Network now has 67 members who control £120m in gross written premiums

Bluefin Network has signed up three brokers who were previously part of rival networks Westinsure and Broker Network.

The newest members are Paul Hicks Insurance Services, which joined from Arthur J Gallagher-owned Westinsure on 23 June, while Onyx Brokers joined from Towergate’s Broker Network on 1 June. Former Broker Network member J & W Webster joined Bluefin on 1 March.

J&W Webster owner and managing director Phil Duxbury said being a Bluefin member had given the company better access to insurers and exclusive schemes.

He added: “After numerous discussions to see what they could offer we got the feeling it would be a partnership in the true sense of the word. We have been with them for a few months and they are basically there when we need them, but they are not intrusive.”

Growth of network

The latest additions have taken the Bluefin Network’s membership to 67 brokers who betwen them control about £120m in gross written premium.

The network’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation (Ebitda) grew by about 18% to £1.8m in 2013, from £1.6m in 2012, managing director David Hopwood said.

The growth was helped by the increase in new members and the brokers’ increased use of Bluefin products.

“We have just been smarter in how we work with partner insurers and brokers. If members grow we get a benefit through the fees and we earn a commission where they use our products,” Hopwood said.

Hopwood said he would be happy if 10 or 12 brokers joined each year so he could pick and manage “the right ones”.

Bluefin executive chairman Stuart Reid added: “It is about quality control and not adding brokers for the sake for it. What you want to do is make sure they are happy and make sure they fit what we want and what the insurers want – it is a tripartite situation.”

Members

Hopwood said the network’s ideal members are ambitious brokers with robust business plans.

“The company needs to want to grow to become a significant size as well – not a broker whose aim in life is to stay at a £1m premium.

“We have had some very successful start-ups that have joined us from nothing to become really significant businesses,” he said.

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