, said: “Bringing the two organisations together will enable an increased investment into technology and product innovation, generating incremental income or lowering operating expenses.
“It is a prerequisite that we will constantly look for opportunities to develop our proposition and enhance our customers’ businesses.”
He added: “Combining the robust and longstanding Barbon business with the creativity and breadth of product portfolio of Let Alliance – both with deep experience in regulated financial services – creates a scale provider of lettings protection solutions that has the potential to invest and innovate better than if the brands remained independent.”
Halstead, meanwhile, said: “We have built a very special business at Let Alliance. Customers are at the heart of everything we do. Our merger with HomeLet and Rentshield is consistent with our values; it’s all about our customers.
“Letting agents across the UK are working in a tough and challenging market. Letting agents are consolidating and local firms are merging in order to build scale and thrive in the future.
“The merger allows us to focus all our combined resources on further developing our proposition for customers. We are ‘fit for the future’ and have the financial strength to deliver exactly what our customers need.”
He added: “The world just got a whole lot better for letting agents: the next phase of our journey together will be exciting and seriously valuable for customers.”
“The merger gives us access to resources that we could only dream of as an independent and it gives us the scope to carry on as Let Alliance and remain true to our values and customer commitments.”
The merger means that Barbon Holdings can “re-invest a greater share from cash flows behind innovation, rather than into the running costs of the business or looking elsewhere for capital which has supported other recent startup ventures in the sector.”