Brokerbility has 12 new members in the pipeline

Executive chairman Ashwin Mistry says firm’s income and GWP have been impacted by broker members selling up.

Brokerbility’s financial results for 2019 were impacted by consolidation, investment in IT, Brexit uncertainty and compliance changes, according to executive chairman Ashwin Mistry.

Brokerbility Holdings, which is the parent company of the Brokerbility Network and Leicester-based broker BHIB, reported a rise in turnover for the year ended 31 May 2019, along with a relatively flat profit after tax and a drop in Ebitda.

Mistry told Insurance Age: “We celebrated our tenth anniversary in December 2019 and in terms of staff numbers we’ve grown from 27 in 2009 to 148 in 2019.”

He added that the company had been on a recruitment drive in preparation of a number of its account executives retiring in the next few years.

“We’ve strengthened all parts of the business ahead of that as it’s all about relationships and continuity,” Mistry added.

According to Mistry, Brokerbility had also invested “more than we expected” on compliance ahead of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) coming into force for brokers in December 2019.

“We’re properly geared up for SM&CR now after strengthening our compliance and we’ve also taken on a full-time HR manager,” he continued.

Membership
A number of Brokerbility’s largest members have sold up and subsequently left the network in the last few years, including Cooke & Mason which was bought by PIB in 2016.

Mistry noted that this had impacted on its income and the gross written premium (GWP) Brokerbility has in the market.

“They don’t tell us before selling up so it’s come out of the blue for us,” he added.

The Brokerbility network currently has 27 members after J Bennett & Son joined last October, and Mistry explained that it currently has twelve potential new members in the pipeline.

He stated: “One challenge is that they’re not the chunky size of Cooke & Mason and others, they’re quite small. Larger brokers don’t really have the same need to be part of networks.”

Technology
Brokerbility has also invested in technology, with the whole business moving across to the Applied Epic system.

The move has involved a lot of training to get employees up to speed, which Mistry said also had impacted the business.

Looking at 2020, Mistry noted that the business will continue to deal with issues including the coronavirus and uncertainty around Brexit.

“We continue to keep our eyes and ears closely to the market,” Mistry added.

“We don’t have any external debt, we’ll be down to zero by 2021/22, so we’re keeping all our options on the table in terms of what we’ll do next.”

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