Scottish insurance firm Blackford has acquired a significant new client portfolio and a full commercial broker team to launch its offering in Edinburgh.
Glasgow-based Blackford, which specialises in commercial risk, has taken on the Edinburgh customer book of TL Dallas, with a collective premium value of more than £3 million.
The new team of brokers joining the firm brings more than 95 years of combined experience and comprises Stephen Randall, Monika Hübsch, Alan Grant and Laura Scougall. In addition to managing the new portfolio of around 100 clients, the team will play a considerable role in generating new business across the UK.
The acquisition marks an important step for Blackford, which opened an additional office in Fountainbridge on Monday to accommodate the new team.
Established in April by managing director Tom Aldridge, who previously launched the Glasgow office of Central Insurance before its sale to Marsh in 2014, Blackford offers a fresh alternative to the traditional insurance broker model – taking a values-led advisory approach, with a focus on personal service instead of sales.
The firm has the backing of James Hallam, one of the UK’s leading privately-owned brokers, alongside a number of private investors. As an appointed representative of James Hallam, Blackford is able to draw on its resource and scale but retains the agility and independence of a smaller firm.
Tom, who began his career at Aon before successfully establishing and leading Central’s Glasgow and Edinburgh offices, has ambitious plans for Blackford, which also has a presence in London through James Hallam.
Based in The Garment Factory in Glasgow, the Edinburgh deal plays a pivotal role in enabling Blackford to continue its upward trajectory.
Tom Aldridge, founder and managing director at Blackford Insurance, said:
“We continue to see consolidation in the Scottish insurance broker landscape which can bring frustration for clients who are seeking a long-term broker relationship with a people-first, friendly service offering. A further consequence of recent acquisitions is a growing number of disengaged quality broking staff, yearning for a more traditional and dynamic place of work.”
“Blackford was launched with the intention of providing a truly customer-focused broker which communicates with clients in a fresh and uncomplicated manner.”
“The new team is absolutely fundamental to delivering this, and brings with it a wealth of experience, enthusiasm and importantly, a belief in our values. As the firm continues to grow its client base, we will continue to recruit people we intend to keep for the long-haul – those who share our values and appreciate the importance of fostering and maintaining strong relationships with clients.”
As part of growth plans, Blackford aims to recruit an additional 18 people over the next three years.