We believe that many directly regulated (DR) brokers of up to £2.5m GWP would be better off in almost every respect as an AR of TEn, rather than remaining directly regulated and whether or not they are members of a DR network.
This is a rather bold statement, but at least we have the experience and the arguments to back it up. We think!
However, simply because we believe it and we can make a good case, it does not necessarily mean that every Broker/Practice of up to £2.5m GWP will automatically feel comfortable with the idea of AR status.
For whatever reason, the concept can be a bit daunting, not least because there is more than an element of trust involved.
Conversely, the vast majority of start-up brokers that TEn has fostered as ARs since 2005 are equally incredulous that many established brokers’ of their own size have not previously made the switch. Also, a lot of our ‘start-ups’ are no longer start-ups, the majority of them being between 6-12 years old now.
Of course, the lack of converts from DR to AR status - one in the first 10 years - is perhaps because neither TEn nor any of our emulators has previously put forward a clear proposition or a vision for the future along these lines.
Ok, so here goes then!
A TEn Broker (the Firm or Practice) must be a Ltd company or an LLP partnership. Sole Traders cannot be ARs, except as a very temporary arrangement.
Rule #1 - the clients of a Broker belong to that Broker - NOBODY ELSE, NOT EVER - unless or until that Broker decides to dispose of them.
TEn is unlikely ever to buy any Broker or book of business, except as a short-term transitional phase in a broader arrangement of Succession or Accession, involving other member Brokers.
Put simply, we do believe it right for a network to compete with its members.
A DR firm joining TEn should commit to becoming an AR within 24 months, although they could enjoy some of the benefits of membership progressively during that period.
All TEn ARs use Acturis as their broking system and a DR Broker cannot become a full AR until the transition is made to this platform.