Within insurance circles it’s not uncommon to hear one say their career started out as some sort of an accident – an unplanned move that they came to love and enjoy. However, in the case of Green Insurance Brokers (Greens) managing director Rob Ashburn (pictured), his foray into the world of insurance was more than a slip and fall.
Here the broking boss – who came onboard earlier this year – talks to Insurance Business about priorities, significant industry changes, and how Greens benefits from the backing of Global Risk Partners.
How did your insurance career begin?
I was approached in 1998 and asked to join Duncan Pocock Insurance Brokers to lead the personal lines team and assist with driving growth and implementing change. Since then I’ve stayed in the profession, and before I joined Greens in January this year I was trading director at Towergate Insurance, for six years, in Oxted, Surrey.
What have been your priorities at Greens since your appointment as managing director?
Since I joined the team in January I’ve had a number of priorities, all of them important. In no particular order they are: continue the acquisition plans – we announced our most recent acquisition, Millards, on October 04; develop a sales pipeline within all Greens locations, as GRP’s hub broker for the South East of England; maximise organic growth and continue to drive existing performance; and succession planning.
How would you describe the company’s relationship with Global Risk Partners?
GRP has been a fantastic owner of Greens. Regulation and compliance are vital for brokers to get right, but they consume a lot of management time. GRP helps group companies with this by providing central controls and oversight in areas such as risk and compliance, HR, finance, and client money, which has enabled us to redouble our efforts looking after our clients and growing our business.
GRP also supports our acquisition plans, giving us financial backing as well as support through due diligence before acquisition, and integration after we bring a new business into Greens. We’ve now made six acquisitions since joining the group in 2017.
This is a formula that works really well for brokers like us who thrive in GRP’s entrepreneurial culture.
In your years in broking, what do you consider as the most notable industry developments?
There are far too many to consider but if I was to single out the most important, they are the pace of change, ever more focus on compliance, and of course the accelerating role played by digital in broking.
Where would you be if not in insurance?
I have always wanted to be an insurance broker. No other career will do!
Name one thing your peers probably don’t know about you.
I have run four London Marathons.