The New Year is a time for change, but at Towergate that risks going too far

What’s Mark Hodges’ new year’s resolution? Let’s hope it’s not to stem the tide of staff departures from Towergate because, if so, he’s already failed less than two weeks into 2012.

As we reported this week, the revolving door at 77 Leadenhall Street has taken another few turns, with former members of Dave Partington’s team following his October exit and more than likely to join him down the road at Gallagher.

Among his other conscious breaks with Towergate’s old culture, Hodges has deliberately played his cards close to his chest, and has yet to speak to the press. Those in the know suggest he is playing a long game, accepting departures as an inevitable result of a new broom and, in some cases, not being too sorry to have a changing of the guard.

Growing pains are one thing, but surely this has got out of hand? There’s too many people going – and in broking, unlike insurance, they take their business with them. Betting that the broker is more than the sum of its parts is a dangerous game.

Towergate is vulnerable, and ambitious rivals, namely Gallagher, have pounced. The old Towergate would have been on the front foot – and probably in the courts. By staying quiet, Hodges risks looking weak.

Talking of new year’s resolutions, it’s interesting to wonder what might be on Chris Giles and Brendan McManus’s lists. The unlikely pair are gearing up for a big year, with McManus preparing to be the public face of the business and Giles preparing to look at some opportunities overseas.

Expansion is on the cards and a big, juicy deal would be an excellent way of sealing their new partnership. Now, if that happened to coincide with a new year’s resolution from Phillip Hodson to finally sell up, then everyone would
be a winner.