Broadway Insurance Brokers CEO on building a business during a pandemic

Find out what challenges he faced and how he overcame them

Broadway Insurance Brokers CEO on building a business during a pandemic

Insurance News

By Mia Wallace

It might be early days for Broadway Insurance Brokers, but the future looks exciting, according to founder and CEO Daniel Lloyd-John (pictured). With the boutique firm still in its infancy having only actively traded for about three months, he said, the timing of its launch during a global pandemic might seem counterintuitive but, in fact, it has proven a strategically sound move.

He noted that COVID-19 has stopped even the most successful businesses in its tracks, as nobody was fully prepared for the crisis and what it has done is to make clients genuinely re-evaluate their insurance requirements. It has served as a calling card for businesses to rethink their models, their supply chains and their strategies, the three things for which brokers are responsible.

“Insurance and wellbeing conversations now at the top of the agenda,” he said. “And this is particularly true for our audience, high net worth and leading entrepreneurs, essentially those with specialist, complex needs. The reason I love our audience is they challenge us, they are some of the most curious people, and that’s why they’re successful, they thrive on insight.

“They elect to partner and invest in Broadway as a broker for the same reason they choose other advisory relationships and that’s because they want to feel a closeness underpinned by trust and transparency.”

Broadway has been founded on those principles, he said, and operates under the mantle of providing a fresh perspective at a time when that is especially relevant. One of the first things that he and the team ask their clients is: ‘How do you view insurance? Do you view it as a strategic enabler or a reluctant expenditure?’ All too often the answer is the latter and, now more than ever, the broking profession needs to find the right people who can shift the mindset of clients from looking for the cheapest price to looking for risk transfer and value creation.

The FCA business interruption case is a testament to this, Lloyd-John said, and it is his view that this is a watershed moment for the industry. The test case presents itself as the biggest challenge the industry has faced in many generations as normally policies only come under such intense scrutiny as a result of severe economic downturn, not a pandemic. However, he noted that the ruling should not be misinterpreted as a blank cheque for policyholders as it instead means that insurers will now have to demonstrate why they don’t have to pay out on a case-by-case basis.

“There’s still a lot of work to do,” he said. “And that process of review will absolutely underline one key aspect of insurance - namely that no policyholders are exactly the same, and the essence of our business is that no two clients are the same. The judgement has certainly put insurers in the spotlight and I would argue that it has significant repercussions for brokers too.

“We’re going to be asked to back up the policy recommendations which we’ve made, and that we make in the future, with even more vigour. But despite the temptation now to view the effort required as a negative, I believe that we should actually regard this as an opportunity… This unique juncture offers the industry the chance to recapture the trust of business, and, in our case, business and private clients, by proving our worth going forward.”

The pace of change occurring and the new and emerging risks impacting the insurance ecosystem makes working in the broking sector more exciting today than perhaps ever before, he said. To be an insurance broker is really to be a risk advisor, and brokers are at their best when they are helping clients to identify, manage and transfer risks intelligently. This means staying at the front end of the industry by understanding and anticipating the new challenges and risks that a post-COVID world will pose for customers.

Looking to 2021 and beyond, Lloyd-John noted that the focus for Broadway will be on being an informed and trusted risk advisor to its clients while maintaining its growth trajectory. The firm has already generated more than £500,000 in premiums and will look to continue to grow in its areas of expertise. Broadway has plans well underway for further appointments on both the corporate and the client-side of the business, he said, and these will be familiar names in the industry who have been drawn to the business by its emphasis on always finding the right fit.  

The outcome of COVID is also a big emphasis for Broadway, he said, and the brokerage will be looking to ensure that clients and future-clients’ programmes will respond reliably if called on. From now on, clients are going to be looking to brokers to emphasise the importance of disclosure, product efficacy and program efficiency when selecting the right broker to partner with on the next stage of their growth journeys.

The business is investing in digitalisation and personalisation, he said, not to the detriments of the qualities that traditional broking brings but rather along the lines of enhancing the overall customer experience and value proposition. Even as a new company, the requirement exists to implement a transformational approach to drive operational improvements.

This ties in with Broadway’s ambition for further expansion. It’s too early to say exactly what this will look like, Lloyd-John stated, but it’s safe to say that it will continue to build on the recognition the business is receiving as a contributor and innovator with something new to say.

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