Stuart Reid and Phil Barton are set to take advantage of a disgruntled UK broking staff market - expect fireworks 

By Content Director Saxon East 

Two of the industry’s most recognisable faces, Stuart Reid and Phil Barton, are back with a bang.

Without the constrains of corporate oversight, their latest interview with Insurance Times has all the fizz and pop of two entrepreneurs free to speak their minds. 

They certainly don’t hold back with their message: consolidation has been bad for the market. 

Customers have lost out on choice, staff feel constrained in large corporates and the wealth has landed in the hands of the few not the many.

They won’t be repeating those mistake - they stress their firm will share equity among staff who are free to place business where it is best suited, rather than on the highest commission.

Some will say it is rich that Reid and Barton, who worked for Bluefin and Jelf, are now seemingly against the consolidation model which has benefited their careers.

Maybe so. But they’ve spotted a gap in the market, and have gone for it with full guns blazing. The issue at stake is whether they will succeed.

Can they succeed? 

Their private equity backers Cap Z take a longer term view of the investment, sometimes up to eight years before they divest.

That will give the best part of the 2020s to build the business up. 

Although backed by private equity, Reid and Barton are positioned closer to the space of the independent broker, Brokerbility and the UKs largest insurer, Aviva.

The market is ripe for them to benefit on staff recruitment.  

Many staff are unhappy at large corporate life: the following of rules, slow decision making process, constraints on placing business, lack of access to decision makers.

It is these broking staff that Reid and Barton can snap up, and reinvigorate to shape a powerful new broker.

We can expect a number of staff from the larger brokers to leave and join their new firm. There will be fireworks. 

Whoever said insurance was boring?