Four new faces join A-One Insurance Group and they are based at the Ringwood head office where a team of more than 100 insurance specialists (operating from six regional offices) work for people seeking cover for everyday personal requirements, commercial risk management or bespoke schemes.
Carolyn Marshall has joined as a commercial account handler, working with Laura Karian on the Pristine Scheme. Established more than a decade ago, this scheme has been designed for launderettes and dry cleaners whose needs go beyond the scope of an ordinary policy. Part of the larger SME team, they report to commercial team manager Vikki Pynen. Carolyn enjoys travel, history, her Westie dog, going to Glastonbury and is looking forward to her first grandchild.
Claire Brand has been recruited as a property account handler. She manages a book of business covering renewals, mid-terms changes and new business for managing agents. Describing herself as ‘a bit of a petrol head’, downtime involves ‘anything with a motor’.
Peter Matcham, has joined the new aviation division as an account executive, reports to James McComish and looks after new business for clients who operate aircraft (and boats). Well qualified for the role, he could fly a plane before he could drive a car and is a qualified boat skipper and instructor.
Completing the line-up is claims advisor Pamela Hughes, a keen enthusiast for fitness and sports, who enjoys spending time with her daughter who competes at judo, which resulted in Pamela becoming an active committee member of a local judo club.
AOIG Director Ryan Jupp said: “We extend a warm welcome to all the new members of staff, who bring not only experience to their various roles, but also excellent local connections, which is something important to us as a firm, because we are active in a wide range of community engagement initiatives.”
A top 75 UK insurance brokerage and one of the largest privately owned insurance brokers, it was founded in Bournemouth in 1993 by managing director Ian Penfold, who wanted to present the local business community with an independent alternative to established high street brokers.
Dorset based A-One Insurance Group, hosted a series of fundraising activities to raise an impressive amount of £1100 for Children in Need this week.
The first activity saw the introduction of the ‘A-One Olympics’ a competitive challenge for each team which involved a speed quiz, obstacle course with an egg and spoon, hula hoops, star jumps, space hopper racing and a sprint, building a card pyramid and playing skittles.
Next up was the annual ‘Marshmallow Eating Competition’ where the most stuffed cheeks in the building was 14 this year by Scott Elliott, however his record high score still remains undefeated at 25 from last year.
‘How many balloons in a Mini?’ saw 217 balloons stuffed into Steph Selby’s Mini Cooper and ‘How many sweets in a jar’ was held by QBE insurance.
The AOIG cake sale featured Stuart Merryweather’s famous sausage rolls and sold out within 12 minutes! Other challenges included 3 buckets and one ball and a FIFA Tournament.
The highlight of the day had to be ‘Sponge a Director’ which involved AOIG Directors Sarah Eades, Matthew Hines, James McComish and Ryan Jupp having wet sponges launched at them from other members of the team, who paid £5 for 3 sponges!
Lia Martin, Director at AOIG says, “The day saw mixed teams enter from A-One Insurance, Aspire Insurance and McComish Insurance, and we are delighted with the amount we raised for Children in Need.
£414 was raised from the Property Team raffle – a huge thanks to New Forest Aqua Park, Hallmark Hotels, RSA, Allianz, Koh Thai Tapas, Allum & Sidaway, The Hair Salon & Beauty, LV and Ringwood Brewery for their generous prize donations.”
For more information about A-One Insurance Group please visit www.aoig.co.uk
A-One Insurance Group have secured their place in the finals of the 2017 Insurance Times Awards for the ‘Independent Broker of the Year Award’ ‐ celebrating the very best in the Insurance industry.
This prized award highlights those independent brokers who offer a specific approach, project or business development initiative, and are setting the high standard for others to follow.
Says Ian Penfold, Managing Director and Founder of AOIG, “This is a first for us, the Insurance Times Awards set a very high standard for others to follow. We were interviewed by a specialist panel of directors from Aviva, Ageas, Google and the Insurance Times, as a part of the judging process and we are honoured to have reached the finals.
As a business we continuously strive for excellence, and becoming a finalist in these national awards highlights the amazing efforts of our team. Over the last year alone we have continued to achieve substantial growth, obtained partnerships and have added to our client portfolio building excellent relationships locally and nationally. Without question the level of service, risk management, asset protection and support we provide to our clients has been acknowledged forming part of the achievement and the accolade of becoming a finalist.
The A-One Academy has proven to be a great success and has seen apprentices graduate into full time roles and promotions. We have achieved the progress of the Cert CII programme, completed the acquisition of several businesses and delivered an approved cyber insurance product development. We see the true value of being fully recognised as professional brokers and are very much looking forward to taking a seat at the final event in December.”
Bill Perkins, from the Insurance Institute of Bournemouth says, “I am delighted that one of the Insurance Institute of Bournemouth’s members, A-One Insurance Group have achieved a place in the finals for this prestigious national award. AOIG are a leading independent insurance broker in the South and are truly deserving of this award, I wish them all the best for the finals night.”
For more information about A-One Insurance Group please visit www.aoig.co.uk
Charlotte Clapcott from A-One Insurance Group is confirmed as an IT Star of the Future Finalist in the 2017 Rock Star Awards.
The IT Star of the Future is sponsored by Quostar, a premier level IT & business solutions provider based in Bournemouth and is a new Rock Award for 2017. The awards celebrate the successes of talented young people and the businesses they work for.
Said Sarah Eades Group Operations Director for A-One Insurance Group, “Charlotte Clapcott is a valued member of our IT team, she is second in command and manages all of the AOIG group IT facilities, which includes all nine sites solving IT issues and producing complex web programming, she has implemented a companywide workflow system, and is involved in the strategic development of our bespoke Lotus system.
We are delighted Charlotte is a finalist, her commitment to learning and delivering continuous enhancements to our IT solutions has undoubtedly enhanced our client service delivery.”
Caroline Yard has been appointed as a Personal Lines Account Handler at P J Aiken insurance, a division of the A-One Insurance Group, she will be based in South Street, Dorchester.
Caroline’s role will be to maintain and develop a portfolio of clients from her base in Dorchester, Dorset and she will play an vital role in the planned future growth of the business.
P J Aiken has been an integral part of the community in the historic market town for over 40 years and offers a wide range of insurance products as well as specialist products.
Said Donna Wilson, Personal Lines Office Manager “We will be encouraging Caroline to cultivate and build strong relationships with existing clients and to build her own client base. This further growth, is due to our expansion in 2014 which resulted in a move to the new premises in South Street as well as the intake of new staff. Caroline will learn from our highly experienced brokers, all of whom are qualified and knowledgeable in their own areas of expertise and we are sure Caroline will fit in and complement our wealth of insurance experience and client knowledge.
Caroline Yard says, “P J Aiken has an excellent reputation and is an important part of the business scene in Dorset, I am very keen to learn from the team and to create my own client portfolio, it’s an amazing opportunity for me.”
For more information about P J Aiken visit http://www.pjaiken.com or call 01305 266 522.
Benjamin Burt has joined the A-One Insurance Group as a Personal Lines Account Handler, based at the Westbourne office.
Benjamin has spent the past few years specialising in Motor Insurance and Underwriting and has joined the team following a year of expansion and growth.
His new role will include setting up new insurance policies for new and existing clients, processing changes requested by the clients, sending out the renewal invitations and renewing the policy as well as building his own portfolio.
Said Richard Pettifer, Personal Lines Manager, “We are delighted to welcome Benjamin to the Westbourne team. He has brought energy and enthusiasm, he is well connected and brings fresh ideas to the team and he will receive our full training and support.”
Benjamin Burt states, “The A-One Insurance team are renowned for building personal relationships with their clients. I am looking forward to successfully developing further as an insurance broker and building my own portfolio of clients. I aim to become well established within the company and in the future I am keen to work in the commercial or compliance departments within the company.”
For more information about A-One Insurance Group please visit www.aoig.co.uk
The Souths privately owned and run, leading insurance brokers, The A One Insurance Group, have secured a place in the finals of the Rock Star Awards 2017, for the ‘Company Star Award’.
Based in Ringwood and Westbourne, the company was founded over 20 years ago in Westbourne by Ian Penfold and are widely recognised for their investment into young trainees and apprentices, their high staff retention rates, contribution to the community, importance of women in the industry and their overall business growth and success.
A key part of the AOIG success story is the A One Academy, in the past year alone the A-One Academy has employed five apprentices, all of which have been given promotions and additional responsibilities far beyond what A-One Insurance Group had originally planned and expected and they have all become an integral part of the team.
AOIG understand that young people are the future generation of our business and indeed insurance, they offer paid work experience, and reach out to students looking for opportunities to grow and progress within the company.
Angela Piromalli, Founder of the Rock star Awards, ‘We were thrilled to see A One Insurance on the interview panel for the Company Star of the Rock Star Awards. Lia and Sarah who represented A One on the day really showed the passion that the company has for hiring, training and promoting young people. A One have supported the Rock Star Awards for years now and have even had employees win other award categories in the past. From all the team at Rock we wish them the best of luck.’
Debbie Cohen, Streetwise HR “We are delighted to be the sponsor of the Company Star category this year, and it was fantastic to meet the nominated companies that came from a variety of different industries. A One Insurance showed a passion for young people and bought a true energy to the interview room. We are very much looking forward to the evening and awarding the local Company Stars!”
After completing an apprenticeship with the A-One Academy, an integral part of the A-One Insurance Group, George Richman has been promoted to Trainee Account Handler for Aspire Insurance, a division of A-One Insurance Group.
The role based at the head office in Ringwood will include developing and maintaining a portfolio of clients to encourage long term relationships, encompassing new business, renewals and adjustments, primarily be insuring professional and consultancy businesses and offices, along with customer presentations, administration documents, office systems and the use of the in-house IT system.
George Richman says, “I am looking forward to building my own portfolio of clients and providing one-to-one help and solutions to their problems. I am excited about the many opportunities within this role and I want to succeed. The team are 100% supportive and they want me to be a success.
I know I have flourished since I started my apprenticeship and I have the belief that there are endless possibilities for me to continue with more development, promotions and opportunities.”
Tristan Webb, Managing Director at Aspire Insurance Services said, ‘’George is hardworking and he wants to forge a career in insurance, he is already an asset to our team as he has grasped the role and the opportunity, showed he has the required knowledge of our in-house bespoke systems, as well as being forward-thinking, dynamic, and has a positive, can-do attitude.”
Said Sarah Eades, Group Operations Director of A-One Insurance Group, “We are delighted with the progress George has made, he will now be responsible for building and maintaining his own portfolio of clients, supporting Tristan and ensuring post sales administration is completed in line with the company standards. George was our very first in house trained apprentice and we are overjoyed with his progress.
The A-One Academy was created 18 months ago and is an effective platform for apprentices to begin their career in Insurance within the A-One Insurance Group. The training scheme initially develops their business administration skills and is supported with in-house training that leads to an NVQ qualification. This allows the apprentices to forge a career in insurance from a grass roots level – be it in administration, sales or client management across the many range of insurance’s AOIG offer which covers Personal Lines, Marine, through to Commercial, thus giving the apprentice access to specific Certificate in Chartered Insurance qualifications during their career with A-One Insurance Group.”
George Richman sums up his apprenticeship, ”Don’t assume insurance is boring, it has so much to offer and if you like people and can deliver customer service then consider insurance as a career option, the AOIG apprenticeship experience has been positive for me and is highly recommended.”
A-One Insurance Group, a business which focuses on people skills and relationships, declares their A-One Academy to be a success. The staff retention results since 2014 speak for themselves with significant results:
70% of the workforce have worked for the company for 3 years and 50% of the workforce have worked for the company for 5 years or more. The other 50% of staff increases have been due to the firms planned expansion and acquisitions.
The company believe it is important to invest in the retention of their workforce by encouraging growth and qualifications. In 2016 they launched their own in house apprenticeship scheme when it became apparent that as the business grew, further staff development and recognised qualifications in insurance were important, and so their in-house training scheme was created.
Said Sarah Eades, Group Operations Director of A-One Insurance Group, “Since its launch just over six months ago the A-One Academy is proud to announce their in house apprenticeship scheme is a success story. The A-One Academy was set up to encourage school and college leavers who have the necessary skills such as good communications skills, a willingness to learn, have a good personality, are self-motivated and who may not have considered the insurance industry as an opportunity to develop their career.
We work with the NVQ scheme as it allows us to assess each of the apprentices individually on their tasks and abilities, rather than follow a rigid and set program. We were delighted to be able to find a program that could work for our company and for our apprentices. All training is given in house with an external course provider visiting once a month to assess the apprentices’ work.
We developed the A-One Insurance Group Academy to offer an in-house training and apprenticeship scheme as well as recognised qualifications. Our ethos behind the scheme is the belief that academic results should not be the be all and end all for employees as there are other skills required in business and there are many talented people who are not academically minded who need the opportunity to develop themselves and find a career.”
The five apprentices taking part in the scheme have shown impressive improvements in their knowledge of the industry and in their growth. In the 6 months since the training started, all five have progressed and been given promotions and additional responsibilities far beyond what A-One Insurance Group had originally planned and expected and they are all now integral to our team.
The academy program follows NVQ standards that leads candidates towards a recognised qualification in insurance. So far, the apprentices have taken on all areas of the business from support functions to sales and have picked up many skills required in the industry.”
Sarah Eades adds, “The program offers full-time, on-the-job apprenticeships and has the flexibility of working with NVQ qualifications. Our five apprentices are working towards NVQ qualifications and promotions, all five are planned too study for their IF exams. The training scheme has also proven to be a major benefit to management teams and our other staff as it has enabled them to further develop their training and mentoring skills.”
“We are so delighted with the results we now plan to recruit more apprentices in the year ahead from the Hampshire and Dorset regions. Interested candidates just need to send in their CV with a covering letter to email@example.com.
“We work very the A-One Insurance Group, they are Platinum Business Partners of Dorset Chamber and they have played an integral and active role in their support for Young Chamber, making a strong contribution in their work in helping prepare young people for their future. They have also fully embraced the apprenticeship programme and have a clear commitment to supporting the next generation prepare for their careers.” Said Ian Girling, Chief Executive, Dorset Chamber of Commerce and Industry.