Clive Harrison is Managing Director at h2i Insurance Brokers. Working closely with Momentum Broker Solutions, Clive has built h2i into a specialist business broker. Based in Chobham, Surrey, h2i deals with small and medium sized businesses across many different markets.
Deciding to become an AR
After a 23 year career in insurance, Clive decided that the time was right to start out on his own.
“I wanted to run my own ship, to be able to determine my own future and make my own decisions. I had some concerns with starting a brokerage – the cost and time of FCA registration, signing agencies, how was I going to do any of it?
“Then I came across the Appointed Representative route. I thought it was a great idea. I can start up really quickly. I’ll have instant agencies, compliance, client money and so on. There was suddenly much less risk to me in getting started. I also liked the idea of having a team of people working for me, people to bounce ideas off and keep me from feeling isolated.”
Convinced that the AR route was the best way to start his brokerage, Clive joined a dedicated AR network.
The early days
To begin with, Clive built his business through existing contacts and regular networking. “Networking really helped me and within 2-3 weeks I had picked up my first client with whom I had no previous relationship. I also had friends and previous clients; people will help you when you start out on your own. It’s amazing. I found that people who manage their own businesses like giving back to other owner managers. It’s a different culture to the corporate world – a much more supportive environment.
Clive explains why belonging to a network was important in the beginning: “Immediately I had a team of people so I didn’t feel alone. People to bounce ideas off. I felt like I had some support and it wasn’t just me, in my spare room, on my own.”
Moving to Momentum
In September 2013 Clive decided to move h2i from its existing AR network to Momentum Broker Solutions.
“I felt that Momentum was more focussed towards me as an AR, they put the AR first. I also felt like Momentum had more broking expertise. Since joining Momentum I have been able to get better deals on more complex cases, as they have very good deal makers in the broking team.”
“Normally businesses contact me because I have been recommended to them. I will meet them and spend time listening, understanding their business in detail, before taking the information away and then coming back with a quotation, helping them become informed buyers by explaining what I have put together and how it works. .
Does Clive like being an AR? “Absolutely. No one dictates my day, other than me. You make your own decisions and you don’t have to justify it to anybody. As long as you make your clients your top priority, everything else fits in.”
What does the future look like for h2i? “Ideally, what I want is a team of five or six people bringing in business and a bit of admin in the office, with Momentum still on board and h2i still being important to them.”
Howard Pepper, managing director of Momentum, is equally as pleased with the partnership: “h2i is a very important partner to us. Clive runs a fantastic business we are delighted that the support we provide has enabled him to focus on expanding his client base, and increase his revenue.”