The Tentacle

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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?

Of course, not every small UK broker that is presently a member of an American or French owned network, joined it on such multinational terms. Many others simply chose a software house and then found themselves miraculously declared a ‘network member’ sometime later.

Either way, it’s a problem of becoming powerless; a hapless pawn to be bartered and transferred between the great and the greedy.

Even as I write we await the pre Xmas news of another large British broker passing into the control of a US ‘biggy’ and, with it, dozens of other brokers - members of the associated network - will be shifted from one place wot they chose to a different place wot they didn’t. So, just one broker decides to be up for sale and many others form part of the deal in return for no consideration whatsoever, in every sense of the word consideration.

Therefore, rule #1 has to be, don’t join a network that is owned by a bigger broker, because, as sure as eggs is eggs, one day you will be ‘sold’. And rule #2?

Well, don’t join a network that is owned ultimately by an insurer, possibly via a bigger broker, because one day said insurer will become bored with owning said broker and then you will be ‘sold’ to some passing American anyway.

Rule #2 always reverts to rule #1 eventually. It’s almost a Newtonian Law.

Is this a dilemma for the smaller broker looking to join a network? Yes and no; it depends whether they have found TEn yet or not. Collective and/or co-operative ownership is the only way for an insurance broker network to provide real commitment to and longevity for its members and TEn is, so far, the only network to have embraced that concept.

Because we believe that an insurance broker network is not just for Christmas.

Author: James Sharp

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