NAME: Luke Broadley
YOUR BUSINESS: Longfield Risk Solutions Ltd t/a Longfields
YOUR TITLE: Director
WHEN DID THE BUSINESS LAUNCH? March 2017
I’ve had a long career in insurance to date, spanning many years, running two successful insurance agencies within the last eight years, across two partnerships, with an approximate combined GWP (Gross Written Premium) of £14m.
Along with Clare Lochore, I’m one of the directors for Longfields, an insurance brokerage set up in Manningtree, Essex. We pride ourselves in providing an excellent consultancy service to our clients in the Farming & Agricultural, Commercial and Personal sectors.
We know the majority of our clients on a personal level and between the team and I we are likely to have insured them for many years prior to Longfields’ inception. We all have a vast amount of experience in our fields, with the majority of us having previously run our own insurance businesses .
Clare Lochore is from a farming family in North Essex and provides the level of care, expertise and fair premiums as she would expect for her own family farm, and this reflects clearly within the culture of Longfields.
Alongside Clare and I we have Jill Girling, Mark Whyman and John Whyman heading up our Farm and Agricultural offering, I would be surprised if people don’t know at least one of these names, having been within the Farming and Agricultural community for a combined 70+ years!
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY IS YOUR BUSINESS’S USP OVER YOUR PEERS?
At Longfields, we genuinely care. An easy thing to say but as they say ‘the proof is in the pudding’ and we have gone to extra lengths to ensure the culture is set within our roots. We have the level of experience, expertise and the close personal relationships within the farming community, an industry that lays very close to our hearts.
Farming insurers have welcomed us with open arms, knowing that we will be asking our clients the right questions and providing the right advice. We can share that level of confidence and place them with a handful of reputable insurers, putting ours and our clients’ minds at rest.
WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST BUSINESS CHALLENGE SO FAR?
Opening up an insurance brokerage will always bring challenges, as does any business. All of our team made the decision to leave their previous roles, where some had been with the same company for 20+ years. People sometimes described it as brave. When your clients say “Thank you for doing it…” that’s when you know you have made an excellent decision.
AND YOUR GREATEST SUCCESS? Longfields! The team and our customers love it!
WHAT DOES THE NEXT 12 MONTHS HAVE IN STORE FOR YOU?
We’ve grown very quickly but sustainably. The next 12 months are particularly exciting for us….. However eager we are to shout from the roof tops, you will have to ask me about it when it has actually happened!
AND IN FIVE YEARS TIME YOU’D LIKE THE BUSINESS TO?
In five years time we aim to be the farmer’s choice for many more Farming and Agricultural clients, we are confident we will have significant market share across Suffolk, North Essex, Diss and further afield.
As I have said earlier, we have personal friendships with our farmers across Suffolk and Essex, we have a platform that can provide a quality alternative to their current arrangements, we have great relationships with the directors of our chosen Insurers and our service is and will continue to be impeccable.
NATURALLY, YOU WANT TO REACH CUSTOMERS AND SUPPLIERS AND THOSE WHO CAN HELP YOU AND YOUR BUSINESS SUCCEED. WHO MIGHT YOU WANT TO HEAR FROM:
The thing is, we will listen to everyone who wants to talk. It is very easy and seems to be second nature for many business owners to switch off when someone is trying to sell something or provide a service…..why??
Whether it’s insurers, stationers, security companies… you name it, we listen and some very good deals have been done off the back of these conversations.
When it comes to our potential clients then we would love to hear from all of them, be it Commercial, Farming or Personal. We have an excellent offering, we truly care and we believe spending that couple of hours with us will be a good investment of their time.
…..and we network our clients very well indeed, so who knows, it may well prove a double investment!
WHEN YOU FEEL TROUBLED OR ‘BEATEN’ AT ANY STAGE IN BUSINESS LIFE, WHAT’S YOUR SECRET TO RALLYING YOURSELF?
I am not sure that I or the team have felt troubled or beaten, but of course we have challenging days where you might glance at the clock and think “…is that only the time…?”, we are only human.
However, we genuinely love being in the office, around each other and our clients.
Someone said to me a couple of weeks ago, “I wish I had a couple more days before the weekend, I have had such a good week!!” Statements like that could possibly be my secret to “rallying”.
DO YOU HAVE A MENTOR, OR HAVE YOU USED ONE? IF SO, HOW WAS THAT?
I have a number of mentors (whether they know it or not), two of them have come in the form of investors into Longfields. One is a very successful Irishman from a farming background and now one of Ireland’s most successful businessmen.
The other has been John Whyman, who I’ve used as a sounding board for the last couple of years when visualising Longfields. His energy is infectious, what he does not know about Farming and Commercial markets isn’t worth knowing about… and the best news is, he is a huge part of Longfields and we very often work side by side with clients. In addition to this, I would say that Clare Lochore and I have proven to be a perfect match in business: we share the same values in business, the same drive, determination, we learn from each other and importantly we challenge each other and we can be an unrivalled force when we want to be!
WHAT’S CHANGING ABOUT YOUR INDUSTRY THAT MAKES IT SUCH A GOOD SPACE TO BE IN?
The industry is changing dramatically. The changes may be instigated by our regulators but also the buying behaviours of clients, customers are becoming much more informed than they used to be and this is a very positive thing.
Of course, we understand that technology has made buying more convenient but many understand that when it comes to their business and hard-earned personal assets, it’s about having someone come in and ask all the right questions, fully understand the business and ensure we walk away leaving their business and/or personal assets exposure-free.
Regardless of the wonders of technology I believe that people still want to deal with people, especially when it’s about protecting their livelihoods and this approach sits very well with Longfields, a people’s business.
WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO SOMEONE WANTING TO ENTER YOUR INDUSTRY SPACE?
I would say go for it! There are so many exciting opportunities in insurance. You can move into underwriting, broking, broker relations, claims etc
However, I would also say, give Longfields a call first…..
THE PLUG BIT:
AND NOW THE SLIGHTLY LESS CORPORATE BIT:
BEST THING ABOUT EAST ANGLIA: Having been born and bred here I would say everything! Great places to cycle, walk, huge amount of history and much more!
YOURSELF IN THREE WORDS: Happy, motivated and thankful.
UNFULFILLED AMBITION: Random one… to spend a week with Lions in Africa (not too close).
FANTASY DINNER PARTY GUESTS: I can’t be too truthful as my wife may read this…… so, I will say Thomas Edison. I would like to be the first one to tell him that his inventions such as the electric light bulb, phonograph, motion picture camera etc have prepared this world for the ability to constantly communicate. I think he’d be fascinated to learn where technology has gone… but then I would be unsure whether to thank him or blame him for the culture of immediacy.
WHERE YOU LIVE, WHO YOU LIVE WITH: I live in Suffolk and I was born here. I live with my wife and our dog. My wife is actually American and, over the dinner table, I often hear about the stark differences between the two cultures but we both share the love for our countries of birth, and I’ve frequently visited Colorado, where she was born and raised.