The Tentacle

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Cyber Attacks & Ransomware

Earlier this year TEn was the subject of a Cyber Attack of broadly the same sort as that which seriously affected thousands of organisations across the globe on the 12th May. Although the hackers found a ‘chink in our armour’ – which ideally should not have been there – we were fortunate to have further levels of distribution and redundancy behind our front-line defences.

In our case, the Ransomware encrypted the Word, Excel and PowerPoint files on our servers, but could not reach our emails on Office 365, nor our Strata nor our Acturis records. Consequently, we did not stop working other than for a quick re-boot of various machines at lunchtime and our IT team simply restored our non-critical server data back to the previous evening.

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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).

In the olden days’ people used to call this a Management Buy Out (MBO), but it rarely happened in the broking world. This is because the younger ‘Management’ of the provincial broker could seldom raise the money from local high street banks to buy-out the owner(s), who may well have preferred this outcome to any other, but believed mountain of succession too steep to climb.

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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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