Nigel Wood to join broker after 23 years with Gallagher Heath

JM Glendinning has hired Arthur J Gallagher regional director Nigel Wood to set up a corporate practice, Insurance Times can reveal.

The Leeds headquartered broker already has a number of corporate clients, and managing director Nick Houghton said setting up a formal corporate practice would help it grow quicker.

Most corporate clients work with bigger brokers, but Houghton said his firm’s “family business philosophy” and the fact that several of its staff own part of the business made it more client focused.

Wood is on gardening leave from Gallagher Heath, where he had worked for 23 years for companies it eventually acquired. His former and future employers are in discussions about his start date.

Houghton said: “When someone with the skills and experience of Nigel comes onto the market you have to act quick and grab the opportunity. 

“Over the last 18 months we have successfully worked with a number of quality individuals to grow a business around them, and Nigel’s skills complement our fast growing business. We are all excited about launching our new proposition with Nigel at the helm.”

JM Glendinning said Wood had developed a book of quality corporate clients, but Houghton said he was not interested in breaching covenants by approaching them.

“This is about a much greater opportunity than nicking a couple of clients. It’s too much of a distraction and not the right thing to do,” he said.

“I want people to join us knowing that I’m not going to put pressure on them to breach their contract.”

JM Glendinning places £16m of gross written premium into the market and has a £6.5m turnover.

The broker loosely defines corporate clients as those with a turnover in the tens of millions or a complex risk profile.

“We have some global corporate clients that operate around the world and some businesses where the turnover is in the hundreds of millions,” Houghton said.

“We’ve grown that side of the business through connections, networking and people phoning us, but it’s not a core part of the business. If you recruit somebody to develop that side of the business then we can exploit that opportunity much more,” he said.