Venture signs up panel of eight insurers and buys compliance and HR specialists to offer advice.

IIB members will be given exclusive, free access to a network launched by Broker Direct this week.

Our Network will provide access to enhanced commission, compliance, training, HR and business support.

One of the principal architects of the network was the late Andrew Paddick, former chairman of Broker Direct and IIB director general.

Broker Direct has acquired compliance specialist Insurance Compliance Services and consultancy HR Experts, to provide support to members. The services of these specialists will be offered for a fee.

The network has signed up a panel of eight underwriters including Brit, AIG UK, Arista, RSA, MMA Insurance and Zurich. The full panel is set to be announced next month with 12-15 insurers.

A broker advisory panel has also been established and will consist of senior brokers giving advice to members. As Insurance Times went to press, five brokers had been appointed to the panel, with another two expected to be announced in the near future.

Members will be free to join other networks and are under no obligation to place a certain volume of business through the venture.

There is also no minimum length of term, with brokers free to relinquish membership at any time.

Paul Brierley, managing director of Our Network, said: “This is an independent network for independent brokers. It has been created to provide a comprehensive range of products, services and remuneration to cover all of a broker’s needs. However, it is not about trying to lock them in or demand set volumes of business.”

Brokers currently have a substantial stake in Broker Direct, which is an online listings service for brokers.

Brierley added: “Because Broker Direct is 73% owned by brokers, Our Network not only offers members more efficient and better remunerated access to market, but by joining they can directly contribute to the success of something in which many share a financial interest.”

Roy Green, chief executive of Broker Direct, said: “We founded Broker Direct to provide brokers with a level playing field to compete, and to use technology to take out other wasteful channel costs. This has proved successful over 11 years. We are now using the same principles in our design of Our Network, which I believe will be equally sustainable and even more successful.”