Posted on 7th July 2016
MID SUSSEX INSURANCE FIRM WINS BEST MEDIUM BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
Sussex-based insurance brokers Bennett Christmas was named one of the best businesses in the county on Friday – less than 24 hours ahead of announcing a major new acquisition for its broker division.
The Business Matters Award recognised the firm’s transformation over the past six years from traditional local broker to a dynamic, forward looking company with a clear vision to become the leading provider of insurance services in the South East.
The following day Bennett Christmas announced it had struck a deal with Southwater Insurance Services, acquiring another £1.2m in gross written premium (GWP) and extending its regional footprint.
“The insurance industry as a whole, and regional brokerages in particular, are under unprecedented pressure as competition increases from online sales channels, rapid technological change forces a reassessment of the nature of risk, and internet-based start-ups disrupt the market and challenge the traditional business model,” said chief executive Mark Bennett.
“Far from being left behind, we’ve remained focused, driven and determined to maintain our history of exceptional personal service levels while investing in young people. It’s a strategy that has enabled us to achieve very attractive growth and propelled our relatively small company on to a national stage.”
Bennett Christmas which is based in Burgess Hill, grew its business by nearly a fifth last year, driven by strategic acquisitions and strong performance in its underwriting arm, BC Underwriting set up in 2012 to service wholesale risks with premiums below £10,000.
The award also recognised the firm’s role in the community.
“Clients buy into us as people and professionals, who are strongly rooted in the local community we serve,” said Mark. “Staff join us because we have a reputation for treating people fairly and because we invest in our workforce and encourage them to grow professionally and have fun. Happy, committed staff = happy, loyal customers. It’s that simple.”
"“I have belonged to this group since I started my own business, Lea Graham Associates, in 1986. The association has been through several incarnations since then, but its most recent one, BHBPA, is by far the best.
It’s much more than just a networking group, although it is supremely good at that too. BHBPA is inclusive and friendly and acts like a mutual-support society. The events are stimulating, worthwhile and often great fun and I believe most members share this opinion.”"
"“We have been members of BHBPA from its inception, and seen the organisation steadily grow and expand into the dynamic entity it is today, bringing positive benefits to all its members.""
"As MP for Mid Sussex I believe passionately in the importance of a vibrant local business community in order to create and sustain fantastic opportunities that enable people to meet their responsibilities, prosper and fulfil their potential. I am committed to collaborating with BHBPA and others to be an effective collective voice for Burgess Hill."
"“Sutton Winson have been members of the BHBPA for around 7 years. We have found it a great way to keep in touch with Burgess Hill businesses and to meet with likeminded people. It’s not just another “networking” group, as it tackles the real issues and gets things done”"