New chief executive wants to double the numbers of brokers on the Open GI platform

Towergate has continued its aggressive growth plans for its online commercial quote system PowerPlace by appointing a new chief executive to drive the business towards £1bn gross written premium by 2012.

Matthew Reed, formerly sales and marketing director for Towergate Risk Solutions, will take up his new post at PowerPlace on 1 October. He joined Towergate in 2008.

Current managing director Mark Armitage will continue his role at the company, while David Partington, who was regional director for Towergate’s central region, will fill the gap left by Reed.

More than 300 brokers operating the Open GI platform have signed up to the system since its launch earlier this year. Reed said that this figure had to increase. “By the end of 2010, we must have 600 brokers on it. That for me is the bare minimum.”

Towergate executive chairman Peter Cullum expected the business to hit £100m GWP by the end of next year.

But Reed said the long-term goal was to reach £1bn GWP by 2012. “By Christmas we expect to be writing £1m GWP a week … so it is very achievable. This is a chance for me to move PowerPlace into the spotlight.”

Cullum added: “Our team has done a fantastic job of establishing PowerPlace as a revolutionary proposition that really delivers; we’ve seen first hand from rolling it out in our own broking offices.

“PowerPlace has quickly achieved critical mass and has new insurers in the pipeline with specific product builds in play. This means the time is right to bring in additional sales focus. Matthew has already made a difference to our retail business and has the drive to help PowerPlace fulfil its enormous potential.

“I’m not a ‘techie’ but I have to say that, in my 30-odd years in the business, I have never been so excited about technology – this will impact the whole marketplace.”

PowerPlace expects to add to its panel of seven insurers soon. It is currently in discussions with RSA.