Making the massive jump: Ex-AJG director vies for success with own firm

BIBA leader and Langton London founder shares the experience of running his own brokerage

Making the massive jump: Ex-AJG director vies for success with own firm

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

More than a year ago, Eddie Ferrao (pictured) made a brave leap – quitting his senior role at Arthur J. Gallagher to live his dream of running his own firm. Together with his business partner and fellow company director Tony Gutteridge, Ferrao set up Langton London Insurance Brokers.

Based in Redhill, Surrey, Langton London is a specialist commercial business and motor insurance provider. While it is still a small team, the members combine for more than 60 years of underwriting and broking experience.

“As well as offering all of the standard business insurance covers that you might expect, we have developed a range of specialist schemes and additional products as a result of the excellent trading relationships we have built,” the company says on its website.

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“We work closely with a number of insurers, having built up strong links over the years thus being able to provide a competitive edge and enhanced benefits,” the firm adds.

Ferrao shares the experience thus far of operating his own brokerage in this catch-up interview with Insurance Business.

What was it like leaving a major firm and then starting your own company?
After 13 years with AJG, it was a massive jump leaving. I really did not realise the resource available to me at the time (HR, compliance, legal, accounts, claims etc.). But as a BIBA member, I found help on all counts.

What were the obstacles in your first year and how did you face them?
The main issues we had was turn around insures had with agencies. This left us still not trading with some agencies for several months.

What have been the achievements so far?
The achievements for Langton London: Eddie Ferrao is BIBA South East Regional Committee chairman, Tony Gutteridge sits on the Board of Redhill Business Guild, and the company was a finalist for the Reigate & Banstead Business of the Year title.

What were the lessons you learnt in your first year?
If someone promises to do something, keep chasing – insurers, systems providers, FCA, accountants, compliance and, of course, prospect and clients.

How does Langton London set itself apart from the competition?
What makes Langton London different compared to every other broker is we target niche commercial clients where we have specialist products.

How big is the team right now and how would you describe your people?
We have a small but proactive team of six people with a blend of experience in broking and underwriting.

What are your goals this year and how do you see the business in the next three years?
We are looking to target a £1 million GWP growth every year with additional specialisms.

Are you looking at further expansion?
We are always looking to pick up niche teams or bolt-on acquisitions.

After running Langton London for a year, what advice can you give to brokers who wish to set up their own firms?
I notice, and have been told by several insurers, that there are very few new start-ups. I believe this is because of the hard work owning your business creates. My advice for a new start up is to have a business plan which is achievable. And through the hard times (which are many) keep going.

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