Marsh announced the formation of “a nationwide community of independent mid-sized UK brokers who share a commitment to innovation on behalf of clients and are looking to protect and grow their businesses.”
The bulletin described the initiative, called Marsh ProBroker, as a “key element in Marsh’s growth strategy in the SME sector and in response to regional broker needs.” It will be headed by industry veteran Bruce Fertnig.
Marsh said it had “conducted extensive research late last year” through an independent agency, “in order to determine how it could bring its strong relationships with insurers and its broad capabilities in product development to bear in the SME sector.”
Julie Page, Head of Marsh UK’s Commercial Practice, noted: “Our research shows that the majority of brokers are considering business model changes as a result of the recession and a reduction in the current availability of consolidator cash.
“With Marsh ProBroker, we have built a sustainable placement strategy that will enable brokers to enhance their revenue for existing business streams as well as giving them access to new products that will deliver opportunities for growth in revenues and profit. We believe this will be a compelling proposition for brokers who want to be proactive in helping their clients manage through the economic downturn. At the core of our proposition is our market-leading range of products and business-enabling tools.”
In addition Marsh noted that its research “found that many brokers are becoming more cautious of current network models and consolidators. They are aware of distractions due to integration, earnings pressures from insurers and inefficiencies, and the impact they are having on overall service propositions to brokers.”
Page added: “Members of Marsh ProBroker will have the support of a dedicated relationship manager to guide them through the joining process and will have access to a supported IT platform. Brokers can access a range of options that will bring value to them and their clients.”
IJ Ed. Note: Marsh’s bulletin omits, quite understandably, to mention that Willis, one of its major competitors, has operated a similar broker network in the UK for a number of years with considerable success.
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