Becoming a Network Insurance Broker

Start up broker

In our opinion : -

A broker network scarcely merits the description, unless it can demonstrate almost daily personal interaction with and long-term commitment to its members.

No broker network can be fully committed to its members interests if, it - or another part of the same group - is conflicted by servicing direct clients, in competition to its membership. We don’t do that!

The Appointed Representative Model

TEn began as an Appointed Representative (AR) network, an FSA (now FCA) designation, applying to a regulated network that sub-regulates its members. Therefore, we are both overseer and facilitator of member brokers; working closely with them all, typically on a daily basis.

Because TEn is authorised to oversee the regulation of our AR members, it follows that they do not themselves need to become directly regulated.

TEn takes on, amalgamates and rationalises the unproductive and unprofitable elements of the smaller broker and seeks to achieve efficiencies, economies of scale and a reasonable degree of collective buying power. With some success!

Essentially, this is an outsourcing of all things other than the client relationship, which remain firmly in the control and ownership of each member AR/Broker.

How you can benefit

The TEn AR model is not unlike a national broker in many ways - in terms of its back-office functions - but we are, we hope, just a little lighter on the politics.

We never interfere with the client relationship and we work very hard to deliver the up-sides of consolidation - we call it rationalisation - to clients, brokers and insurers alike. And with most of the down-sides somewhat curtailed.

Brokers gain from our facilities in respect of: -

  • _wider markets and better terms with 175+ insurers or MGAs
  • a rather more level playing field relative to larger brokers
  • insurer deals, binders, schemes and special facilities
  • regional back-office staff already in place
  • FCA compliant reporting and documentation
  • state of the art and stable infrastructure with Acturis
  • finding more time for the business of doing business

For whom the AR Model works

In the main, the AR model appeals to proposed start-ups and to very small established brokers. That said, TEn has - or has had - ARs with 10+ and 20+ staff.

Our ARs are comprised maily of one, two or three person-bands, generally ex account executives, although there is now no reason why much larger teams would not benefit equally. As a handful already have.

With the evolution of the AR model over time and, the fact that many of our early start-ups are now established brokers, we believe that we can also offer a viable AR alternative, to presently directly regulated brokers. Some of whom may be willing to consider the AR approach.

The AR model is as much for the Broker that wants to control its own destiny and day-to-day existence, as any other regulatory status.

An AR can provide excellent client service, but dispense with - or never quite acquire - the back-office paraphernalia that is normally associated with running an insurance broking business. Of whatever size.

Brokers benefit from burdens lifted, such as: -

  • the bureaucratic bits of FCA regulation/reporting
  • half yearly RMAR returns
  • worrying about capital adequacy
  • paying FCA, FSCS, FOS fees
  • trade association fees etc
  • insurer accounting and reconciliation
  • back-office staffing and employment law concerns
  • adequate Professional Indemnity insurance
  • dealing with insurers, software houses etc.

The Directly Regulated Insurance broker

In late 2016, TEn announced its Directly Regulated network proposition, aimed sqarely at small directly regulated insurance brokers. So far, we cannot say that there has been a stampede in its direction!

This model would supposedly provide a re-birth or, indeed, a renaissance for independent insurance brokers. Just not yet alas.

Find out what this Directly Regulated model entailed and please send any observations and comments, to james.sharp@teninsurance.co.uk.

In 2020, we expect to try again… but better next time.