Broadway Insurance’s approach of ‘almost being an extension of HR’ is paying off as it has already posted £300k in gross premium written premium (GWP) since the autumn launch of their healthcare division.
In an exclusive interview with Health & Protection group CEO Daniel Lloyd-John revealed the division is eyeing £1m in GWP this year and the addition of two or three team members to support clients, while director of healthcare Emma Wood spoke about why the firm’s emphasis on clients was key to her joining the business to lead the new division.
Starting the business at the beginning of a pandemic
Lloyd-John explained the group first opened its doors at the very start of the pandemic in Manchester back in March 2020.
He adds at the onset the business’s mission was to provide a very concierge boutique corporate insurance broking service and solution to private companies.
The go-to business for larger or complex requirements
Elaborating on Broadway’s unique selling proposition, Lloyd-John maintains the group is the go-to for businesses with large or complex requirements where they are perhaps not at the top of the attention list at some of the world’s largest brokers.
“Normally a new broker of our size would compete with regional brokers and smaller business. What Broadway does for a living is deals with larger clients with more diverse and complex requirements, some of which is pan-European and international.
He said Broadway was able to do that because it had the same distribution reach as much larger brokers.
“What that means is from a standing start, because we have the relationship with insurers, they gave us their agencies.
“So you could have all the clients in the world and only one agency, or lots of agencies and only one client. We’re fortunate to be able to do what the big brokers do, but I think we deliver it in a more specialist, high touch white glove set.”
Rapid growth since launch
This approach has meant the group has seen rapid growth since launch – posting £12.5m in GWP with the aim of increasing headcount to 20 members of staff into next year.
Team members are characterised as having worked at much larger organisations and have worked with clientele that have non-standard large and complex requirements.
And as Broadway found themselves dealing with more high net worth clients who have these sorts of complex health requirements, it made sense to add a healthcare division.
Bringing Wood on board
Lloyd-John explains that in October 2023 this led to the appointment of Emma Wood (pictured) as director of healthcare to build a proposition from the ground up that competes with the world’s largest brokers such as Willis, Towergate and Aon, but also attracts regional customers who do not have quite the same size and scale.
While Wood joined from Reich Insurance Group where she was deputy head of department and before that healthcare account handler, she also worked in private medical insurance broking services at Willis Towers Watson.
Emphasis on clients was key
Wood says Broadway’s emphasis on the client was a key driver to her joining Broadway.
“The conversation with Daniel was extremely exciting on the basis of my 20 years and knowledge and connections with the marketplace. What Broadway has given is the opportunity to build on that and looking at the best way to look after clients,” Wood said.
“My passion is looking after a client, making sure that piece of paper works when it needs to. Insuring a car is great, but if it breaks you replace it. People’s health and lives are very emotive. And doing the right job is paramount and making sure that the solution you give them is right.
“The biggest thing is education and empowerment and making sure that people understand their policy and the additional services and making sure they have the provider that can do that and help them.
“There’s nothing worse than having that phone call from a group where the MD’s wife is trying to make a claim and can’t.”
Taking a different approach
Wood maintains Broadway’s emphasis is on taking a different approach when dealing with clients.
“What the industry is renowned for is they do churning, broking exercises. They get the renewal terms,” she adds.
“They go out to market on the same basis. That comes in and it goes on, they’re cheaper, let’s go with that. That’s not what we do – far from it.
“We sit down with the client. We treat them like it’s a brand new piece of business. We go through their requirements, their needs, their absences, what’s going on with the business. What are they looking to achieve? What do they want to do in terms of occupational wellbeing?
“And then we come up with a solution and options around that and that’s where the conversation starts.”
An extension of HR
Wood describes herself as almost an extension of a company’s HR.
“It’s because we need to understand the business as well. It needs to evolve. You can’t just broker the policy. You need to understand the needs of that business because needs change. What was right three years ago isn’t necessarily right now.
“The biggest thing from me, and I love Broadway for this, is the client is central. We are one Broadway in terms of commercial private clients. Our clients will often have the full spectrum of our offering and what that enables us to do is to really understand not just that individual but the business really, really well.”
Growing headcount in 2024
And this approach will mean the group’s healthcare division adds GWP and headcount in the coming year, according to Lloyd-John.
“Given that the healthcare GWP is already about £300k, we anticipate that the healthcare business by the end of the year is going to be north of £1m probably not far from it,” he adds.
“But numbers here aren’t the key. The key is putting in a process and a team with the collective skillset to really propel and drive us forward. We expect two or three people to join the healthcare side of the business.
“What I’m saying is – make it world class and then it will come. It’s the Dubai effect.”