High productivity and a slow and steady approach to improving performance are the two cornerstones of broking success

By Matt Scott

The UK broking market is huge, accounting for some £65.1bn of annual premiums, according to Biba.

Matt Scott

Matt Scott

M&A activity is thriving too, with figures from Imas revealing that brokers completed deals worth an estimated £6bn last year, making 2021 a record year for acquisitions.

But whether brokers are looking to sell, buy, or simply improve their business’ performance, having a thorough understanding of what constitutes good performance is key to being successful.

So, what does good look like for a UKGI broker?

Insurance DataLab recently conducted some research trying to answer just this question - and the answers were interesting.

Across all the top performers in the market intelligence firm’s Broker Performance Report, published in May 2022, there was one key trend – high productivity.

Pretty much all of the Insurance DataLab report’s gold award winners scored particularly highly under the research’s productivity measure, which was one of three metrics analysed alongside profitability and growth.

RAC Financial Services, which Insurance DataLab rated as the second best overall UKGI broker in 2022, received the highest productivity rating for this year after reporting an average turnover per employee of more than £530,000 and staff costs equal to just 10% of turnover.

Meanwhile, across all the 100 brokers that made up the research, the average turnover per employee stood at £157,340, while staff costs as a percentage of turnover came in at an average of 43%.

For the six gold award winners, however, these figures stood at £303,831 and 23% respectively – evidence of how high levels of productivity can help set a business up for long-term, sustainable success.

Slow and steady wins the race

The other thread that was woven through the results of the top performing brokers, as classified by Insurance DataLab, was a series of small and incremental improvements in performance that led to steady and consistent increases in overall scores.

Indeed, the top three brokers in the research have remained the same as last year because each reported a small increase in performance.

This shows how the very best broking firms don’t look to make sweeping improvements all in one go. Instead, they plan to make steady, yet consistent, progress that adds up to create a market-leading broking business.

Brokers looking to make improvements to their businesses would be wise to pay heed to the success of these firms.

The UK broking sector is primed for innovation - and the best innovators know that slow and steady often wins the race.

But if you are going to fail, do it fast and make sure that it doesn’t take your whole business out.

By exploring new opportunities with limited resources at first, brokers can see which opportunities fit the culture and makeup of their business best.

Armed with this information, they can then ramp up activity and dive into these new areas with greater confidence that they are going to succeed.

And where opportunities don’t work, brokers can pull out quickly without having made significant investments of time and money to the detriment of the rest of the business.

This approach is what leads to the slow and steady improvements that Insurance DataLab’s gold award winners have demonstrated. This is the best way to plot your route to the top.