After seeing a gap in the market for a brokerage that supported members of the Federation of Small Businesses, for FSB Insurance Service being part of Bravo Networks was the only choice for them. At the end of 2017, they joined as Compass Select Members, prior to being authorised.
“We knew that Compass was going to be ideal for the smaller independent broker which we were about to become, as we didn’t actually exist as a broker yet,” David Perry, MD, explains. “FSB Insurance Service was created in 2018 to provide a ‘right of membership’ benefit for members of the Federation of Small Businesses.
“FSB is Britain’s largest business organisation with over 165,000 members across the UK and covering every conceivable trade and profession. The idea was to provide something created by members, for members and, importantly, part-owned by members.
“At the heart of our new offering are the three key principles of delivering good advice, quality insurance products and value for money. With my colleague Katie Freemantle, I created the business from scratch in just seven months – from FCA authorisation prior to trading, through to opening on day one with a team of 12 (and zero income), all with Compass by our side.”
“Networks in general and Compass in particular have really developed into huge support engines for smaller independent brokers.”
David says that the FSB Insurance Service team have benefited from the insurer deals Compass is able to unlock. “As a business starting with zero income, we would never have had access to either the people or the deals which Compass have been able to get for us. We also found new markets, such as MG where Michael Bond and his team have not only helped us with some of the more complex risks coming across our path but also, in some cases, acted as a bit of a guru to some of our less experienced members of staff.
“Networks in general and Compass in particular have really developed into huge support engines for smaller independent brokers. If you’re looking for help to manage and grow your business without merging or selling to a bigger player, think hard about talking to Compass Network.”
“The material produced by Compass was not just really helpful but, was produced quickly and in an easy-to-understand format. Many guides from other sources were produced after the event so the Compass material helped us to always remain ahead of the game.”
David says that during the pandemic, their membership allowed FSB Insurance Service to support their clients at a difficult time. “We provided a lot of guidance and support material to FSB members during the height of the initial period of the pandemic. The material produced by Compass was not just really helpful but, was produced quickly and in an easy-to-understand format. This meant that we were able to repurpose it for distribution when it was actually most useful. Many guides from other sources were produced after the event so the Compass material helped us to always remain ahead of the game.”
In 2020, FSB Insurance Service won the UK Broker Awards ‘Start-Up of the Year’, which David says was a “big deal” for the brokerage, who celebrated with a big virtual party.
“As the country continues to manage its way out of lockdown, we’re planning to pick up the pace even more. We know that by being part of Compass, we have a place to turn to help us win and retain new business as we move forward.”
What’s next for the team? “We have been fortunate in that we are still experiencing year on year growth of 30%,” says David. “As a start-up, our plan was to grow slightly quicker but, we’ve been able to cut our cloth to fit and seem to be coming out of the other end of this crisis on an upward curve. Given how tough the last 18 months has been, we’re happy with that.
“We’ve written a lot of net new business over the last year, at a time of real difficulty for businesses. As the country continues to manage its way out of lockdown, we’re planning to pick up the pace even more. We know that by being part of Compass, we have a place to turn to help us win and retain new business as we move forward.”
David believes that the new Bravo Networks Engage platform has allowed him and his team to connect with the Networks like never before. “It’s really useful to be able to access live information and support services,” he says. “We’re also really pleased to be in regular contact with our Business Development Manager, Paul Wallace, who is always able to point us in the right direction when needed. In a world which has seen even more use of remote technology over the last year or so, it’s still nice to know that there’s a person at the end of the line to dive in if needed.”
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