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.”
"This association was started with a lot of effort from a few local businessmen and has proved to be a very powerful and useful tool for our business. The BHBPA has influence at the top level; when action is needed, the BHBPA gets it done. We are kept in touch with all that is happening on our doorstep and will often act because of what is published in the weekly emails / newsletters."
""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.""
"“I can’t speak highly enough of the BHBPA. As a small local business we feel very much part of a community and thoroughly enjoy the annual exhibition and meetings throughout the year. Over the years we have built fantastic working relationships with many BHBPA members and every meeting and event offers us opportunities to work with more. This is networking at its best! ” "
"Since joining BHBPA we have found it to be a dynamic and vibrant members’ organisation, with excellent, regular and informative meetings.
Peter Liddell does a first class job in ensuring that members’ interests are aired and addressed.