Your Appointed Representative Questions Answered
Becoming an Appointed Representative
There comes a point in every insurance account executive’s career when they think that they could be building a business of their own, rather than banking sales for an employer.
When the lure of self-employment comes, it’s time to consider whether or not you have what it takes to run an insurance brokerage and be your own boss.
There are different ways to do this. You can become an Appointed Representative (AR), or you can try to find the financial resource to prove capital adequacy and become directly authorised by the FCA, waiting 6-12 months for authorisation to be granted.
Once you have established your own business as an AR over a number of years, there is nothing to stop you seeking direct authorisation at a later date, should you wish to do so.
Gauntlet Group – a CII Chartered Insurance Broker and member of the powerful Willis Towers Watson Networks, the UK Brokers Awards 2020’s ‘Network of the Year’, offers a very swift route towards self-employment and running your own insurance brokerage, as an Appointed Representative. You can start building your book of business almost immediately, once all the paperwork is signed off.
We talk to many ARs very early in their thought process and have tools to help you decide whether being self-employed as an Appointed Representative is right for you.
To move a vague interest into something more considered, get in touch.
What is an AR and what is an AR Principal?
An AR is an appointed representative, described by the FCA as, “a firm or person who runs regulated activities and acts as an agent for a firm the FCA directly authorise. The firm is known as the AR’s principal.”
Gauntlet is an AR principal. Unlike a franchisor, we make no upfront charges to join our network. Instead, ARs work on a commission split basis, in exchange for all the resources, services, support and training that we provide.
Becoming an AR is a great way to test the waters of self-employment as an independent insurance broker and to assess your prospects. As your AR principal, we want you to succeed, as it is in our interests too. It should be a win-win situation, if you have the skills to succeed, which is why we back you to the hilt.
Who can become a Gauntlet Appointed Representative?
Gauntlet offers self-employed insurance broking career opportunities through the AR route, to those insurance professionals and insurance account executives who it believes have a strong enough business plan and the right attitude to make life as a self-employed, independent broker a success.
If it does not feel that the plan is strong enough, it will take a no-nonsense approach and tell you so. That may distinguish us from others, but we believe it only fair to us both. It is simply part of our ethical approach.
Typically, we offer network opportunities to Appointed Representative who have been:
- insurance account executives
- insurance sales executives or managers
- insurance brokers
You cannot become a Gauntlet Appointed Representative unless you have insurance experience.
If you wish to sell insurance to existing clients within another type of business which you run, you could recruit an insurance professional to be an AR, working for you but in conjunction with Gauntlet. This set-up works for solicitors, accountants, property managers, IT specialists and other types of business too.
How does being an Appointed Representative work?
a) Compliance and IT
We can only tell you how it works here and how well it works for our ARs.
If you become a Gauntlet Appointed Representative, you do not need to be directly authorised by the FCA. Gauntlet’s experienced team will manage your compliance and provide you with compliant systems and processes. That avoids compliance eating into your insurance sales time and causing you headaches you don’t need.
You can also have complete focus on your sales and maximise them using Gauntlet’s Acturis IT systems. Acturis is an award-winning IT system and the one every broker wants to have at their fingertips.
b) Back Office and Broking
Meanwhile, all of your administration and handling of client money is done by our back office team, within which you will have dedicated support staff.
We can also handle the broking of your risks, if you wish your dedicated Gauntlet AR Broker to do that for you. If you wish to handle your own broking, however, you can. Our commercial broking experience, stretching back to 1994, is a major benefit for our ARs and life is easier for them if they allow us to reach out to the market, but it’s their choice.
Our investment in a thriving personal lines division, alongside our commercial lines insurance division, is good news for all ARs, as our keen commercial Appointed Representative brokers also wish to place High Net Worth business.
In addition to all of this, we will also provide you with marketing support and you can access training and mentoring from both the Gauntlet Learning Development Academy and Willis Towers Watson Networks’ trainers and business managers.
Ready to find out more about how we can offer you all of this, through a very generous commission split? Just fill in our enquiry form.
What are the Responsibilities of an AR?
- Understanding the regulatory regime you need to operate within, even though you are not directly authorised
- Abiding by contractual terms that confirm you will act on all compliance requirements
- Taking on board new compliance instructions and implementing actions required of you
- Abiding by the FCA’s ‘Treating Customers Fairly’ principles
- Ensuring data is held by the principal and not stored at your premises
- Allowing invoicing of clients to be handled by the principal and similarly accepting that all incoming payment will be received by the principal