Simon's secrets to success and life as a Reichian
March 01 2022
At Reich, we’ve exceeded our five-year £100m gross written premium (GWP) target ahead of schedule – as recently covered by Insurance Times and Insurance Age. However, achieving our target early has been no easy feat and is something our CEO, Simon Taylor, is immensely proud of, given how far the company has come since 2002, when he joined.
Simon originally started his career in Loss Adjusting at global firm McLarens, before deciding to give broking a go in 2002, when he was invited to join Reich, as a Partner, by now Chairman, Danny Lopian – he hasn’t looked back since!
Back then, Reich was a small business with 17 staff, managing £17m GWP. However, by December 2021, we had grown to handle £106m in GWP – originally the aim was to hit the £100m GWP milestone this March (2022), as one of our main five-year targets.
Today we manage £108m GWP and have 130 employees, with a new three-year plan, starting on 1 April 2022, to target £130m GWP. All of this without any external financial backing or ownership.
When Simon was interviewed by Insurance Times recently, he commented:
“We are probably one of the only UK brokers of our size that is completely independent. We have no outside interest at all – there’s no private equity, no third party that owns any shares in the business. It’s totally Danny Lopian and myself. We don’t answer to anybody.”
Being independent is something we are extremely proud of, and Simon went on to explain more about what it means to Reich and why he and Danny aren’t looking to sell the business any time soon:
“While you continue to enjoy your work, why would you sell? It’s a hard job being a broker because you are constantly trying to satisfy customers – it’s 24/7.”
“If you want a quiet life, don’t become a broker. Working for a broker is completely different [to an insurer] as you are at the sharp end of the market. It’s a tough job but enjoyable.”
But he believes that Reich is different from other brokers:
“In the 20 years I have been here, we have made maybe four acquisitions and that’s it. We are more interested in growing our own book by bringing in new clients and good quality staff.
The market is buying brokers left, right and centre – but we are the opposite. We are not interested in buying brokers – we are interested in growing our existing book and acquiring more clients. We don’t need outside finance for that, as we are self-generating. We make our own profit and reinvest it.
We are one of the only brokers that offers all areas of insurance – the idea is to offer a one-stop-shop.”
At Reich, we also take great pride in our claims service and have a ten-strong claims department, which is unusual for a business of our size and allows us to provide an end-to-end insurance service. We also feel that keeping a personal connection with our clients is important, to ensure they receive the advice and cover that is right for them.
“What we are not into is being a completely online broker,” Simon says. ”There’s a great demand for a broker you can speak to that knows your business inside and out. I think some insurers are moving too far away from the personal end of the business.”
Simon promotes that the secret to Reich’s success is the way we treat our staff, as well as maintaining client, customer and insurer relations.
He says: “With Covid, it’s even more important to look after staff because without them, you have no business.”
Simon refers to everyone who works at Reich as ’Reichians’; part of the Reich ‘family’. A few years ago, a loyalty board was created in our reception, to highlight those who have worked at Reich for five years or more. Out of 130 employees, 50 are featured on the board so far.
This year, we will also be continuing to offer a monetary attendance allowance, which rewards everyone for maintaining a low number of sick days. We paid out just over £100,000 during December 2021.
Additionally, we gave each employee £100 in December so they could take their families out over the festive season in lieu of our Christmas party that was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Simon commented “If staff show loyalty to me, I will repay that back many times over,”
Reich also has an Employment Benefit Fund (EBF), which was set up eight years ago. Simon and Danny contribute £100,000 to the fund every year – it currently stands at £1.5m.
“When we eventually retire, that fund will then be split between our loyal staff. The EBF must be closed down when the business is eventually sold,” he explains.
Continuing on the employee benefits theme, Reich are in the final stages of buying a holiday home in Cyprus for staff to use, completely free of charge – employees will only need to pay for their flights. This is something that not only surprised our employees but also anyone else who hears of it – quite unheard of by any employer and a great benefit for staff.
So with Reich hitting our £100m GWP target early, remaining completely independent and committed to looking after our employees like family, it makes it a great place to work. Add all that to Simon’s uncompromising expectation around customer service excellence and superb insurer relationships, it makes the overall Reich offering unique in the broker market.