In January, Mathew Rowles, an industry veteran of some 30 years, took the plunge and set up his own brokerage. He sees a gap in the market to take insurance broking back to its traditional roots and deliver a personal service to local companies.
In recent years, the insurance market has undergone many changes, which Rowles believes has had the impact of considerably reducing the choice for businesses looking for a local, personal approach.
“With all the consolidation going on I just felt there was an opportunity for small, regional brokers to cater to clients that didn’t want to deal with large firms,” he says.
“A business is a business and even a two or three man company with a turnover of £850,000, you still deserve some proper advice about insurance as it’s an important subject. If you get it wrong and have a loss that isn’t covered it could be your livelihood at stake.”
It’s this willingness to deal with the smaller businesses, as well as the larger, that Rowles believes will give Malago Insurance Brokers
an edge in the South West.
To launch his venture, Rowles worked with Momentum Solutions as an appointed representative to get up and running “within a few weeks”. He chose this route because becoming directly authorised and starting from scratch “would just be a complete headache.” Momentum gave him all the back office support, from compliance to marketing, without needing to commit to a significant expense.
This leaves Rowles free to capitalise on his experience. With more than 30 years in the sector, he has spent the past 18 years working in a number of management roles at Arthur J. Gallagher International, Oval and Torribles Insurance Brokers.
But while Malago will focus on one-to-one advice and a more traditional experience, technology will still be a big part of the offering.
“We deliver what is very much a personal service with a grass roots approach, but technology plays a big part in the way we can trade with insurers, through channels like e-trade and the Acturis platform,” he says. “And going forward, technology will play a big part in risk management.”
But in terms of specialist advice, Rowles believes it is still the local broker that is best placed to propose the most appropriate cover for a client. “Price comparison sites focus exclusively on price, so buying any kind of cover online can be quite dangerous, whereas a broker can give you some good advice.”