Fee and commission income (1999):

Fee and commission income (1999):

Pre-tax profit (1999):

Head office:
Hebble Brook Business Park
Hays Lane
Tel: 01422 243 333
Fax: 01422 243 222

Major shareholder:
Provident Financial

Chief officer:
Mike Hutton

Mike Hutton joined Coopers & Lybrand in 1980, having obtained a BA and MSc in Accounting and Finance at the University of Lancaster.

After qualifying as a chartered accountant, he joined Provident Financial as a management accountant in 1984. In November 1985 he joined group subsidiary Colonnade Insurance Brokers as financial controller, becoming finance director in the following year.

In his early days at Colonnade, he was responsible for ensuring the company had sound financial controls. This solid foundation enabled the company to set out on a rapid expansion programme, moving from fewer than 20 outlets to more than 120 in a few years.

During his time at Colonnade, Hutton has had responsibility for most areas of the business, including IT, acquisitions, operations, insurer development and finance. In 1993 he qualified as an associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

In 1997 he was appointed deputy managing director and became managing director on January 1 1998.

Company history:
Colonnade began trading in 1978, although it was only in the past 10 years or so, that it embarked upon becoming a major player in the insurance broking market. In its first 10 years it acted primarily as a service company to customers of its parent company, Provident Financial. In those days it provided motor insurance to customers of its sister company, Provident Personal Credit.

The 1980s heralded a significant change in the direction of the company. The group related business on which the company was established was removed and the decision taken to set up a high street branch operation.

Fully computerised quotation and administration systems were installed in all branches at this stage. With sound financial controls in place it was possible for rapid expansion to take effect and the number of outlets quickly grew, reaching 50 towards the end of 1989.

In the early 1990s the expansion continued at a rapid rate and a number of small chains were purchased along the way, notably Shiptons, Charminster and Autoplus. This last deal in 1992 brought the number of branches to more than 120.

The mid-1980s was a time of significant change and a major restructuring of the business followed. Unprofitable outlets were closed, the company moved to a new head office on the outskirts of Halifax, and February 1994 saw the formation of Colonnade Direct – a telebroking operation.

In April 1995, Colonnade acquired Expert Information Systems, a computer software company operating from Lurgan in Northern Ireland.

At present Colonnade trades from 94 branches and its two call centres in Halifax and Lurgan.

Main lines of business:
Personal lines (mainly motor and household)

Number of UK branches:
94 branches plus two call centres

Number of employees (average for 1999):