Appointed Representative principal, Gauntlet Group, is celebrating the tenth anniversary of its AR network, Gauntlet Enterprise, through an expansion into Wales.
New Gauntlet appointed representatives Martin Vingleman and Jessica Llewelyn have opened their doors in Caernarfon and Garnant respectively, as the Leeds-headquartered principal continues to grow its ten-year-established network in all locations nationwide.
Gauntlet Enterprise was launched by Gauntlet Group’s managing director, Roger Gaunt, in 2009, as a way of providing ambitious insurance account executives with a means through which to launch their own business as an appointed representative.
Having built up his own successful brokerage over ten years since founding Gauntlet Risk Management in 1999, Gaunt believed he was well-positioned to help other insurance professionals negotiate the obstacles along the way, as well as delivering a frank analysis of what it takes to build an insurance business.
By creating an appointed representative opportunity, he recognised that some stumbling blocks – such as compliance, administration, IT and marketing – could be handled centrally, on the AR’s behalf, by a team at Gauntlet head office and external consultants. This would free up the talented sales professional and allow them to bring business to their door.
This formula, backed by a more comprehensive package of benefits for the appointed representative wanting to work with a principal than is on offer from any other network, has enabled many insurance specialists to build profitable brokerages with Gauntlet’s assistance.
Others have derived lifestyle benefits from becoming self-employed, sometimes building the business around family commitments, or using the business to work at the times they wish, so as to restore some work-life balance, or escape long days on a commute.
The first AR to join Gauntlet Enterprise is still with the network today. Alan Oliver, the director of Gauntlet Sphere, has built a successful business in Newcastle over the past decade and has also been able to achieve a particular focus on high net worth business, through another arm of the business.
Gauntlet has also maintained a sustained and sustainable growth over the past ten years, during which time it has created other added benefits for its ARs, such as peer-networking and training opportunities based around annual AR conferences.
This year’s conference, coinciding with Gauntlet’s 25th birthday in October, will see ARs from around the country taking on an ‘Apprentice’ style challenge. It will also see the launch of the inaugural Gauntlet Enterprise AR awards.
Roger Gaunt said: “The past ten years have flown by and it is easy to forget our achievements along the way. We now have a focused, driven network, wishing to deliver customer excellence to clients who may not be getting the best service from a larger organisation.
“Those of the independent mindset that we tend to attract are typically those who believe in delivering a quality service and who feel they are not able to do that within their existing career.
“By joining our network, they can do things their way, enjoying better career prospects and put their future in their own hands, which brings with it a feeling of empowerment.”
One of the new Welsh ARs, Martin Vingleman said: “I wanted to continue to operate a business in which clients can still walk through the door and discuss their business face-to-face. Gauntlet has given me that opportunity and now I can positively build on that and realise my dreams of running a friendly family business, to which local people wish to bring their custom.
“It is hugely satisfying to know that, in a time in which independent brokers are being bought out by huge, faceless organisations, I am able to carry on trading independently and serving my local clients in the way in which I always have.”