YORK mutual healthcare society Benenden Health has taken over a firm of Scottish insurance brokers as it increases its portfolio in the insurance market.

The Holgate-based mutual has completed the acquisition of Keegan & Pennykid, which was founded more than 40 years ago in Edinburgh.

The business will eventually fall within Benenden's life services division Benenden Wellbeing, which was launched in November last year.

The acquisition of the insurance brokers follows Benenden Wellbeing launching its own travel insurance in May, trading under Benenden Insurance Services.

Marc Bell, chief executive of the Benenden Group said: "I am delighted to welcome the directors and staff of Keegan & Pennykid into our organisation and look forward to working with them to grow our mutual community alongside our core healthcare service.

"We will continue to operate with the existing management and staff and under the Keegan & Pennykid brand."

Keegan and Pennykid will continue to operate out of Edinburgh, with its 17 members of staff joining the 240 strong team at Benenden.

Ken Pennykid, managing director of Keegan & Pennykid, which provides independent general insurance and financial services advice to a range of clients across the UK and Northern Ireland, said: “The Benenden ethos fits very well with our own and presents an excellent opportunity for all associated with Keegan & Pennykid.”

As well as Benenden Insurance Services, and ultimately Keegan & Pennykid, the Benenden Wellbeing division operates its Independent Living initiative, offering members access to living aids through a partnership with healthcare.co.uk

The entire Benenden Health group now has just under 900,000 members, and reported turnover of £90 million last year.

Paul Keenan, head of communications at Benenden, said: "The insurance market is a very important part of our business strategy. To us, the acquisition of Keegan and Pennykid is going to allow us to expand our UK footprint and open up Benenden to a wider audience and help us grow in the insurance market."