’How much better would it be to be known as problem solvers and enablers, rather than just retailers of products,’ says head of M&A

Brokers looking to launch a new niche scheme have an “unlimited pool of potential areas” to “carve out” an opportunity.

That was according to Peter Blanc, head of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) at Howden, who told Insurance Times that he felt there was “enormous scope” for broker schemes to grow within the UK market.

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

Blanc explained that these propositions were ”all about finding problems, unmet needs and then creating insurance solutions that solve those needs”.

He said: “When you think of all of the emerging risks and challenges that the UK economy faces, such as climate change, flooding, new technology, EVs, renewable energy, cyber risks, modern methods of construction and more, there is almost an unlimited pool of potential areas for a broker to carve out a niche.

“As a profession, the more that we take this approach, the better regarded we will be.”


Blanc comments came after delegates at Insurance Times’ BrokerFest event in February 2023 heard that they must be clearer on strategy over the next three to five years.

Brokers were told they had two options – focus on size and scalability or go down the route of specialty, which can be achieved through schemes.

Blanc explained this dilemma had become more pressing because of headwinds, such as inflation, making business tough over the last few years.

For example, Insurance Times’ Schemes Index showed that between April and October 2022, brokers experienced “a stark drop” in both their commission earnings as a percentage of premium and renewal volumes for broker schemes business across a broad range of classes.

However, according to the most recent Insurance Times Schemes Index, which covered the period between April and October 2023, all scheme types bar three saw consistent rises in the total amount of commission earned by brokers.

Speaking about how brokers can go about creating a scheme, Blanc said: ”Start with one customer who is willing to spend time with you, [so you can] truly understand risks that their business faces.

“Both those that are currently insured and those that are currently not insured can give you the genesis of a fabulous growth engine.

”How much better would it be to be known as problem solvers and enablers, rather than just retailers of products.”