Member of the Month: Robert Organ, Tasker Insurance Group
Rob has 26 years’ experience within the financial services industry, is qualified as a chartered accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers and has held a number of leadership roles across financial services, both here in the UK and overseas.
These include FD of AXA, and CEO of the Bluefin Insurance Group. Rob joined the Tasker Insurance Group in September 2017.
“Just this morning we’ve announced our third acquisition of the year,” says Robert Organ, CEO at Tasker Insurance Group when we interviewed him in early November as our Member of the Month. The Vantage Professional Risks team had officially joined what Rob refers to as the ‘Taskers family’, bringing £3m GWP into the business. “We have only started to make retail acquisitions this year, but it’s made a huge impact on the business already.”
With a growth of 40% predicted by the end of the year, Taskers Group are making waves across the industry. When Rob joined as CEO two years ago, the business was already in a healthy state, with £35m in GWP, £6.5m income and 85 people. Today, the Group boasts £54m GWP, £9m income and 115 people. Rob says that the combination of organic and acquisitive growth has involved a lot of hard work by the team. “Everyone has played their part in improving how we interact with clients – we now have better retention, and it flows into new business too, driving the value of our proposition. We’re more structured and focussed now.”
The Tasker name goes back around 19 years, when Barry Reynolds established Taskers & Partners as a Lloyd’s Broker. Over the years the team has grown organically, as well as through acquisitions, purchasing Gresham Underwriting which brought 18 products and over 20 staff into the business. “We rapidly started developing schemes, with an underwriting machine meaning that we could process a high volume of business,” says Rob. Manchester-based Maestro Insurance Services joined the fold in 2012. It was in March last year that the group formally consolidated.
Rob’s focus as CEO over the past two and a half years has been to bring the business together cohesively. “We’re not complicated in my head, but to the outside world it could appear that we weren’t operating in a holistic way as one business,” says Rob. “We had the Lloyd’s business, the MGA strand, as well as the two retail brokerages, but we were generally working fairly independently. What we’ve achieved as a collective over the past couple of years has been to bring everyone together.” Rob explains that there were various elements to this, including Tasker’s annual summer conference, communications between different strands of the business, and a rebrand to bring everything under the Tasker Insurance Group umbrella. “It’s clear now that we’re all pulling together as one business, and that has hugely contributed to our success,” says Rob. “It is still a key focus for us as we have a way to go, but I’m so proud of how everyone has pulled together to make this work.”
What was Maestro Insurance Services – now operating under ‘Tasker Insurance Broker’ after the rebrand – was a Westinsure member with Compass when Rob joined Tasker Group as CEO. “We sat with Scott and Fintan and discussed where we were going with the business, how ultimately we were one business with multiple locations, and it was then that they suggested we change our membership to Select. Our retail business amounted to £20m GWP so that represented a massive opportunity for us.” Rob says that it was thanks to their Compass membership that Tasker Insurance Group were able to get in front of key insurers again and reignite some old relationships. “We were able to get an audience, and explain what we wanted to do. We really appreciated the support we received from the team at Compass.”
Rob says that Compass opening doors to insurers played a part in the retail business growing by 50% over the past two years. “The benefit of being a Compass member is the support of the Senior team; there is always someone to chat to and help if you’re struggling with something. It could be anything – a general enquiry, checking something from a regulatory sense, asking about a part of the market, or finding out who their contact is at a particular insurer that we want to work with.”
In 2020, Tasker Group will continue to focus on its people. “We’ve just launched a new reward and recognition scheme for our people who very much deserve a pat on the back,” says Rob. Externally, Tasker Group is looking to drive growth within its specialist teams and to extend its national footprint. “We’d like to add scale to our existing businesses and branches, and we’ll look at possibly acquiring more retail brokers,” says Rob. “We’ve bought three this year, so it would be great to purchase four in 2020, though, as we’re not a consolidator, we’ll only purchase where it’s right.”