Network’s growth plans involve driving volume to its panel of insurers

Compass Broker Services has beaten its first quarter gross writtem premium (GWP) target of £505m, to achieve £535m in premiums placed by all of its members annually.

The network comprises Select and Westinsure. Select, which has 27 members with an average £10m GWP, has now grown to £245m. Set up in January 2013, it is aimed at larger brokers.

Westinsure, which looks after brokers with around £1.75m to £3m GWP, has grown from £260m to £290m.

Managing director John Lincoln told Insurance Times: “The growth has been fantastic. It has exceeded our expectations. We were looking to get to around £200m [for Select], but to get to £245 has been exceptional.”

The network was sold to Arthur J Gallagher as part of the £233m acquisition of Giles in November 2013.

New members

The growth in GWP has been helped by the addition of five new brokers who joined on 1 April, taking the number of members to 205.

Among the new brokers that joined last week were County Insurance Consultants in Crewe and Bestford and Company in Newcastle.

County Insurance Group managing director Dave Clapp said: “Choosing a network is important to County Insurance. Utilising the strong partner relationships with the networks’ carriers is very appealing and what we liked about Select is that we are still completely free to trade with our agency base.

“Our independence is vital so this was a decisive factor. Another big plus is that Select offered a compelling combination of direct access to the Lloyd’s and London markets and a wide range of specialist facilities.”

Bestford and Company partner Simon Bestford added: “Westinsure offers us exactly what we want: the freedom to grow and develop our business as we see fit but backed by a community of like-minded independents with a stronger collective voice, which means better negotiating power, access to expertise in compliance, finance, strategy and the ability to compete more effectively.”

Lincoln said Compass offers brokers experienced business development managers who help with securing agencies and claims acceleration.

He added: “Insurers are trying to get brokers to place business with them. Where they cannot get to the smaller brokers, we are doing that job.

“We have a very experienced team of managers – it is all about having the right people to get new brokers on board and to help those that we already have. Brokers need to respect people and my whole team have worked for insurers and brokers.”

Wholesale broker FSJ also sits under the network umbrella – giving wider access to markets for non-standard risks through the Lloyd’s market.

The network’s growth plans involve driving more business volume to its panel of insurers. But Lincoln stressed that this would not get in the way of treating customers fairly, because its panel of major insurers and MGA agencies offer a wide range of competitive products.