’By having that collaboration with the affinity part of specialist areas, you really can stand out,’ says managing partner

Brokers that prioritise their focus on niche schemes can “stand out” as it gives individuals the chance to purchase cover that ”really talks to them”.

That was according to Ross Dingwall, managing partner for Scotland at Partners&, who said that individuals “want to feel like they are getting value for their money”.

Broker schemes typically provide cover that is tailored to address the specific needs of a certain demographic.

Back at Insurance Times’ BrokerFest event, delegates were told to focus on size and scalability or specialise, which can be achieved through broker schemes.

Dingwall said the route of speciality was the way forward and used the analogy of bike shops to explain why specialty was important.

“If I need to buy a bike and every shop sells bikes then you can go into any sport shop and buy a bike,” he said.

“However, because I am passionate when it comes to bikes, I would go to a specialist shop and try to find the right one because there will be a reason for why I choose that specific bike.”

He added: “By having that collaboration with the affinity part of specialist areas, you really can stand out from [the crowd].”


Partners& won the title of Schemes Broker of the Year at the Insurance Times awards on 6 December 2023.

Dingwall said this was a “testament to Partners& trying set ourselves apart in the market”.

He also explained that Partners& launching its schemes and specialty arm in April 2023, which combined Partners&’s schemes under one roof, was a driver for winning the award.

“I felt that it was a great opportunity to bring those scheme that we had together, which would allow us to learn from each other and make it scalable,” Dingwall said.

“Then, we can create a real vision of what we wanted to try and achieve in the business.

“Then, you can find ways to invest in certain areas to make sure that this works well for the clients at the end of the day.”