Member of the Month: Grant Georgiades, The Plan Group
Grant tells us how he and his brothers grew The Plan Group from a small brokerage to a business with £26m GWP, and how their new office space – opened by family connection Theo Paphitis – has made an impact on recruitment.
Tell us about the history of The Plan Group.
The Plan Group Ltd is a family business that was originally established by my father and eldest brother when they purchased an ailing high street broker in Catford, South London. This year we’re celebrating our 30th birthday. Over the years my middle brother Ryan and myself have entered the fold and have eventually taken over the reins.
I’ve worked in the family business from a young age and used to do the filing and bank entries in the summer holidays. Later on I would assist in the office during my breaks from university, and even when I worked in television for a while I still had a stake in the business.
My dad, Peter, sold the majority of the business in 1998 to Swinton. He retained a small book of motor business to give to my brothers and me. With the help of a committed and talented management team we’ve grown from a small high street broker to having just under a 100 employees and controlling £26 million GWP.
I re-joined the team as Marketing Director in 2005 and focused on taking us from traditional towards digital, working on things like SEO and revamping the website to help to raise awareness of our business. 15 months ago I stepped up to become Managing Director with a remit to develop the long term strategy for the company. It’s proved to be fulfilling and challenging in equal measure!
What have been the biggest milestones for your business?
Five years ago we worked with a consultant who analysed our revenue streams and helped us to rebrand. Four years on since that rebrand was completed, we have grown 50%, so you can say that he was worth the investment!
Office moves are always a dramatic visual representation of a company’s growth and the opening of our new premises in Redhill last year felt like a real gear change – it was really great to have Theo Paphitis there to officially open the doors as well. There’s a loose family connection with Theo and when my brother bumped into him at an event he offered to do it free of charge. Theo actually arranged Dad’s first mortgage from which the equity was used to purchase our first brokerage. So it was nice that Theo felt he’d played a part in helping the family reach a big milestone.
Thanks to the new premises we now have the capacity to increase the team to 145. It’s a really nice space and a good visual representation of the business, and has helped us to recruit staff. All being well we’re looking to fill that space whilst achieving a GWP of £60 million within the next five years.
What are your key business goals for 2019 and how are you going to use Compass to achieve them?
We’re looking to grow GWP organically by 15% this year. Further development of our burgeoning commercial department is a key focus and Compass’s markets will be integral to its success.
For the last 15 years or so we’ve specialised in niche commercial motor products and in recent years our exclusive private hire and taxi scheme has been the bedrock of our growth. We have a £5 million book of commercial business which we’re looking to build in order to diversify away from purely wheels based business.
What are the main benefits for you of being a member of Compass? Why did you decide to join?
As well as commission uplifts, networking with other brokers is always worthwhile not just from a social perspective but there are also useful insights to be gleaned. We hope that joining Compass will be a little like joining a club, a collection of brokers with a mutual interest from which opportunities and relationships are born. We’re especially looking forward to meeting like-minded brokers at the Annual Conference in March.
What’s next for The Plan Group?
In addition to doubling via organic growth we’re looking to complete our first acquisition this year. We’ll follow that up with additional acquisitions and the opening of regional offices, so that our footprint increases to five hubs between now and 2023. That should give us a great platform to increase the distribution of our exclusive schemes.