Following the publication of Insurance Times’ MGA Survey results, Burns and Wilcox managing director Stuart Kilpatrick reveals the MGA’s growth strategy and discusses industry challenges

The 2021/22 Insurance Times MGA Survey results are out now - what is your reaction to the three star rating awarded to your MGA by brokers?

Burns and Wilcox is a new entrant to the ratings this year and while we want to keep improving our star rating, it has been interesting to see the feedback from brokers and how we are currently viewed in the market.

Our mission is to consistently deliver expert and authoritative underwriting by investing in our people, systems and relationships. The feedback from Insurance Times’ survey - which emphasises our underwriters’ market knowledge, innovative solutions and helpful staff - shows that we are doing this and that we are right to prioritise our relationships.

We are a business that has purposely built a narrow distribution network with a deep specialism - this means there are areas we do not currently operate in. However, we are keen to grow and continue developing successful products that benefit our broker partners and their clients.

This year’s MGA Survey, which polled over 1,000 brokers, found that 7% of respondents are extremely concerned about the prospect of capacity being removed from an MGA. A further 69% are moderately or very concerned about this. How do you reassure your broker partners about capacity? 

It is understandable that brokers are concerned about the removal of capacity from an MGA - we are in regular dialogue with our broker partners regarding our capacity.

Ultimately, relationships are key and our aim is to be the right partner for brokers now and into the future. To do this, we combine experience and knowledge to provide them with support and capacity for the long term, on an exclusive basis.

As we are specialists, we are able to provide tailored guidance and expertise. We always listen and engage in a supportive manner. Our aim is to partner with the appropriate capacity providers for any given opportunity, to ensure that capacity is available on a long-term basis. We have access to multiple sources if some are no longer available and we leverage that flexibility as needed.

What do you feel will be your MGA’s biggest challenge over the next 12 months? 

We are in growth mode - however, this desired growth comes with its own challenges.

We know that we need to keep our eye on impactful market trends and adapt quickly to meet any hurdles. One consideration is that we have all become accustomed to working a certain way over the past 18 months, but now we need to change again. That is not to say we will all be rushing back to work in the office five days a week, but we do need to be more flexible, agile and hybrid in our approach.

There is still some learning to be done in how a business like ours, which focuses on the individual, functions in a remote world. As we think about growth, one challenge we are tackling, like so many businesses, is talent recruitment and retention. New entrants to the workplace have different expectations when it comes to flexible working and, in many ways, this opens doors to consider hiring in locations that we do not currently have offices in.

What new products or value added service developments do you have in store for the broker community across the next 12 months? 

While growth is key for us, striking the right balance with our core value of delivering a personal experience is equally important. Therefore, we want to grow in the right way by seeking opportunities that help expand capacity and add products and services where we can.

For example, real estate will be a key focus area for us as we move forward into the next 12 months. Some of these future changes could be new products or even business lines, while others will be as simple as finding ways to support our community better.


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