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 am delighted to have a long-standing relationship with the BHBPA. Since its foundation the Association has gone from strength to strength and there is no doubt that it has brought huge benefits to its members and the business community as a whole through the partnerships it has formed with the local authorities, Sussex Police and local organisations. It is paramount that Burgess Hill businesses have an effective collective voice."
""BHBPA is a really well organised and run group, great for networking and benefitting from knowledgeable local speakers with real business insight. Peter brings enthusiasm and humour which helps drive the association forward. I am glad to be part of it.""
"The BHBPA is the most effective and dynamic business organisation I have ever worked with in over 30 years in Local Government. It has a very active and large membership whose points of view are taken seriously by all government structures. Peter Liddell does an excellent job in providing unique and enjoyable networking opportunities where members interact and discuss points of mutual interest. It provides a forum for businesses to discuss common issues, to share experiences and to play a powerful and meaningful role in the Burgess Hill community. The BHBPA provides important and credible support for all its members and ensures that their best interests are represented where necessary. "
"“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”"