Andy Fairchild said better access to Towergate Underwriting via the network’s MGA would drive growth for members

Broker Network members have told their new boss Andy Fairchild they want to see the value in being part of the network.

Fairchild, who is just seven days into the job, said that members have told him they want the network to do more to help them to win clients, gain better access to markets and more bespoke products, as well as respond better to changes in regulation and the digital landscape.

He said: “They are concerned about regulation and access to markets. Broker are saying where is the value - where they place value is on clients, commission and products they cannot get on their own.

“It is a very loud story from brokers and I need to make sure I relentlessly deliver against that to help them to grow their business. There is more we can do and this is my mission.”

Fairchild said its underwriting division Broker Network Underwriting (BNU) was key to driving growth for members and generating new business.

He added that BNU’s joined up approach with Towergate would help to deliver a “much simpler and more compelling proposition for its members” and ensure products were more accessible to them.

Last October, Fairchild’s predecessor Gary Duggan promised that Towergate would make the MGA more accessible and said the network would launch 25 new products as part of “the biggest investment the network had seen in a long time”.

The network has now rolled out 26 products; including an Ageas Countrywide commercial vehicle product, a Markel directors and officers product and an Arista motor trade offering - launched to members via BNU.

It recently signed new contracts with insurers Ageas, Zurich, AXA and Powerplace and plans to launch its e-academy in the fourth quarter of 2014.

What insurers want

Fairchild has also pledged to prove the network’s value to its insurer panel.

When Aviva pulled away from the network in June 2012 it led to fears that more insurers would follow.

Fairchild said the “unique emotional connection” its brokers have to the network and its size of 600 members meant it was still a strong proposition for insurers.

“Insurers are looking for us to play a role with our members they can’t play themselves. Insurers are rightly asking the questions how strong is the influence that we have as a network on our members and I don’t think that question will ever go away,” Fairchild added.

“The ethos of the network is size and length of history - so I want to use both of those to take Broker Network to a place where we are seen as the go to force in UK networks.”

Fairchild said his past experience of working as AXA’s chief operating officer, running a broker and setting up a network, meant he also had the practical experience to understand what members and insurers wanted.

He joined Broker Network from Footman James where he had been the managing director since 2011, while he was also part of the original team that set up Countrywide network.

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