The chief executive is also looking to achieve four ‘ambitious milestones’ in 2022, including growing the broker’s retail branch network

December 2021 marked the start of a new chapter for family-run Lloyd’s broker Clegg Gifford.

On Christmas Eve, the broker – which was established in 1968 by Roy Clegg, the father of the firm’s current chief executive Toby Clegg – was bought by “holistic insurance group” Markerstudy, which had its eye on Clegg Gifford’s well established access to the Lloyd’s marketplace, as well as its raft of binding authority agreements.

For motor trade and commercial insurance specialist Clegg Gifford, the advantage of new ownership lay in obtaining some much needed “distribution heft”, to help the firm secure the “capacity to grow” and “make the most” of its binding authority arrangements.

Speaking exclusively to Insurance Times, Clegg Gifford chief executive Toby Clegg explains: “One of the reasons we haven’t expanded as much as we possible should have is we just don’t have that distribution heft. There’s only so much that one can do in a year.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to fill up those binders. Through Markerstudy, we can do that now.

“As a Lloyd’s broker, we’ve got the opportunity to suddenly connect [Markerstudy’s] very strong distribution with our own Lloyd’s facilities, which means we can start to expand [the] client offering right across the UK, into the whole of the SME footprint.

“That should see an exponential growth that we would never have achieved organically. We can enjoy those economies of scale, which makes a material difference to our own results.”

Clegg confirmed that Markerstudy plans to support Clegg Gifford’s binding authority agreements to grow “up to tenfold”, presenting a “really, really exciting” opportunity for the broker.

“The opportunities that we see from the initial conversations we’ve had are thrilling, absolutely thrilling, because we’ve got suddenly access to fill those Lloyd’s binders,” Clegg continues.

Amid “an intense due diligence process”, Clegg says it took around seven months to iron out the details of the acquisition, which sees no major senior leadership changes – except the retirement of Clegg senior after a 60-year career in the insurance sector.

The “complimentary” deal pairs Markerstudy’s “primarily personal lines and commercial motor” business with Clegg Gifford’s “commercial access”, “facilities into Lloyd’s” and “motor trade expertise” – which Clegg describes as the “lynchpin” of the broker’s operations.

Clegg adds: “We’re complimenting a much larger group with some core SME and Lloyd’s commercial facilities that [it] didn’t previously have and ultimately that’s complimentary. That means that we benefit because we have a bigger distribution.

“We’ve found the right partner for quite an exciting future – very happy to be a part of it.”

Toby Clegg

Toby Clegg

Ambitious and strategic milestones

A further driver for the deal’s success, according to Clegg, is that Markerstudy bought into the broker’s strategy of setting annual milestones. This approach creates an “immediacy of focus” compared to traditional three or five-year business plans, Clegg notes.

“We have some ambitious milestones that we set the business each year, strategic milestones,” he says.

For 2022, Clegg has outlined four main areas of focus.

This includes growing the broker’s “retail branch network from 12 to 20 branches this year”, promoting its “motor trade and wholesale offering”, as well as “building on and maximising the Lloyd’s binders that we have”.

Lastly, Clegg Gifford is planning “further investment in the Channel Islands” through launching a new MGA, which will underwrite both personal and commercial lines.

As of May 2022, the broker is making headway against these ambitions. For example, its retail branch network now has ”six new branches where we have new premises undergoing final refurbishments and scheduled for opening in the next couple of months”, including in Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Hull, Colchester and Newcastle. 

The Channel Islands-based MGA is also on track to meet its original Q2 launch date - the business is ”just in the process of staffing up, training and finalising other preparatory work”, Clegg says.

The backbone to all this activity, however, is the broker’s binding authority agreements.

Clegg says: “Binding authorities are absolutely crucial to what we do, especially the Lloyd’s ones where it can be quite technical, but there’s certainly a really good, flexible offering for clients.

“There’s no pre-determined, carte blanch ‘no we can’t do that’ – it’s very much talk the underwriter into it. It’s very much our role as a broker to represent a client, represent an industry, then ultimately put some pressure to build products that are as flexible as possible.”

At the time of writing, Clegg Gifford employs around 250 staff in the UK and handles around £100m gross written premium. The business encompasses taxi insurance specialist Westminster Insurance, as well as motor trade and taxi insurance firm Tradex Insurance Company.

The firm also won the Independent Broker of the Year award at the 2021 Insurance Times Awards.


Clegg, who took over the helm of Clegg Gifford in October 2016, describes his firm’s acquisition by Markerstudy as displaying a “joined up process” and creating “genuine synergies” – however, not all current broker consolidation can boast the same traits, he observes.

Clegg tells Insurance Times: “What I find frustrating is some consolidation [is] just scattergun – they just pull in brokers for the sake of pulling them in, but there’s no real desire to see any synergies or any form of amalgamation.

“Certainly, where we benefit [from being acquired], for instance, is the group functions at Markerstudy. [It is] steps ahead in terms of what smaller brokers can do in terms of the group resource they have and personnel.”

Although Markerstudy’s acquisition of Clegg Gifford is still awaiting final completion, the deal has received FCA approval for the change in control.