11. SWINTON GROUP
6 GREAT MARLBOROUGH STREET
TEL: 0161 233 4733
WEBSITE: WWW.SWINTON.CO.UK + WWW.SWINTON.CO.UK
FEE AND COMMISSION
INCOME (2004): £110.18m
PRE-TAX PROFIT: £23.19m
NUMBER OF UK EMPLOYEES: 2,200
CHIEF OFFICER: PATRICK SMITH, CHIEF EXECUTIVE
Swinton was founded in 1957 by Ken Scowcroft. It was bought in 1992 by Sun Alliance, and then sold to its current owners, MMA, in 2001. It expanded strongly in the 1970s and 1980s until it had over 750 branches, which were a mixture of franchises and owned branches. During a difficult period in the 1990s, the franchise operation was closed and branch numbers were reduced to 260.
Following expansion over the past few years, both organically and through acquisition, Swinton is now the largest high street broker, with 328 branches, and it manages 1.3 million policies. It also trades under a number of established brands, including Colonnade, Walmsleys, Fairfield and Safeguard.
MMA, a French mutual insurer.
MAIN LINES OF BUSINESS
A full range of personal lines products are offered through the branches, supported by a new business call centre. Swinton also has specialist units offering cover for motor caravans, taxis and motorcycles. It has also set up a rapidly growing unit to support small businesses.
CHIEF OFFICER BIOGRAPHY
Patrick Smith previously worked for Norwich Union for 28 years, initially as an actuary, and was responsible for building businesses across all areas of life, healthcare and general insurance. He launched Norwich Union Healthcare and Norwich Union Direct and was chairman of Hill House Hammond.
In 2000, Patrick launched its4me, an internet intermediary, one of the few survivors of the dot com bubble. He is currently Swinton's executive chairman.