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Broking CEO on the unique value of the independent broker

By 20/04/2022No Comments

The business is at a size and stage where its independence is a clear marker of its ambitions and its longevity, he said, and it’s important to the Macbeth team that clients and partners alike can trust in the stability of the firm.

“We’ve got no intention of selling the business,” he said. “We’re not at the stages where we’re looking to sell the business or retire early. We’re very positive and energic people and I think that’s clear to people when they meet us – we’re passionate about our business, our industry and our people. We’ve still got an awful lot to do in the industry and we feel like we’ve really just got going. And I think if you want to build something made to last, which is what we’re trying to do here [then] you need to have that mindset.”   

At this point in time, Macbeth doesn’t see any reason to look for external funding and he believes this gives reassurance not just to the broker’s clients but also its internal team who can comfortably look forward to building long-lasting careers with the business. That peace of mind is critical, he said, particularly in the context of integrating acquisitions – a front of mind topic for the firm which recently completed its brand integration with Peter Lole.

“It can be destabilising for people when businesses are bought and sold, and with so much M&A work going on in the industry, it must be very difficult for them,” he said. “We understand that and are very sympathetic to that. And we’re able to get out there as an independent, mid-market firm that can stand on its own two feet, that’s big enough to deliver that service to our clients and to have those relationships with insurers – but we’re not big enough that we’ve lost sight of where we’re going and what we’re trying to do.”

Touching on where Macbeth is heading, he highlighted that there are multiple strands to its ongoing growth strategy. The firm has accepted that it’s growing up, he said, and has been making the necessary inroads to ensure this growth is sustainable. One key element of this is continuing to take advantage of acquisition opportunities as and when the right ones come along. Macbeth is going to remain very selective when it comes to any future acquisitions in order to ensure it can provide the best advantage possible to the vendor, as well as the acquired firm’s staff and clients.

Organic growth remains crucial to Macbeth’s evolution and this is comprised of multiple elements. Over the last year, a focus has been on building up its senior management team – which is an ongoing process. Getting the right infrastructure in place to support the business during its next growth phase is also essential, he said, and to get that right takes investment.

“We’ve invested back into the infrastructure of the business on the IT side, the systems side, the marketing side and the claims side,” he said. “I think our claims proposition is absolutely fantastic and the claims team is growing all the time. We’re delighted with that because we can prove that the proof of the pudding is always in the eating. We’ve got to deliver on the claims front, we accept that and we do that, and anybody who sees our [reviews] will see the importance that we put on the claims side.”

Developing Macbeth’s offering is also on the agenda, he said, and with the logistics and cargo specialism that Peter Lole brings into the business, there is a real opportunity to grow in that space as well as to develop its original client base. Its employee benefits proposition and team are also making great strides, and Macbeth is excited about what the future holds for this business line as it continues to evolve.

In 2022 and beyond, the team will also be focusing with renewed vigour on the client piece of their proposition and on spending as much time as possible communicating with their clients and strengthening existing relationships while building new ones. Of course, driving success across each of these areas of focus fundamentally comes down to Macbeth’s internal team. The team work hard, he said, and they have a great attitude that rubs off on everybody they interact with.

It’s that which makes him so excited about Macbeth’s future but also determined to preserve the culture at the heart of the business as it continues to grow. Recently, the firm celebrated the news it had been selected by Best Companies as a ‘Very Good Organisation to Work For’ in its first year of being up for consideration. That was a great feeling, he said, particularly considering the very strong insurance brands being considered in the ranking and it has cemented how key that internal culture piece is to his ambitions for the future of Macbeth.

“We’re working really hard on engagement with our people and benefits etc,” he said. “Because we recognise that probably one of our biggest challenges is ensuring that we keep the charm in our business and don’t lose it as we grow. That’s what we need to do and that’s what we’re going to do.”