The Tentacle

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Alternatives to Sale

In 2017, there is a perfectly viable alternative to a sale of any business, unfortunately, too many brokers are distracted by the enticing concepts of villa and golf course that they fail to consider it early enough.

The alternative is employee ownership (EO).

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A Rose by any other name

Following the publication of the FCA’s Thematic Review about AR Networks and their Principals, it would be fair to say that there has been more than a little speculation regarding which of them the regulator’s sensational findings were referring to.

I believe that TEn has been the only Principal to admit to welcoming an FCA visit, even before publication of the Thematic Review. Indeed, I have confided to a number of industry journalists since January, “Yep, we had the full colonoscopy.” Having myself experienced a quantity of medical colonoscopies since a brush with bowel cancer in 1993, I do not make the comparison lightly, nor without a clear understanding of the laxative predispositions of either event.

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No Glass Ceilings

On average, women in the insurance sector are paid 35% less than their male counterparts (1) Surely this is nothing but blatant discrimination.

Not only do women have to fight for their right to be where they are, working hard and gaining professional qualifications, but, also, learning to be ruthless and reduce their natural qualities so that they fit in as ‘one of the lads’.

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A broker network is not just for Xmas!

It’s a curiosity that UK insurance brokers are oft reckoned to be such fiercely independent and intransigent beings (in that regard), yet their hackles are barely ruffled as each successive network of which they were a member passes casually from the hands of one large/mega broker to another. Or so it seems.

But, what can one little ol’ independent broker do? Possibly choose one’s partners a little more carefully in future. Too harsh?

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Where have all the brokers gone?

Do you remember Peter, Paul and Mary, the 60s folk singing trio? Their greatest hit was entitled Where have all the flowers gone, although by the end of the song they were ultimately enquiring into the whereabouts of all the soldiers. “Gone to graveyards every one” was their final conclusion.

In 1991, when first I was elevated to the Sales Manager position at broker software house MCS, I purchased a database of 11,000 operating insurance brokers. 24 years later, roughly the span of a generation, the number of remaining brokers is 3,000. Where did they all go?

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