Leeds-based commercial broker and appointed representative principal, Gauntlet Group, has signalled its intention to fast-track growth and reinforce its professionalism, through the appointment of well-connected and hugely experienced ex-Towergate director, Andy Parkin, to the role of sales director.
Parkin joins Gauntlet after a year out of the insurance industry spent pursuing his hobby of commercial photography, in preference to working in an insurance world with which he had become disillusioned.
On realising that a role with a company not run by consolidators or by a broker taking a stagnant approach to business was available, the lure of joining Gauntlet, and making a return to the insurance industry, was too hard to resist.
Andy Parkin’s career at Towergate spanned seven years, with his last role that of insurer relationship director, based in London. There, he focused on managing Towergate’s top six corporate insurance accounts, negotiating group trading deals for the advisory division and developing insurance products and propositions.
Prior to that, he was Towergate’s regional broking director for three years, covering the whole of the north. His career with the broker began in 2011 as business unit director of the Leeds Airport West office. In total, he has over 30 years’ experience in the industry.
He is now bringing all of that experience – plus that earned with previous employers, Sun Alliance, HSBC Insurance Brokers, Sedgwick Insurance Brokers, Heath Lambert, W Denis and TL Risk Solutions – to Gauntlet, where he will mentor and coach the account executives, to engineer growth and devised and deliver continual and enhanced customer excellence programmes.
Mr Parkin’s role will also include analysing trends, developing efficiency programmes, managing large corporate accounts and working with both the direct sales team and then Gauntlet’s Appointed Representatives. The focus will be on optimising all accounts and delivering maximum benefit from each sale, from both Gauntlet’s and the customer’s point of view.
At Gauntlet, he is now reunited with former Towergate colleague Kat King, who joined Gauntlet in autumn 2018 in the role of account executive. He will now also be working closely with Gauntlet’s Sales Manager, Angela McIver, another former colleague.
As part of a restructuring around this significant new appointment, Gauntlet’s health and safety manager, Andrew Scott, will now be part of Andy Parkin’s team. Scott will work with distressed risks with poor claims experiences, to help turn those businesses around through better risk management and new and enlightened strategies.
With a multi-axis approach to broking and the entrenchment of informed risk management at every stage of the sales process, Gauntlet expects to see impressive organic growth.
It also anticipates the expansion of its Appointed Representative network, as ARs also perceive the advantages of working with a dynamic, hungry organisation prepared to invest in its systems and people, to keep its reputation at the forefront of the industry.
Managing director Roger Gaunt said: “We have been looking for the right individual to deliver the stretching plans that we aspire to implement and we believe we have now got our man in Andy Parkin. His experience is second to none and his expressed enjoyment of mentoring and coaching others will be invaluable for our sales team and our network of ARs.
“We are delighted to have him on board, already bringing his enthusiasm for first-class customer experiences to the table.”
Andy Parkin said: “This was an opportunity I simply could not refuse and one that allows me to have the all-embracing role that will enable me to embed customer excellence and on-point strategies into every stage of the customer acquisition, relationship management and renewal process.
“We shall continue to seek to have long-term relationships with our customers, by demonstrating to them that there is nowhere better to place their business than with Gauntlet.”
This top managerial appointment comes just weeks after Gauntlet announced the arrival of another high-flyer – former Wrightsure director, Mark Monk – as the head of a new southern office and Gauntlet Hallmark.
With appointments of this calibre, Gauntlet is demonstrating that it is poised for even greater growth and achievements, as it heads towards its 25th anniversary in October.