Biba blog: If a job's worth doing...

Martyn Holman

Recognising opportunity and potential is what drives a business forward, that and having the right people in the right place, with the right tools to do their job.

It's a belief firmly held by the senior team in Markerstudy, and readily demonstrated throughout their 14 year history.

Martyn Holman, group commercial director at Markerstudy, has experienced many an interesting scenario during his 35 plus years in the insurance industry. He told us:
"At the end of 2013, we rescued the ailing BDML Connect Limited from Capita. I say 'rescued' because this was indeed a mission to stabilise a business with huge potential that was loitering in the doldrums. An insufficient focus and ever-changing strategy had brought it to its knees, resulting in a largely demotivated work force. A totally unacceptable situation."

A few perceptive people connected with BDML ‘saw the writing on the wall', amongst them Paul Hampshire and Jacqui Buchanan. They believed in the business model but were unable to influence the entity. So, what did they do? In 2009 they set up Ultimate Insurance Company, alongside the UK TPA operation. A rival affinity partner to BDML with an underwriting facility in Gibraltar it was, in fact, a very similar model to that of Markerstudy in 2001.

Their business was a success. But last year Hampshire and Buchanan recognised that they had taken it as far as they could; they needed to acquire additional financial support, marketing resource and capacity in order to take their offering to the next level. Enter Markerstudy.

Holman continues "We identified that we had something incredibly special in Ultimate, BDML and Supercover. Although all operate with channel partners, by integrating them into a 'super division' we could create a force to be reckoned with in the affinity market.

Many may ask why a business owner who's 'gone it alone' would want to throw his lot in with another group. The answer for Paul Hampshire was simple. He wanted to finish the job he had started at Ultimate, and now, as Managing Director of newly launched Ultimate Insurance Solutions, he can achieve this goal."

The moral of this particular chapter of the Markerstudy story is whether an acquirer, or a seller, be clear on the aims for your business. Opportunities still abound as long as you have determination and passion to succeed.

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