Bruce Stevenson eyeing further growth

Insurance broker Bruce Stevenson is pursuing potential acquisitions following a year of rising income and headcount.

The Edinburgh-based broker’s total income for the year to 30 August was £6.6 million, against £6.4m in the previous twelve months.

Trading performance was boosted by a sharp rise in gross written premiums to £30m while investment in staff recruitment meant gross profit came in at £1.4m against £1.5m in 2015/16.Headcount has risen by 7% to 93 with the hire of senior managers James Geekie in corporate business development, and Alexandra Richards in the private clients team. Additional staff were brought in to handle claims, which is a key service area supported by seven staff along with an expansion in IT and marketing.

The firm is committed to long-term independence and several discussions are under way with a view to acquisitions. Most recently the firm acquired a book of business in the north of Scotland from H&H, an auctioneering business based in Carlisle.

Commenting on the results, Edward Bruce, chief executive of Bruce Stevenson, said: “It’s been an extremely positive year for Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, we’ve hit our targets but it’s been a period of consolidation. We’ve invested in the business a number of strategic management appointments and customer service and support roles.

“We are now focused on further growth with a focus on our core areas of business and potential acquisitions.”

Looking ahead, Bruce Stevenson has a brand re-launch and new website which will be unveiled in early 2018. The immediate target is to hit double-digit growth again in the current financial year with a focus on the firm’s core values of great teamwork, exceptional customer service and assured consistency.

There will also be continued investment in staff training and professional development. Encouragingly a recent staff survey received positive feedback from the 85% of employees who responded, which supports the Firm’s commitment to being the ‘Broker of Choice’ for both staff and clients.

Bruce Stevenson made a policy commitment in January to donate a minimum of 2% of net profit to FareShare, its nominated charity. This organisation collects good quality, in-date surplus food from retailers and producers and redistributes it to 476 frontline charities and community groups. The commitment to this charity is underlined by the work the insurance broker does within the food and drink sector.

Self-Catering & Holiday Let Insurance

One of Scotland’s biggest insurance brokers, Bruce Stevenson, has unveiled a bespoke insurance package for those holiday home owners who let out their properties amid concerns many may not have appropriate cover.

The number of people owning a second property, which is used for holiday home lets and self-catering guests has soared in recent years. Meanwhile the rise of Airbnb style platforms has seen many open their own home to paying guests.

However, it is feared they may be relying on typical household insurance that does not give them the extensive cover they need to deal with the wide range of special issues that can go hand in hand with running a self-catering and holiday let.

Common problems include accidental or malicious damage caused by guests, loss of earnings when a property is damaged or in need of repair, and accidents involving visitors.

Owners also need to be aware of whether their cover remains valid during periods when their property is unoccupied between lets.  Additionally, cover is required for loss of income should their accommodation become seriously damaged or in need in extensive repairs.

The new Self-Catering and Holiday Lets insurance comes under the banner of Bruce Stevenson’s highly successful “StaySafe” policy, launched two years ago to cater for Britain’s £2 billion bed and breakfast industry.

Key features include:

  • Accidental damage as standard
  • Theft and attempted theft cover
  • Malicious damage cover, including damage by guests
  • Liability cover for paying guests and employees
  • Loss of income cover of up to £500,000 for up to two years following damage to the property

The new policy, which is not valid for Airbnb listed properties, means self-catering and holiday lets owners will enjoy the same peace of mind as B&B businesses covered by the Broker’s StaySafe package, including liability cover for employees of up to £10 million, liability for paying guests up to £2 million and up to £40,000 for their effects.

The StaySafe package was drawn up specifically for the hospitality industry in partnership with RSA Insurance Group. It is available to businesses across the UK.

According to the Association of Scotland’s self-caterers recent Economic Impact study there is a total of 16,162 self-catering or short term rental properties in Scotland. Meanwhile Scottish Government commissioned research has shown that the total of Airbnb listings in Scotland increased by 184% between January 2016 to January 2017.

Edward Bruce, chief executive at Bruce Stevenson, said:

“Earning money from a second property is seen by more and more people as a revenue generator for the owner. But it does come with risks, and it is imperative that there’s a comprehensive policy in place to protect the owner from potential losses or the impact of damage to their property.”

“There are a range of challenges that come with letting a second home to visitors, particularly when they are self-catering and you’re not there every day to keep an eye on things. A typical household policy will almost certainly not provide all the cover a holiday let landlord needs.

“That’s why it is so important to have bespoke insurance policies which have been drawn up by people who understand the potential problems and can help safeguard against their impact. We’ve been serving our customers for more than 30 years and are proud of our personal, flexible service, competitive premiums and free quotations.”

Bruce Stevenson’s StaySafe cover includes a 24-hour claims helpline while the highly experienced claims department has extensive knowledge of a wide range of situations.

For more information please contact Fiona Reid on 01896 804912 or [email protected]

Platinum Sponsors of Spirit of Speyside: Distilled

BEER, BEETROOT AND BERRY-FLAVOURED GIN THE PERFECT BLEND FOR SCOTTISH BROKERS

Leading insurance brokers confirmed as headline sponsor for Spirit of Speyside: Distilled

One of Scotland’s largest insurance brokers Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers is getting into the spirit of Speyside as the headline sponsor of Spirit of Speyside: Distilled – an innovative event bringing together a blend of the region’s best food and drink producers next month.

Niche producers such as Simpson’s Ice Cream, Berry Good Gin, rum distillers Beach Craft Spirits, Spey Valley Brewery and chocolates from Favour-it Flavours will set up alongside globally renowned brands including Baxters, The Glenlivet, Walkers Shortbread and The Macallan for the two-day event.

Spirit of Speyside: Distilled, which is staged in Elgin Town Hall on September 1 and 2, is an off-shoot of the popular annual Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival. Now in its second year, Distilled, sponsored once again by Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, aims to showcase the region as a true foodie paradise offering so much more than whisky.

Bruce Stevenson is Scotland’s second largest insurance broker with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, the North East and Scottish Borders.  The Firm, which opened in 1981, provides first class insurance broking and specialist risk management services for both private clients as well as businesses.

Graeme Dempster, Account Executive from Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers, said: “The Spirit of Speyside; Distilled event is a great fit for our brand. The food and drink sector is specialist when it comes to its insurance requirements and one which we actively support, in particular distilleries, manufacture and production, with policies offering tailored protection and enhanced cover. Last year was a superb event with a plethora of visitors and producers represented.  This year’s event looks set to be even bigger than before with new exhibitors as well as all those companies who attended last year.”

Festival chairman James Campbell highlighted that the fact that Distilled blends together household names with small one-man operations proved to be a real talking point at last year’s inaugural event, and organisers are delighted to introduce new exhibitors this year.  He said: “It is only when so many food and drink producers are gathered together under one roof that people really begin to realise how many fantastic companies we have operating right here on our own doorstep.

“The feedback we got from visitors last year was that they really enjoyed being able to wander around, sampling cocktails, gin, whisky and beer and getting a taste of the food that has also put Speyside on the map.

“And, of course, it is a great opportunity for them to come face to face with the people who are critical to our food and drink industry – the master distillers, distillery managers and innovators – which is also a hallmark of the main Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival.”

Bruce Stevenson Sponsorship Spirit of Speyside

As well as producers, visitors to the event will be able to enjoy the products served up by some of Speyside’s best bars and eateries. The Copper Dog – part of the Craigellachie Hotel – will be re-created in the hall’s Supper Room and will have cocktails flowing, live music and food.  The Station Hotel, Rothes, will have a team of mixologists on hand to pour its signature range of whisky and gin cocktails – including the specially created ‘Distilled’ in honour of the event – while Elgin-based bar The Drouthy Cobbler will be giving visitors a taste of what it provides along with some Speyside-themed street food.

And – showing that Speyside is not all about hills and glens – the team at Harbour Lights in the coastal town of Lossiemouth will be showing off local seafood by serving up smoked salmon canapes and other treats.

In addition to the wide number of exhibitors, there is a programme of masterclasses giving visitors the chance to enjoy rare and cask strength drams, learn how to pair food, and discover more about Speyside’s other drinks producers. Tickets for masterclasses must be bought in addition to entry tickets.

Distilled will run for four different sessions, one from 1-5pm and one from 6-10pm on each day. Tickets are priced at £20 which includes entry, six vouchers for tasting samples of gin, whisky or beer, a lanyard and a Glencairn crystal nosing and tasting glass.

All whisky, gin, beer and foods on offer will have a Speyside provenance and there will be the chance to purchase products from stand holders. Festival merchandise will also be available to buy.

For more information and to book tickets, visit www.distilled.scot Distilled is active on social media at www.facebook.com/distilledscot on Twitter and Instagram @distilledscot. Follow the festival at #distilled17 or visit www.brucestevenson.co.uk.

Renewable Energy Insurance advisor recognised by National Insurance Alliance

Yvonne MillerThe UNITAS Achievement Award 2012 has been awarded to Yvonne Miller of Bruce Stevenson Insurance Brokers to recognise her career development within the Renewable Energy team.

Yvonne’s aim was to not only be an expert in the insurances for renewable energy projects, but to be knowledgeable in all aspects of the renewable energy sector including financial, technical and legal.  Yvonne has committed herself to being 100% focused on the renewable energy sector and has assisted in both the growth of the Bruce Stevenson Renewable Energy account but also their reputation in the sector in helping the UK and Scottish governments achieve their 2020 low carbon targets.

As part of the team, Yvonne engaged in regular and detailed training and development.  With the assistance of Bruce Stevenson internal technical consultant, Yvonne has attended training courses on the complexities of Renewable Energy projects (Windfarms, Hydro Electric plants, Solar PV, Biomass and Anaerobic Digestion plants, waver and tidal devices). This has included theory, site visits, industry seminars and conferences.

On the financial and legal aspects of the job, Yvonne has engaged with specialist lawyers and bankers to understand the processes and risks, ensuring that the Insurance programme meets these onerous requirements.  Training has been facilitated to ensure that this has been done to a high level of competency.

On a personal level, over the past 3 years, Yvonne has successfully passed her Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute, gaining The W P Campbell Award from the British Insurance Brokers Association Scotland in 2011 and is now progressing towards her Fellowship qualification.

Derek Skinner, Director at Bruce Stevenson commented “Everyone within Bruce Stevenson is delighted with Yvonne’s recognition.   We were aware of a significant number of applications this year and we are delighted to celebrate Yvonne’s fantastic achievement.”

Insurance Solution for Renewables Marine Industry

A joint venture between London based Insurance Broker ‘Windsor Partners Ltd ’ and Scottish broker ‘Bruce Stevenson Risk Management’ will provide a solution to the difficulties facing  Insurance within the Marine Renewables Industry.  As part of an ongoing commitment to the renewable energy sector Windsor Partners and Bruce Stevenson Risk Management have developed a joint insurance proposal for wave & tidal devices in Scottish Waters, the UK and Worldwide. 

Pulling several separate leading marine insurers together under one insurance product with agreed risk split, premium, excess levels and policy wording brings stability to an area that has seen serious variations in cover and premium levels in the past few years. 

Research

During research in the sector, discussions clearly identified a demand for a bespoke Insurance product, understanding and commitment from insurers to work with wave & tidal developers.  A report produced by BSRM engaged a number of parties interested in the availability of insurance and risk management for the wave and tidal sector as one of the areas where there was a need for additional services and capacity. This research included all the major developers, industry bodies, testing facilities, legal advisors along with marine and risk consultants. 

Risk

A large number of risks are faced by developers and these have been identified during the testing of prototype devices in waters round Scotland and in particular the European Marine Energy Centre testing facilities in Orkney. Having a comprehensive Insurance package in place de-risks the development process and gives finance parties, investors and shareholders comfort when operating in a largely unknown area. 

Previous marine developments have found ongoing issues including: Buoyancy failure, mooring/coupling failure, incidental deployment & retrieval damage, vessel availability for rectification work, inter array/ export cable installation, subsea cable damage including anchor drag, and cable joint failures, to name but a few.

Derek Skinner, BSRM Renewable Energy Director, explained “The challenge was to establish an insurance market which will provide a level of cover, deductible and premium at a sensible level once we get to full commercial scale operational projects. This will require a greater understanding by developers of the insurer’s requirements and vice versa through open dialogue with method statements and a thorough approach to risk assessments. A general understanding of the hazards associated with operating several devices in coastal waters is essential.”

 Oliver Litterick, Associate Partner of Renewables at Windsor Partners, adds: “The marine energy sector has experienced large claims and insurers have become extremely cautious. As a newly formed panel, these insurers are able to spread the risk and limit their individual exposures providing potential reduction in premiums. Collectively as a group, underwriters are able to combine their knowledge and experience to provide greater scope of cover to the benefit of developers and the industry.”

Mark Richards appointed as Director of Private Clients

Mark RichardsScottish Insurance Broker Bruce Stevenson today (10th October) announced the appointment of Mark Richards as Director of Private Clients Team.

Mark Richards joined Bruce Stevenson in January 2009 having worked in the Fine Art world where he was Managing Director of Bonhams Scotland. He therefore brought with him a wealth of knowledge of both the Private Client sector and specialist knowledge of Fine Art which is important when servicing High Net Worth clients. This in-house expertise makes Bruce Stevenson unique amongst the insurance broking industry in Scotland.

Edward Bruce, Managing Director of Bruce Stevenson commented ‘Mark’s appointment emphasises the importance of the Private Client department to Bruce Stevenson and acknowledges the successful growth that has been achieved in this key area of the business.’

Mark Richards added ‘I am delighted to have been made a Director at Bruce Stevenson. My appointment is a sign of the company’s commitment to support the Private Client Department which strives to become unrivalled in its position as number one in offering the best service and professional advice, if indeed we are not already.’

This week Bruce Stevenson also welcomed Scott Brown former Client Service Director at Giles. Scott has worked in the insurance industry for 25 years, mainly working for the national brokers. Scott will join the team at Bruce Stevenson developing commercial business.

Both appointments strengthen Bruce Stevenson’s position as leading independent insurance broker and demonstrate their commitment to acquiring and retaining high quality professionals.

Bruce Stevenson Risk Management Ltd is a privately owned Independent Insurance Broker in the UK insurance market with expertise in renewable energy: private clients: property and business markets. Established in 1981, Bruce Stevenson provides bespoke insurance solutions and risk management advice. Bruce Stevenson was awarded the Chartered Insurance Broker designation by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) satisfying rigorous criteria relating to professional qualifications and ethical good practice. Bruce Stevenson is also one of the founder members of Unitas, a select number of the U.K.’s major independent Insurance Brokers.

Bruce Stevenson Celebrates 30th Year

Bruce Stevenson 30th Birthday LogoBruce Stevenson Risk Management Ltd, provider of insurance and risk management solutions, celebrates its 30th year in business.

Bruce Stevenson was founded in 1981 when the then Directors of a UK national insurance Broker in Edinburgh, David Bruce and Tony Stevenson, decided that they were no longer able to offer the service expected by their clients, from within that type of organisation.

David Bruce, who until recently still played an active role in the business, was succeeded by his son Edward Bruce.

Bruce Stevenson prides itself in being one of the largest independent insurance brokers in Scotland, providing a first class broking and risk management service to its large and varied selection of clients throughout the UK.

Bruce Stevenson has, over the years, acquired like minded and well established insurance broking firms to add more strength to ITS bargaining position in the insurance market place. During this time of rapid expansion, Bruce Stevenson was one of the founder members of UNITAS one of the largest broker markets in the UK. Bruce Stevenson is the only Scottish Broker included in this elite group, but remains totally independent.

Today the Bruce Stevenson key areas of business expertise are: all types of property; commercial and business; private clients and fine art; renewable energy.

The 30th year marks another important step in the company’s history. In 2010 the company was awarded Chartered Status by the Chartered Insurance Institute, an exclusive and valuable merit, demonstrating a professional commitment to delivering high quality knowledge, advice and ethical practice. There are less than 100 independent insurance brokers in the UK with this status and only 6 in Scotland out of a total market of 2,000 brokers.

Edward Bruce, Managing Director of Bruce Stevenson says “2011 is a significant milestone for Bruce Stevenson. It marks 30 years since we were founded 1981.These 30 years have seen momentous changes in the insurance industry as well as within our organisation. The insurance world has undergone massive and fundamental rationalisation presenting a number of challenges and regulation under the FSA. In response, we have embraced the changes while building our company through organic growth and the acquisition of smaller firms who have complimented our strengths and culture.

Bruce Stevenson has grown from a staff of 12 and a turnover of £3m to over 70 generating £16m, operating in Edinburgh and Glasgow to service clients throughout the UK. Despite this expansion our fundamental principles of maintaining independence and setting ourselves apart from our rivals by maintaining the highest standards of service and professionalism have not changed at all.

We have developed a number of bespoke and guaranteed insurance solutions, working with a large panel of insurers, (subject to meeting our rating criteria) .Where possible, we will perform roles which have traditionally been carried out by Insurers, such as underwriting and claims settlement, in order to speed up the process and remove duplication. We have strengthened our expertise by recruiting specialists in their fields, from within and outside the insurance industry.

We do not rest on our laurels but rather recognise this anniversary, and all that has been achieved, as indicative of how much we need to continue working to maintain our envied position in the market. We are in good health to face this challenge, and our position as arguably the number one UK Insurance Broker in one of the fastest growing sectors, renewable energy, is neatly symbolic of our position: embracing change, identifying opportunities and adapting for the future, in the best interest of our clients.”

Bruce Stevenson Appointed to Advise Ofgem on Offshore Wind Development

Edinburgh Insurance Broker Bruce Stevenson Risk Management (BSRM) has check site seo
been appointed to work with Ofgem as part of the UK Governments support for offshore wind generation.

BSRM have been selected, with Grant Thornton UK LLP, to advise on the tender process appointing Offshore Transmission Owners (OFTO).The initial 15 month contract will focus on the insurance provisions for the bidders of the 3 Tranche A projects in Lincs (250MW £311m), Gwynt- y-Mor (576MW £306 m) and London Array (630MW £476m).

BSRM are a leading renewable energy insurance broker based in Edinburgh, but also with locations in Glasgow and London. The contract will further enhance their reputation and standing in the sector.

The three offshore projects will connect RWE’s 576MW Gwynt -y – Mor project located of the north coast of Wales; Centrica’s 250MW Lincs project sited of Skegness Lincolnshire and Eon, Dong and Masdars 630MW London Array in the Thames Estuary. All three projects will feature 3.6MW wind turbines supplied by Siemens Energy.

Ofgem are expected to plan out a further tender process for the following three projects in Humber Gateway, West of Duddon Sands and Race Bank in 2012.

The completion of the tender round will play crucial role for the government to meet renewable energy targets, sourcing 15 % of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.To meet these targets it is estimated that £20 billion in investment will be required in offshore electricity transmission infrastructure. This will provide connections for offshore wind farms at all stages of development from planning to operation.

Derek Skinner Director of Renewables at Bruce Stevenson Risk Management commented:

“Offshore wind is a massive new sector, and we are delighted to be supporting Ofgem in this latest chapter in the development of renewable electricity in the UK.

This reinforces BSRM as one of the leading insurance and risk consultancies in renewables in the UK, and builds on our expertise and reputation in onshore wind and hydro, where we have a significant share of the market.

“We look forward to working with Grant Thornton and Ofgem in supporting the development of the Offshore Renewable Sector.”

Bruce Stevenson bridges insurance gap with renewable energy expert

Gary BrattA Scottish-based insurance firm is to bridge a major gap in the insurance market by taking on a renewable energy expert.

Insurance solutions Bruce Stevenson Risk Management Ltd (BSRM) has announced that Gary Bratt 33, an engineer in renewable technology is to boost the company’s place at the forefront of insurance services in Scotland by providing a service dedicated to the renewable energy market. Gary, from Helensburgh in Argyll and Bute, has had extensive Scottish and European experience in the fields of semiconductor and laser engineering before undertaking a postgraduate master’s degree in Renewable Energy Systems and the Environment at the University of Strathclyde in 2009.

According to Gary “I am able to add another dimension of understanding of renewable projects and their associated risks from an engineering perspective. This allows Bruce Stevenson to make a more rounded and informed evaluation of insurance requirements.”

As the Scottish Government has renewable energy targets which aim to supply 80 per cent of Scotland energy from green sources by 2020, there is a growing market niche for expertise in renewable energy sources. Derek Skinner, Renewable Energy Director at BSRM said: “Bringing someone with the expertise of Gary to Bruce Stevenson Risk Management will strengthen our offering to our clients, developers and professional bodies we work closely with. It is vital that we understand the technologies being introduced to the UK Renewables sector to make these insurable and bankable. Our role is to understand the risks associated with developing renewable projects and finding Insurance solutions.”

News of an expert in this field is welcomed at a time when 41 applications for energy projects across hydro, onshore wind, biomass and clean technologies have been submitted to the Scottish energy consent and employment unit. At present Scotland holds the largest wind farm in Europe with 140 wind turbines at Whitelee farm and further consent granted for a 48 wind turbine farm at Fallago Rig in the Scottish borders.

Bruce Stevenson Ltd is a leading insurance broker in the UK insurance and financial services with expertise in renewable energy: private clients: property and business markets.