Fee and commission income (2003): £742m.

Pre-tax profit (2003): £7.3m

Address: Budget House, Bretton Way,

Peterborough PE3 6SB

Tel: 01733 845555

Fax: 01733 845010

Website: www.budgetinsurance.com
Year established: 1992

History: The Budget Group of Companies began operating in the UK in 1992, when Budget Insurance Company was formed to repeat the success that founder Douw Steyn had enjoyed in South Africa-based motor insurance firm Auto & General.

In December 1997, a change in group strategy led to the establishment of Budget Insurance Services to act as an intermediary, marketing policies underwritten by a panel of insurers. In November 1999, the group acquired Arnott Century, a chain of high street retail outlets based in the North East, Scotland and London, to expand and diversify its distribution channels.

In October 2001, Budget acquired Coventry-based Dial Direct, a major UK car and motorcycle insurance intermediary, selling primarily under the brands of Dial Direct and Bennetts. In August 2002, the Group launched its affinity business, Junction. In January 2003, the first affinity scheme for National Australia Bank Group was launched. Since then a further nine schemes have been launched, many of them with leading UK brands. Affinity partners include Bradford & Bingley, Homebase, MBNA, Marks & Spencer Financial Services, the Post Office and Uniservice.

In May 2003, Bennetts launched a new brand identity and aggressive marketing campaign, which have resulted in significant growth. In June 2003, Budget launched its own ULR business, ACM ULR. The business has enjoyed an excellent first year of trading, capturing 80,000 incidents and providing uninsured loss recovery service to all of Budget's and its business partners' policyholders.

ACM also introduced the unique "cuddle" service, which supports policyholders through the claims process, giving a holistic and arms round the client approach to claims.

In July 2004, the company opened its fourth contact centre in Cape Town, South Africa, which is planned to accommodate almost 200 staff within a year. The company has over 900,000 customers, 85 high street retail outlets and major contact centre operations in Peterborough, Coventry and Sunderland. It employs around 1900 people and is based in Peterborough.

Major shareholders: Budget Group Ltd

Main lines of business: motor, home, motorcycle and commercial vehicle

Number of UK branches: 85

Number of contact centres: 4

Subsidiary companies: The group's trading subsidiaries operate under the names Budget Insurance Services, Dial Direct, Bennetts and Junction.

Chief officer: Peter Winslow

Biography: Peter Winslow qualified as a chartered accountant in 1978

and went straight into the book publishing industry. He built up and sold a private niche publishing concern to Harper Collins, which he joined in 1989 as finance director. He went on to become chief executive from 1990 to 1994.

At 40, he decided on a career change, particularly wanting to focus on call centre operations.

He joined the Budget Group of Companies in 1995 as deputy managing director and became group chief executive in 1997.

He also presided over several high profile acquisitions including that of Arnott Century, a chain of high street retail outlets, in 1999 and Dial Direct, a major UK car and motorcycle insurance intermediary, in 2001, a move that saw the number of staff increase from 1,200 to nearly 2,000.

Since joining Budget, Winslow has been responsible for turning the company round from a loss-making business to a profitable one.