Finch's Return to Profitability

Manchester-headquartered UNA Member, Finch Insurance Brokers has reported a 7% rise in turnover to £3.87m for the year ended 31 December 2017.

Operating profit was also up 2% to £487,135 as pre-tax profit nudged up to effectively the same level.

The increases mark a change around from the 2016 results when profits and turnover fell.

At that time group managing director Mike Latham explained that the reductions were due to investments as the firm targeted sustainable growth.


Speaking about the most recent figures Latham told Insurance Age the uptick was consistent with the plan of investing in service and talent.

He noted that new business income had outweighed lapsed clients by a net 9.5%.

“This year we will continue to focus on organic growth and expect to do something similar again,” he said. “But the profitability will be enhanced as the investments were made in 2016 and 2017.”


The company, which places around £38m of gross written premium, specialises in mid-market particularly for hospitality and tech clients typically paying £100,000 to £1m of premium.

Latham said there had been growth “across the board” of property, motor and casualty. He noted that cyber was picking up but was starting from a small base.

The wider group, known as Alec Finch Group, also offers employee benefits and turnover here was also up at £5m (2016: £4.7m).


Latham has previously stated his intention to double the wider group by 2020 and he reiterated the plan.

“We are still planning on £10m by 2020,” he confirmed explaining it would be a mix of organic growth and bolt-on acquisitions. He said he was hopeful of completing at least one deal this year.

The Una and Worldwide Broker Network member was bought by French firm Verlingue in 2007.

Latham came on board in October 2012 having worked at Jelf. He was latterly regional managing director of the North and Midlands having been managing director of Manson Insurance Brokers when it was bought by the consolidator in January 2008.

“Verlingue’s ambition is to be much bigger outside of France than they currently are,” he began.

“The approach is always to invest in their territories and management teams.”


Latham admitted to having been “pleasantly surprised” by how much he had enjoyed working with Verlingue.

“I was very clear around… if I was going to take on this project that I would be given the authority and the autonomy to go ahead and do it.

“I wouldn’t want to work for anyone else.”

Looking ahead he predicted 10% organic growth for 2018 and a double digit surge in profitability.

“The [profit] number next year will be even more,” he concluded.

“We have enhanced profitability with investments made throughout 2016 that are beginning to drive through.”