Insurance firm reports increased revenues and income and targets further growth

Gavin Ruben
X The Business Desk

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Manchester-based Vista Insurance Brokers has recorded a 32.7% increase in turnover, up from £15.6m to £20.7m, for its annual reporting period to July 2021.

Income for the same period is up 30.2%, from £2.5m to £3.27m.

Further growth at the head office in Manchester and regional bases in Birmingham, Lancaster and London is also in the planning stages, as Vista aims to increase turnover to around £50m within the next five years.

While current growth has been organic, the firm is not ruling out acquisitions to reach that target.

The company’s success comes against the backdrop of a tough economic and social environment, as the COVID-19 pandemic and the Brexit fall-out continues to impact businesses, increasing uncertainty and risk.

A further challenge has been the ‘hard market’ conditions for insurance buyers, that has seen pricing pushed higher and insurers’ appetite and capacity to write risk become severely restricted.

Vista said its continued growth has been attributed to its ability to meet these challenges through high levels of client service, the delivery of innovative solutions that lessen the impact of price increases while maintaining cover, along with supporting staff wellbeing.

To ensure quality standards are maintained, the company has made 12 new appointments, increasing the team to 41 over the past 12 months.

Several internal promotions have also been made, as the business remains committed to developing and investing in its personnel.

As restrictions have lifted, Vista is getting out more to see clients in a controlled manner to suit them and ensuring its team can have the right balance of remote working and office-based working.

Chief executive Gavin Ruben said: “As the pandemic hit in 2020, we responded quickly and ensured our clients were able to adapt their policies as required.

“The hospitality and event sectors were hit very hard and our commitment to ensuring high levels of client service saw us proactively contacting clients to provide much needed support.

“Our corporate, construction and private equity division have all faced diverse challenges and the experience and expertise of these teams enabled us to respond quickly and effectively. As premiums increased across a wide range of business sectors, we saw an increase in new clients looking to us to help, as they sought not only the most cost-effective policies, but a team with the necessary knowledge and experience to help them navigate their way through this challenging period.”

He added: “Whilst some businesses in our sector have been forced to make staff redundant, we have been able to hire more people, boosting our capability to provide clients with high levels of personal service and expertise in a range of sector specialisms.”

Vista Specialist Risks division is one area which has seen continued growth due to the technical expertise and experience offered for niche areas including latent defects insurance, providing property developers with long term, project-specific security they control. Vista also plans further expansion of its highly successful international division as it establishes more overseas partnerships.

Subsidiary company, Vista (NW) Ltd (VNWL) is the newest arm of the Vista group and was set up to offer a range of solutions to meet the needs of SMEs in the Cheshire region. Since launching in January 2021, the company has seen strong growth and has high expectations for the remainder of the year.

Managing director of VNWL, Dan Stockley, said: “As everyone experienced unprecedented levels of uncertainty, clients needed a personal service more than ever. They needed to be able to contact us as and when they needed us and that is the service we offer.

“Our experience and integrity, along with a forward thinking ethos, enabled us to provide competitive solutions to protect businesses and this has resulted in above expected growth during the first six months of trading.”

In addition to the new challenges, maintaining general operations, regulatory processes and ensuring staff wellbeing remains paramount. Vista is currently developing a new Employee Charter which it views as essential to underpin the growth plan.

It is also extending its apprenticeship programme with two more personnel due to join the team in the next 12 months. This will enable them to acquire both academic knowledge and practical skills in their chosen fields.