Hitting £500,000 gross written premium just three months after launching specialist boutique broker Broadway Insurance Brokers’s founder and chief executive Daniel Lloyd-John tells Insurance Times about his plans for 2021 and why the North West is the ’perfect place’ for his proposition 

Although he’s far too modest to admit it, Daniel Lloyd-John, chief executive and founder of Broadway Insurance Brokers, is an entrepreneur at heart.

After launching a South Manchester-based boutique broker during lockdown, enlisting a range of “insurance heavyweights” to join his staff force and hitting £500,000 gross written premium (GWP) within the business’s first three months, Lloyd-John has now set his sights set on expanding.

Lloyd-John told Insurance Times that he has plans to expand out into two other regions, but “it’s only the beginning”.

He also hopes to invest heavily in digital. He continues: “Personalisation has been huge for us. We have identified a link between personalisation and digital strategy, and as a new company we are seeking to implement a transformational approach to operational improvements around it.”

The tagline on Broadway Insurance Brokers’s website reads “changing insurance broking for good” and that is exactly what Lloyd-John hopes to achieve.

Although the business was imagined pre-pandemic, with this tagline as its core, the chief executive admits that ”Covid-19 has shifted the day-to-day risk profiles of businesses”.

This is why Lloyd-John believes that “it’s a really unique time to come into broking” and, therefore, his aim is to help his customer base transition accordingly into the new world order.

No two clients the same

Broadway Insurance Brokers is a boutique specialist risk advisor. By ”boutique” he says that the brokerage advises on a particular type of client – privately owned and entrepreneurial companies.

It works with corporate clients, such as large organisations and SMEs, as well as private clients including high net worth and ultra high net worth clientele.

He says: “No two clients are the same. In a short space of time, we have started to advise leading names featured on the Sunday Times rich list. They have complex needs – it’s an all-consuming concierge risk advising service.”

One of the first questions he asks Broadway clients is: how do they view insurance? Is it a strategic enabler or a reluctant expenditure?

Due to the pandemic, he says the perception of insurance has shifted from latter to the former. “It has shifted the consumer mindset from ‘as cheap as possible’ to ‘risk transfer’ and value creation,” he explains.

Lloyd-John believes he set up the business with this foresight, seeing progression and change as an opportunity.

Despite deeming founding the business as his biggest achievement so far, he continues: “nobody wants to be a flash in the pan; it’s competence not assumption”.

The only way is up

When asked why he chose the North West as the base and starting point to launch Broadway as opposed to London, he says: “The North West has a real entrepreneurial feel to it. It was the perfect place; the entrepreneurial hotbed for private growth companies and high net worth family businesses.

“The truth about the North West is the raindrops here are much bigger, so what I think the region does to make up for the lack of vitamin D and swelter is entrepreneurialism.”

And it was a relocation with work that led him here initially. While working at Marsh as a director in London, Lloyd-John had the opportunity to relocate to the North West for a regional role in Manchester, which transitioned into head of office.

This regional role allowed Lloyd-John to discern that there could be a different way to serve large corporate customers by refining the message and solution more consistently.

Lloyd-John refers to his career so far “as a bit of a love story” because he genuinely loves what he does and relishes working alongside people that inspire him.

Speaking about his Manchester role for Marsh, he says: “By being able to oversee part of the operations for Birmingham, Leicester, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Newcastle and Leeds, I was able to get to know the regional dynamics, demographics and buying styles.”

This complemented Lloyd-John’s experience in London.

“I see broking as distribution. The commodity itself is intangible so you can’t see it, it’s about putting the right people with the right ideas in the right areas,” he continues.

So, underpinning the birth of the broker for him was “being given the keys to a larger business that allowed me to oversee the integration of Jelf and JLT’s Manchester operations – that really gave Marsh its status in Manchester”.

Carrying the bags

However, Lloyd-John admits that the nub of his understanding of how to run a business came from his time working in his first job at estate agents Foxtons, when as he puts it, he “carried the bags”.

He says that observing how the owner of Foxtons’s worked with clients’ financial, emotional and psychological needs was the best training ever, as he was able to understand how to serve customers more effectively.

Applying the same concept to Broadway, he aims to be a connector for clients, supporting them by investing in digital channels.

He believes this will be vital following the recent Supreme Court appeal ruling for business interruption claims earlier in January, as firms will now look more carefully at broker choice, product efficacy, programme efficacy and disclosure.