Forty staff to move to new City of London office and Cranleigh branch

Clear Insurance Management is to close its Wimbledon office in mid-August and relocate its 40 staff to its new, larger City of London office and Cranleigh branch.

The closure would leave the broker with three offices, with the third in Lincolnshire.

Chief executive Howard Lickens said closing the Wimbledon office, which opened in Spring 2012, and moving into the new London hub provided a wider catchment area within the M25 to hire top talent and make profitable acquisitions.

Clear Insurance previously occupied a smaller office in the City that it inherited from its 2011 acquisition of broker McHale Heaney.

“This next year we will see a big change, with the new office in the city and growing through that. The new office will make a difference in terms of recruiting the right people,” he said.

Despite the closure of the Wimbledon office, Lickens said Clear would continue to invest in the area through sponsorships and events, so that it could remain a strong presence and retain its clients – helped also by its specialist insurance offering.

Wimbledon clients will be mainly serviced by City office.

“Wimbledon is not an enormous part of our business, but the original business was based around that neck of the woods and we clearly don’t want to lose that. We are very much into the Wimbledon area,” Lickens said.

“Quite a lot of our clients in our specialities are people in property with specific propositions. They cannot go to the other brokers to get the same level of service because they do not exist.”

The broker places policies for an array of professionals, from property developers and tree-surgeons to solicitors, as well as arranging specialist cover for market traders and the fine-dining industry.

In its latest accounts for 2013, Clear reported a 42% increase in profits before tax, while turnover was up 17.8% to £8.6m.

And although Lickens said he expected the pace of growth to slow next year, he remained confident the broker would achieve a 12-15% increase in turnover.