I’ve spent 17 years of my life in General Insurance, initially for a very large multi-national broker and then for a fast-growing private equity-backed start-up. So, I’ve had experience of both ends of the spectrum before starting Sirelark.
I have always had a tendency to want to do the other thing and indeed, one of my life goals, when I moved up to Norfolk in 2001, was to start my own business. Sadly I had no idea what I should do and inevitably got sucked back into the corporate world and the years just flew by.
Then, in late 2018, I got an opportunity to turn my hopes and dreams into a firm plan. Luckily I had already been researching my options. This meant that when I became free of encumbrances, all I had to do was call a few people, draft up a business plan and set up the business.
I have to say that after working for a multi-national, followed by an inexperienced start-up, subsequently engaging with TEn was like a breath of fresh air. They have had about 15 years to get things right for their members and it shows.
They also have the systems and protocols, and a capable team to take care of everything that any sensible startup broker would want to outsource, including client money handling, training programmes, compliance management, trading systems and insurer agencies.
TEn’s platform is truly “turn-key” and has meant that Sirelark Risk Services was able to hit the ground running.
And, most importantly, TEn allow me to stand in front of prospective clients with total confidence and state that I do really have a robust and competent framework of people, processes and technology behind me that allows me to deliver the very high quality of client service that I have always wanted.
Tom Jolly, Sirelark Risk Services
Norwich - Joined December 2018
I wanted to control my own destiny but I didn’t consider going it entirely alone. In the marketplace, you’re up against huge consolidators who have tremendous power with insurers. To make sure you can do the broking job that you pride yourself on, you have to be a size to get full market presence – and you can’t do that by yourself.
TEn ticked all the boxes. Its collective strength meant that it had the agencies with the insurers I wanted to deal with. It gives its members a big outfit behind them with the IT, professional indemnity and regulatory support - all the things a small broker struggles with.
The real difference however is that TEn is focused on putting the customer first and allows its members to provide a personal service to their customers.
That’s why TEn and its members are successful.
I have faith in the people behind TEn – they are all on the same wavelength as me and we share the same view about what broking is all about and how it should be done.
Nigel Mayor, Mayor Broking Limited
High Wycombe - Joined March 2007
We first approached TEn with what was at best, an idea. We knew there was a niche for more advice and guidance in the young driver sector but we didn’t have the experience to execute anything ourselves.
Right from the start TEn were fantastic and firstly guided us into completing our full CII certifications before working with us to then ensure that we were fully set up ready for live business. They provided us with business advice and the best way to approach the market.
Just a few months down the line and having worked hard with the team at TEn we are now a fully functioning insurance brokers and are set to write a minimum of £1m GWP in young driver motor policies this year.
We could not have done this without TEn.
James Noble & George Abbott, MyFirst UK
Maidenhead - Joined June 2016
I was probably an unusual case for TEn as the deal I struck with my previous employer allowed me to walk away with my book of business – but while I had hundreds of thousands of pounds of business from day one, I wasn’t of sufficient size to be independent.
TEn knew that my ambition back then was to outgrow them but that didn’t make any difference to our relationship. Since they flexed their model in 2010 to give members like me the ability to take greater ownership of some broker functions, then staying is definitely an option to consider.
They’re supportive, decent people and that’s kept me hanging on when things got tough from time to time.
Howard Lancaster, HPL Insurance Services Ltd
London & Oxfordshire - Joined September 2006
We began our discussions with TEn Insurance Services in December 2016 and within 3 months we were operational and ready to go live with our business!
My business partner is a financial advisor, and we identified an opportunity to close any service offering gaps to his existing client portfolio from a wholistic perspective, he maintaining the wealth management and life insurance aspect, and us the asset protection / general insurance aspect.
TEn provided exceptional support in terms of the provision of Appointed Representative capacity, access to quoting and policy management systems and the associated training, legislative and compliance assistance, and just general, friendly encouragement.
The New Business and Existing Business teams continue to provide excellent and friendly assistance and advice, which really lends itself well to the model in that although we are independent, we really do have a strong team of people backing up our business, enabling us to deliver good service and solutions to our clients!
Andrew Charlton, Consort Insurance Services
Horsham - Joined February 2017
Since joining TEn in 2014, we have become a true community broker, both for businesses and for personal lines clients, in our patch of Wales.
The AR network model has assisted with most of the back office processes, allowing us to become completely customer focused and to develop our business relationships and, as a result our income.
Thanks to this approach, we have not only grown our GWP really rather rapidly, but we have a retention rate of clients comparable to – or well above - any other broker in our area.
Simply put, as a result of TEn’s support, we have seen progressive and continuing growth in our first 24 months of trading to £1m GWP,
from no income at all, based in a ‘front-room’ and, initially, with just one working director.
Zain Ikram, AtoZ Insurance Brokers
Llanelli - Joined January 2014
At the outset, when starting my own brokerage, there really was no alternative to TEn and perhaps the whole arrangement was more a case of see what happens. That was in 2006 and we remained for almost exactly 12 years, thanks to their honesty, service and flexibility before selling the company in 2018.
Trust is a big issue and, with TEn, there were never any issue with covenants or restrictions, as we have now proved. Quite simply you become a member of their family and you continue to retain ownership of your clients, until such time as you decide to realise the value you have built.
As it says on the packet, TEn fully co-operated and facilitated our departure, as much as they assisted us to grow in the first place.
Neill Robson, formerly of Complete Insurance Solutions Ltd
Dalbeattie - Joined April 2006 and sold to James Hallam in March 2018