Sutton Winson Recognised for its skill investment

Founding UNA Member, Sutton Winson is very proud to have won a Training Award at the 2018 UK Insurance Age Broker Awards. This award was designed to recognise investment we make in the staff skills - both technical and "soft". 

Throughout their history, they have developed and grown their own people. A demonstration of this is Martin Coppard who joined us as an Account Technician in 2000 and is now a NEBOSH qualified Risk Manager.

The high level of focus on training and development has been recognised as a part of the Chartered Broker application and our achievement of Investors in People Gold standard. In 2017, their employees won both the UNA Alliance Best Newcomer and Achievements Awards, and an employee was selected for CII New Generation Programme. Plus we employed 3 supplementary people on a 2-year Graduate Trainee Programme.

They are also supportive of wider development initiatives; for example, they’re funding a Russian course for an employee who expressed an interest in learning the language to engage with a growing number of the HNW Russian individuals coming to the UK. These external courses are supplemented by extensive internal training by experts in their areas on technical and soft skills, which adds ability to our skills portfolio and enhances our service proposition.

They're fully committed to becoming one of the best Independent Brokers to work with and for, through enhancing long term career opportunities, increasing staff motivation and retention.

Mr Toomey of Apex Consultants (first apprenticeship provider to secure CII accredited provider status) commented: “Since we started working with Sutton Winson 15 years ago, we have seen a very impressive commitment to apprenticeships as well as other learning. The fact that more than 30% of its staff have gone through the apprenticeship route demonstrates the value it places on the programme and its structured, supported learning.

“Sutton Winson was a natural early adopter for the Level 4 apprenticeship and it is pleasing to see high numbers of Level 3 apprenticeships moving to the next level and, in doing so, achieving the CII Diploma in Insurance. We expect the Level 4 apprenticeship to result in higher numbers of people across the sector completing the Advanced Diploma in Insurance.”


Mario Zakakiotis (Graduate Trainee) commented: "Since starting at Sutton Winson I have been given the support and encouragement that has enabled me to develop personally and professionally. I feel part of a team, not just in my chosen area but throughout all areas of the business. The training programme ensures I get the most out of my development in order to reach my full potential and is setting me up for a great future in the insurance industry. I look forward to what lies ahead."

Una & Three Members Shortlisted for UK Broker Awards

Congratulations to three of our Una members for reaching the UK Broker Awards 2018 Awards shortlist.

Centor, Sutton Winson and Thomas Carroll are all finalists in the Training Award category with Centor & Thomas Carroll also nominated for both the Claims Team Award and Commercial Lines Broker of the Year Award.

Thomas Carroll has also been shortlisted for the new for 2018, Cyber Broker Award.

Una is again delighted to be shortlisted for the Network of the Year Award for the second year running.

Now in their 25th year, the UK Broker Awards hosted by Insurance Age are the leading platform for national recognition within the insurance broker market. The awards are the ideal way to demonstrate to your peers, clients and insurer partners that you have both a track record of success and the skills and expertise to grow in the coming months and years. 

The final will be held on 14th September at The Brewery, London

Good luck to you all!

Finch's Return to Profitability

Manchester-headquartered UNA Member, Finch Insurance Brokers has reported a 7% rise in turnover to £3.87m for the year ended 31 December 2017.

Operating profit was also up 2% to £487,135 as pre-tax profit nudged up to effectively the same level.

The increases mark a change around from the 2016 results when profits and turnover fell.

At that time group managing director Mike Latham explained that the reductions were due to investments as the firm targeted sustainable growth.

Income

Speaking about the most recent figures Latham told Insurance Age the uptick was consistent with the plan of investing in service and talent.

He noted that new business income had outweighed lapsed clients by a net 9.5%.

“This year we will continue to focus on organic growth and expect to do something similar again,” he said. “But the profitability will be enhanced as the investments were made in 2016 and 2017.”

Mid-market

The company, which places around £38m of gross written premium, specialises in mid-market particularly for hospitality and tech clients typically paying £100,000 to £1m of premium.

Latham said there had been growth “across the board” of property, motor and casualty. He noted that cyber was picking up but was starting from a small base.

The wider group, known as Alec Finch Group, also offers employee benefits and turnover here was also up at £5m (2016: £4.7m).

Double

Latham has previously stated his intention to double the wider group by 2020 and he reiterated the plan.


“We are still planning on £10m by 2020,” he confirmed explaining it would be a mix of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions. He said he was hopeful of completing at least one deal this year.

The Una and Worldwide Broker Network member was bought by French firm Verlingue in 2007.

Latham came on board in October 2012 having worked at Jelf. He was latterly regional managing director of the North and Midlands having been managing director of Manson Insurance Brokers when it was bought by the consolidator in January 2008.

“Verlingue’s ambition is to be much bigger outside of France than they currently are,” he began.

“The approach is always to invest in their territories and management teams.”

Predictions

Latham admitted to having been “pleasantly surprised” by how much he had enjoyed working with Verlingue.

“I was very clear around… if I was going to take on this project that I would be given the authority and the autonomy to go ahead and do it.

“I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else.”

Looking ahead he predicted 10% organic growth for 2018 and a double digit surge in profitability.

“The [profit] number next year will be even more,” he concluded.

“We have enhanced profitability with investments made throughout 2016 that are beginning to drive through.”

Integro and Tysers Join Forces

        

Following months of negotiations, the FCA has now given formal approval for the acquisition of Tysers by fellow UNA Member, Integro.  The acquisition is Integro’s largest to date and demonstrates the company’s commitment to expand into attractive, specialist insurance markets. The highly compatible business structures and cultures will create an attractive and competitive brokerage, with double the scale.

Integro and Tysers have complementary wholesale capabilities, which will provide opportunities to expand and enhance the businesses client offering – with new solutions and expanded geographic coverage.

Recognising its strong heritage, the combined wholesale business will trade under the Tysers brand and be led by Integro’s current Co-Heads of UK Wholesale, David Abraham and Jason Collins. Tysers’ UK Corporate team members will join Integro’s UK Retail team, overseen by Bob Pybus, Integro’s Head of UK Retail, and trade under the Integro brand.

Founded in 1820, Tysers has successfully grown from a marine trade business to a specialist broker operating internationally in four practice groups - North America, international, reinsurance and marine and specialty. Originally a family firm, Tysers became a private partnership before incorporating in 2001. In 2007, a new generation spearheaded a buyout of Tyser & Co, which led to it being 100 per cent colleague-owned.

Integro, founded in 2005 and owned by Odyssey Investment Partners, LLC, has evolved to become a leading specialty insurance brokerage firm, serving clients in over 125 countries from more than 40 offices across the globe. The business is active in a range of speciality areas, including aviation, benefits consulting, entertainment and sport, financial institutions, healthcare, marine/energy, professional services, real estate/construction; reinsurance; retail/consumer services; and transportation and logistics.

UNA Board Member, Bob Pybus, said: “In addition to their wholesale team, Tysers brings a talented retail team which will improve our ability to serve corporate clients out of London.”

It’s business as usual for both members and their interaction with UNA and our project groups, so we very much look forward to hearing more about the exciting opportunities this opportunity presents.

UNA Three Peaks Challenge 2018

It’s been a busy few months for UNA members, not lease for the intrepid band of walkers and drivers who embarked on the famous Three Peaks Challenge – to conquer the three highest peaks of Scotland, England and Wales – in under 24 hours.

Six teams took part in the challenge, which was part of our 20th anniversary goal to raise £20,000 for Mind and the British Heart Foundation.

 Not a cloud in the sky!

We set off on June 28th with a smile and spring in our step – soon to be brought back down to earth! A heatwave isn’t something we normally have to worry about in the UK but, as we hit the slopes of Ben Nevis, it was declared the hottest day in Scotland for over 100 years! Ben Nevis has a large number of false summits, so when you think you’re nearly there, you realise there’s another climb around the corner. However, the first teams were back down in just under five and a half hours.

Next on the horizon was Scafell Pike in the Lake District – to be tackled in the dark, just to make it even more challenging. Progress was quick for most, with teams making up for the lost time on Ben Nevis. The speediest completed it in just over three and half hours.

By the time we reached the third peak of Mount Snowdon, those still in the running to complete the challenge within 24 hours had just around four hours left. Our teams were battling physical exhaustion from the intense exercise, heat, minor injuries, aches and pains, and a lack of sleep.

I’m delighted to say we had two teams who completed the challenge within the set timeframe – they even ran back down Snowdon to make sure they beat the clock! The first reached the finish line in 23 hrs 45 mins, with the next team just seven minutes behind.

We’d like to wish a huge congratulations to Barrie McCarthy and Greg Edwards from Thomas Carroll, Will Meyer from Sutton Winson and Susan Battersby from T L Dallas who were first home. They were closely followed by Neil Hobbs and Marc Hancock from Sutton Winson, Vikki Rowell of Ryans and Chris Jackson of Integro.

Our efforts have raised nearly £13,000 for our two charities, so a huge congratulations to everyone who took part on the day, as well those who have supported us. Our Justgiving page will be live until our conference in November when we will hopefully have smashed our target.

A special mention must go to Susan Battersby, for whom this was a particularly personal challenge. Rather poignantly for Susan, she started her climb on Ben Nevis exactly three years to the day that she was admitted to a mental health facility, to begin her long journey to recovery. Clearly she has proved to herself that, three years on, she had the strength to conquer this very demanding challenge, and that she has made huge progress in this time. If ever there was a reason for raising funds, it’s personal stories like this, that make a challenge like this all the more worthwhile.

  Teamworking in full swing!