Broker team to expand by 50 per cent
Fortis is set to increase the size of its broker team by 50 per cent over the coming months. In a reorganisation of its sales force, Fortis has created 12 districts throughout the UK, each with a broker relationship manager. Steve Berry and James Astle - who joins from Zurich - will take on the positions as regional sales manager for the North and South, respectively.
The expansion underscores Fortis’ belief that the broker market is flourishing and illustrates Fortis’ desire to see its agency base grow.
Emphasising the importance of the intermediated market to Fortis, Chris Dobson, distribution and development director, comments: “The high street broker is our heartland. As Fortis grows, we are determined not to lose sight of this focus and we believe we have underlined our commitment to our agency base through this expansion.”
Dobson continues: “By increasing the size of our broker support team by 50 per cent, we are looking to strengthen the relationships we have with our whole agency base. In our eyes, there is no second-class broker. We work hard to make sure that all our brokers, no matter what size and no matter how much business they do with us, are treated with the same high level of service that we have been recognised by the market as providing.”
Key to the expansion is Fortis’ effort to provide brokers with essential information on the whole of its portfolio of personal and commercial line products.
Dobson concludes: “We have a very strong offering, with the vast majority of our agency base actively trading with us on more than 75 per cent of our product range and this trend is continuing to rise as we develop and launch more products. We are confident that we have among the best products in the market and are looking to broaden and enhance our communications to our broker base so that they can share in the benefits.”
Steve Berry, regional sales manager for the North, comments: “The reorganisation of our sales force presents us with an exciting opportunity in Scotland and we’re looking to develop our business there once we complete our recruitment programme.”
· James Astle, Regional Sales Manager for the South, joins from Zurich
· David Henks, South-West, joins from Endsleigh
· Dawn Welsh, North-West, joins from Norwich Union
· Graeme Mulcahy, joins the corporate partnership team
Fortis appointed 84 new agents last year (2007) and is planning to appoint at least the same number this year as part of its strategy to strengthen its intermediated business.
In addition to the broker team expansion, Fortis’ affinity team will be boosted by the hiring of three additional account executives to support the existing account managers, Jonathan Dixon and Stephen Jenkins, in building relationships with corporate partners such as Alliance & Leicester, Age Concern, Coventry Building Society and the Principality Building Society, as the insurer seeks to build on its success to date and further develops its presence in this market.
Fortis’ broker strategy is working in parallel with its ongoing affinity strategy.