After a 23 year career in insurance, Clive decided that the time was right to start out on his own.
“I wanted to run my own ship, to be able to determine my own future and make my own decisions. I had some concerns with starting a brokerage – the cost and time of FCA registration, signing agencies, how was I going to do any of it?
“Then I came across the appointed representative route. I thought it was a great idea. I can start up really quickly, I’ll have instant agencies, compliance, client money and so on. There was suddenly much less risk to me in getting started. I also liked the idea of having a team of people working for me, people to bounce ideas off and keep me from feeling isolated.”
Convinced that the AR route was the best way to start his brokerage, Clive joined an AR network.
The early days
To begin with, Clive built his business through existing contacts and regular networking. “Attending networking events really helped me and within 2-3 weeks I had picked up my first client with whom I had no previous relationship. I also had friends and previous clients; people will help you when you start out on your own. It’s amazing – I found that people who manage their own businesses like giving back to other owner managers. It’s a different culture to the corporate world; a much more supportive environment.”
Moving to Momentum
In September 2013 Clive decided to move h2i from its existing AR network to Momentum Broker Solutions.
“I felt that Momentum was more focussed towards me as a broker, they put the broker first. I also felt like Momentum had more broking expertise. Since joining, I have been able to get better deals on more complex cases, as they have very good deal makers in the broking team.
“The work that they do is invaluable to our business and it allows us the time to work closely with our clients secure in the knowledge that we have a wonderful support team at our shoulder at all times.”
In 2015 Clive was joined by his brother, David, who initially acted as assistant to Clive and has now developed his own portfolio of clients. David has a wealth of experience in the insurance industry. Having spent 12 years ‘buying’ insurance for a multi-national company he is often called upon to advise financial institutions and lenders on investment protection, a specialist area that requires specific insights into markets and risk management.
Clive and David work closely together so clients are happy to deal with either if the other is out. The majority of new business comes through word of mouth.
“Normally businesses contact me because I have been recommended to them. I will meet them and spend time listening, understanding their business in detail, before taking the information away and then coming back with a quotation, helping them become informed buyers by explaining what I have put together and how it works.”
Did Clive make the right decision to start h2i? … “Absolutely. No one dictates my day, other than me. You make your own decisions and you don’t have to justify it to anybody. As long as you make your clients your top priority, everything else fits in.”
What does the future look like for h2i? “Ideally, what I want is a team of five or six people bringing in business and a bit of admin in the office, with Momentum still on board and h2i still being important to them.”