“Being part of Broker Network has meant I’ve been able to become a businessman, not just an insurance broker. It’s allowed me to grow the business because of the expertise that’s on offer in a variety of different areas,” says Daulby Read MD, Pete Goddard.
Chester-based brokerage Daulby Read joined Broker Network in 1999 and are just as invested in being a Member today as they were on day one.
Pete adds, “We believe passionately in independent, community broking, but the Networks has given me some real-life skills. I hadn’t developed as a business owner until I had the Networks’ support. You can’t make that transformation without expert help and those are the services you get as part of your membership. The highlights of Daulby Read as a business have always been while we’ve been part of Broker Network.
“When we joined the Network, there weren’t any other brokers in Chester that were Members. Now, more than half the independents in Chester are Members.”
“We’ve got a lot of confidence in the services they provide for us. We use all the Member Services all the time. I don’t think we’d be as progressive without the Networks’ assistance.”
Daulby Read won Network Broker of the Year 2020 in Broker Network awards at Press Play: Live. “We’ve been a long-term supporter of the Networks. To get recognised and rewarded for that is fantastic,” Pete continues. “The award win was in the middle of the third lockdown, so it was great to be able to give the team a well-deserved boost.
“When we’re back in the office, we’re going to have a celebration day to mark our award win for all our staff, including the businesses we’ve acquired. The award will be centre piece to thank and congratulate everyone for their hard work. Without the team, we wouldn’t be winning that award. We’re all part of this together.
“One of our wins during Covid is the team have really started celebrating their successes and Teams has enabled us to do that. When someone places a new piece of business, they share it on Teams, and we all celebrate it.”
“Without the Networks, we wouldn’t be able provide the same level of professionalism in key areas, such as HR, Compliance and Marketing. If we did it ourselves, we’d be experimenting with the different areas, but when we come to the Networks it is polished.”
Pete says it is the expertise that the Networks provide that is worth its weight in gold. He explains, “We’ve got a lot of confidence in the services they provide for us. We use all the Member Services all the time. I don’t think we’d be as progressive without the Networks’ assistance.
“Without the Networks, we wouldn’t be able provide the same level of professionalism in key areas, such as HR, Compliance and Marketing. If we did it ourselves, we’d be experimenting with the different areas, but when we come to the Networks it is polished. It’s good to have an idea but to make sure that idea works, you need a specialist to do it, and the Networks adds that professionalism. Being a Member allows me to focus on growing the business and if things get tricky, I know where to go.”
Pete believes another strength in being a Member is connecting with other like-minded independent brokers. “I mistakenly thought all brokers looked like me. Being part of the Networks has helped me to realise we’re all unique,” he says. “Some of my best friends in insurance are fellow Members. They’re all business owners that are very generous with their time and their knowledge. We usually meet up every two to three months to share best practice and during Covid, we’ve still stayed in touch.”
Having grown the business naturally with the Networks assistance, the next stage for Daulby Read has been acquisitions. The brokerage was able to grow organically to £2.9M and by the end of 2022 they are on track to hit £7M GWP.
“Community brokers are a very resilient bunch. The internet didn’t stop us, direct insurance didn’t stop us, and Covid hasn’t stopped us.”
“There used to be a lot of brokers around the £10-15M GWP mark, most of which have now disappeared over the last five years, and we want to start filling that position,” adds Pete. “Broker Network have been a great assistance; they have helped us facilitate some of those conversations with brokerages we were looking to acquire.”
Daulby Read has acquired two fellow Broker Network brokers – Townsend Insurance Brokers Ltd in November 2020 and Much Ado About Insurance this summer. The team also plan to acquire another brokerage this year. They are also planning on joining the Networks’ Kickstart initiative to bring an apprentice into the Townsend business.
Having acquired two brokers during the pandemic, Pete says Covid hasn’t slowed Daulby Read or the broking community down. “Brokers have found a way through Covid. It is down to the resilience of the broking market,” he comments. “Some of the big corporate companies have struggled during the pandemic. Our service hasn’t waned, and I think that is because we’re a lot more nimble and we had our community at the heart of our culture.
“The more you engage with Network, the more you get out of the Network. Be open to connecting with other Members. If you do both those things, you’ll reap the rewards.”
“We’re quite entrepreneurial. When we hit a break wall, we try find ways either under, over or round it. Community brokers are a very resilient bunch. The internet didn’t stop us, direct insurance didn’t stop us, and Covid hasn’t stopped us.
“Over Covid, I’ve become a trustee of a hospice and I’m also vice chairman of a football club. We’re so fully engaged with our local community and that’s the big difference. We’re trying to create a vibrant local community.”
When asked what his message is for other brokers, Pete says, “If they were to ask me why we’re still part of the Network, I would tell them that I can’t grow my business without their expertise.
“The more you engage with Network, the more you get out of the Network. Be open to connecting with other Members. We have a really strong community of helpful brokers within the Network that are always willing to help other Members. If you do both those things, you’ll reap the rewards.”
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