Aviva’s head of regional brokers, strategy and propositions, Karen Jackman talks about the help insurers can give smaller brokers
Not too long ago there was a high level of consolidation activity in the market, with high-profile acquisitions and some contraction, with smaller businesses selling up or aligning themselves to networks.
More recently, though, with tougher economic conditions, less access to funding, and an ever-watchful FCA, it’s been quieter on the consolidation front for smaller brokers. So it was interesting that this topic came out loudly during the debate at the first Broker 50 event of 2016.
As we’re enjoying more financial stability and businesses are achieving growth, so it seems that acquisition aspirations are on the rise too. In addition, we suspect that fears over tougher regulation may also encourage this, with more brokers considering their exit strategies. But in our view, consolidation doesn’t need to be limited to the realms of the bigger players, nor does it have to be the only option.
We believe that these recent shifts in market dynamics will challenge us all to look differently at the role of the insurer in this process’
First and foremost, Aviva is here to support brokers of all shapes and sizes. For those that wish to remain independent, we have the breadth of tools, products and propositions to help. We’ve invested in that capability through initiatives such as Club 110 (now in its ninth year) that enables us to provide a range of tailored benefits, ranging from compliance to marketing consultancy, with the aim of helping independent brokers thrive.
We also have the Broker Independence Group (BIG), which is our way of delivering an approach that supports our smaller brokers. We’ve also had positive feedback that our business placement propositions can make a difference, giving brokers a range of options for trickier cases and a competitive edge to win lucrative business.
We believe that these recent shifts in market dynamics will challenge us all to look differently at the role of the insurer in this process. We’re considering other innovative ways to support brokers, especially those considering an exit, either as a proactively desired outcome or a ‘solution of last resort’.
It’s our hope that if a broker is facing this decision, they can turn to their insurer partners as a genuine additional avenue of support to help them overcome the challenges they face. Our practical Insurance Act guidance was a first step towards offering additional support and we look forward to seeing what more we can do.