Fee and commission income (2003): £189m.

Pre-tax profit (2003): £1.3m

Address: Trafalgar House

110 Manchester Road


Cheshire WA15 0AU

Tel: 0161 927 2424

Fax: 0161 927 2404

Email: bikes@carolenash.com

Websites: www.carolenash.com
Year established: 1985

History: An impressive trading pedigree marked by constant product, service and marketing innovations has seen Carole Nash Insurance Consultants become the UK's largest motorcycle insurance intermediary and an ambitious new player in the motor market.

The company was founded in 1985 after Carole was made redundant with the closure of Sentry Insurance's Manchester office. Along with her redundancy cheque, she took Sentry's vintage motorcycle scheme and began building today's market-leading force.

While the company prospered in its first decade, its most rapid growth followed the 1996 recruitment of managing director Damian Keeling, with policyholders growing from 40,000 - mainly classic motorcyclists - to nearly 250,000 as it targeted the modern motorcycle sector and entered the classic car market.

In recent years the business has extended into complementary business areas. In 2000 it began tackling the problem of "ambulance chasing" accident management firms, launching The Claims Service, a professional and ethical personal injury and ULR division that assists more than 1,000 policyholders annually.

The 2001 launch of Carole Nash Secure demonstrated a desire to pro-actively influence risk while improving customer service. By providing discounted motorcycle security products and free installation, it assists bikers in reducing theft risk and satisfying underwriters' insistence that security be fitted to many bikes.

Serving over 3,000 bikers annually, it is the UK's leading independent motorcycle security fitter.

For similar reasons, in 2002 Carole Nash created a national repairers network headed by a £250,000 in-house facility.

By adopting better working practices, the network has cut claim costs by 13% and settlement times by 45%.

To maintain the highest professional standards the company has recently invested £500,000 in a dedicated training centre, which offers more than 80 courses, including IFC accreditation, where its pass rate of 80% far exceeds the national average. The centre serves nearly 400 staff employed at its Altrincham headquarters, security and repair operations and Dublin office.

Pursuing its dynamic business strategy, Carole Nash is now focusing on cross-marketing opportunities offered by the car market.

Major shareholders: Carole Nash, Damian Keeling, Malcolm Nash

Main lines of business: Motorcycle, classic car, motor

Number of UK branches: 1

Number of UK employees (average for 2003): 370

Chief officer: Damian Keeling, managing director.