All Together Better People - Warren Baldwin

In the second of this year's series, we meet Warren Baldwin, the new Chairman of the UNA Placement Group.

Warren, tell us a bit about your career to date and how the world of insurance has altered since you started out?

Like everyone I fell into the insurance industry. I had been on a few lads holidays and came home to find out I had an interview at Royal Insurance. I was a bit confused as I had not applied for any jobs, but found out my mum had sent my cv out to various companies to get me out of the house!

Anyway, I went to the interview and was offered the job as a underwriter. That was it, I was pulled into the wonderful world of insurance.

I worked as an underwriter on the Berns Brett account and after 3 years Berns Brett offered me a job as an account hander and 24 years later I am still here.

I think that the basics of the industry are still the same, with it being a people business. However, I do think that the technical side of the industry has suffered over the last 15 years with a lot of knowledge being allowed to leave the sector.

Obviously, regulation has changed a lot in the last 20 years and working practices are far more rigid compared to when I first entered the broking industry. 

You’ve been at Berns Brett for nearly 25 years now, tell us why it’s such a great place to work?

Having moved from an insurer with strict underwriting licences and procedures, it was a breath of fresh air to have the freedom to work at an entrepreneurial broker.

I loved going from being a number at an insurer to a broker, where winning a bit of business or retaining a large client really made a difference.

Since those early days it has really been the people that make Berns Brett the great broker it is. My Corporate, New Business, SME, Accounts and Fleet Managers have all been part of the team for over 15 years. Despite the massive changes to the business that have occurred in the last 20 years, it still feels like a family business.

BBi have been UNA Members for over 5 years now.  How has Membership of the Alliance assisted and supported you in that time?

It was difficult to begin with, as sharing information with other brokers seemed totally alien to us. However, over those 5 years we have really seen the benefit of pooling information and sharing ideas.

With the increase in compliance the BSG group has been a massive help to our compliance team. I have also really benefited on the placement side with obtaining advice from like minded brokers on difficult placements and improving insurer relationships.

The fact we are part of UNA has made a big difference with some insurer relationships where prior to joining we were struggling to get any traction.

You’ve now also taken on the role of Chairman of the UNA Placement Group.  How do you envisage shaping and influencing the group during your tenure?

I will probably speak a lot less than Simon (Bradwick) and encourage a few more socials! But in all seriousness I think the PG is already a fantastic group, the representatives on the group are so knowledgeable and helpful.

We have had two brilliant chairman in Bruce (Millington) and Simon in my time at UNA and I do not think there is any major changes required. Why fix something that is not broken?


Whilst virtual meetings have their place, I am a big advocate of face to face meetings, so hopefully these will be the way forward now that lockdown is easing. Going forwards it is about being as useful as possible to each broker and I am open to any new suggestions.