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Focus on eCommerce by liwenting


									Q11Issue 2007

This Issue:
Could Your Business
Continue In The
Event Of A Disaster?
- Page 14

Why You Should Be
Treating Customers
- Page 18

eCommerce Q & A
With Simon Hughes,
Sales And Marketing
Director, Open GI
- Page 22

                                                   Focus on:
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                C N -            ou er B
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                                                   Ca e S - 15          Us 8
                                                                      en Pg 2
                                   r Pg 7            em 4          Op
 Features           Pg
                        4       Pa               S ch Pg 1
    Interface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Interface
    Foreword From Phillip Bell

                                                                                                                         Open GI Contracts
                                                                                                                             Amber Credit                                    Alan Boswell                                                                       Update On Mi
                                                           Amber Credit is the latest premium finance provider to partner with Open GI to develop an
                                                                                                                                                                             Group Signs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Following the acquisition of Mi in October 2006 Open International
                                                           electronically integrated premium finance solution for brokers.
                                                                                                                                                                             Multi-Year Deal                                                                    has rebranded the company to fit into their corporate identity (see
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                new logo, above right). Mi continues to be successful with Open
                                                           The software is currently in test and due to be released during the first quarter of this year. It will enable
                                                           brokers to increase their earning potential and reduce administrative costs via streamlined workflow. Because                                                                                        International maintaining an overseeing role whilst developing
                                                           the process is fully integrated there’s no re-keying and the transaction can be completed quickly and easily      Leading regional broker, Alan Boswell Group, has signed a multi-                   mutually beneficial opportunities, the reason for the acquisition.
                                                           at point of sale.                                                                                                 year contract with Open GI following a software house review.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Mi was founded in 1999 to fulfill a need in the Lloyds and London market for
                                                           Open GI’s current panel of providers includes Close, Finsure, Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, Premium             The contract is for a complete Open GI solution designed to automate its           online electronic trading. The company is based in the heart of London’s EC3
                                                           Credit and Premium First.                                                                                         delegated schemes, improve operational efficiency and extend overall web           (50 Fenchurch Street) and employs 28 staff. Mi’s principal solution is Mi Trader
                                                                                                                                                                             trading capability.                                                                – an internet based trading platform for brokers and insurers in the Lloyd’s and
                                                           Amber Credit teamed up with Open GI, in pursuit of their philosophy of ensuring that clients gain competitive                                                                                        London markets.
                                                           advantage and enhance their profits by reducing costs and improving service. Developing an integrated             With over 20 years in business and around 100 general insurance staff, the
                                                           solution with Open GI gives Amber Credit broker’s easier access to their premium finance offering.                Norwich-based firm has a strong market presence and is listed number 30 in         Mi Trader is a highly flexible workflow tool that enables data capture, auto rating,
                                                                                                                                                                             Insurance Age’s top 100 independent brokers. The Group is best known for           referral processing, subscriptions management, automated documentation
    Having completed our own acquisition recently,         Successful brokers are aware that the key to attracting new customers is the ability to link systems and          property and affinity schemes, with over 100 in its current portfolio.             – indeed the entire risk placing cycle. Its flexibility has allowed it to be used in a
    I am very mindful of the potential pitfalls of         ensure that across their business single keying of data becomes the norm. As a result, the number of firms                                                                                           huge range of ways for the benefit of its customer base.
    integrating businesses. It is all too easy to          using Open GI premium software continues to increase. Open GI are also continually enhancing workflow.            The contract is one of an increasing number received by Open GI in recent
    imagine that the completion of an acquisition is       The latest software update introduces a new bank sort-code checking facility to improve the speed of input        months as a result of a series of new product developments.                        Trader can be used for single complex insurance products such as trade credit
    the ‘end result’. In fact nothing could be further     for the broker and the quality of information sent to the finance provider. The addition of Amber Credit to the                                                                                      or letter of credit, where expansive rating tables, workflow and documentation
    from the truth. Making a successful acquisition        panel adds yet more choice for Open GI brokers, helping them to increase their earning potential and improve      One of the main factors behind Alan Boswell Group’s decision to commit to the      are required. In these instances, Trader can provide a policy holder interface
    requires an understanding and a commitment             service.                                                                                                          Open GI platform is the number of new solutions available to brokers. They         allowing the end assured to manage their policies online, request amendments
    to following up the transaction with successful                                                                                                                          have recognised a distinct shift in focus and renewed impetus towards product      and access graphical representations of their coverage and exposure.
    implementation and management of a clear plan                                                                                                                            development since the MBO in March last year. Back-office functionality has
    for integration. Good acquisitions will ensure that                                                                                                                      been enhanced significantly, as has the range of new technologies on offer.        Trader can facilitate insurance placement for brokers, allowing them to market
    both of the merging parties become stronger.                                                                                                                                                                                                                their risk to multiple underwriters, whether on a binding authority, line slip, prior
    Unless there is a clear focus on integration, the                                                                                                                                                                                                           submit or open market basis. Additionally, Trader can provide a multi product
                                                                                                                                                                             “The Open GI system is clearly the most suited to our needs and the
    acquisition is likely to become a costly burden.
                                                           Footman James                                                                                                     most cost effective on the market today, and will allow us to expand our           platform for wholesale / retail products including lines such as motor breakdown,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                fleet and Professional Indemnity with autorating and document production, and
                                                                                                                                                                             presence both locally and nationally. We are particularly impressed by
                                                           Commits to New
    And of course, there is always the question of                                                                                                                                                                                                              marketing to a mass audience.
    balance. Being focused is very important, but not                                                                                                                        the new user interface, Open-i, and also the web solutions which will
    if that focus ultimately becomes a distraction. I                                                                                                                        enable us to extend the range of business traded on-line.”                         The company has a client base of over 0 market leaders including Alexander
    am very aware of this and you can be assured
    that the success of our business remains my            Open GI Platform                                                                                                  Richard Hartley, IT Manager, Alan Boswell Group.                                   Forbes, Aon, Beazley, Cooper Gay, HSBC, Lloyd’s of London, Marsh, QBE,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Towergate and Willis.
    priority; success that is built on delivering our      Award-winning broker, Footman James, has signed a four-year contract with Open GI for                             These comments are typical of many brokers who have committed to the
    broking community powerful solutions that enable                                                                                                                         Open GI platform in recent months. Open GI’s deployment of new technology          The combination of Mi’s advanced technology, strong market presence and
                                                           a new IT platform to support 150 users and drive on-line business growth.
    them to be successful in their respective areas of                                                                                                                       is making a huge impact in the market. The profile of the typical Open GI broker   enviable client list will enable the business to exploit the many opportunities that
    expertise.                                                                                                                                                               is also shifting towards commercial lines as solutions are more targeted at this   exist and to connect two very successful communities: London and Regional
                                                           Footman James was established 25 years ago and is renowned for providing insurance to the niche specialist
                                                           vehicle market. The company has contracted with Open GI on the basis of their latest new technology, web          market sector than ever before.                                                    Brokers.
    Technology can also prove to be another
                                                           functionality and reporting tools.
    unproductive distraction. This may sound odd
    coming from the head of a technology based
                                                           The contract includes the newly launched browser-based interface Open-i and Microsoft Word integrated
    company, but we all need to remember that
    technology is not the solution itself. It is a tool,
    that unless shaped to the right purpose will not
                                                           document creation software.
                                                                                                                                                                             Web Trading Gets X-Stream with Towergate
                                                           Paul Matthews, Managing Director, Footman James, said: “With over 2,500 quote requests coming into the
    deliver any benefit. Choosing the right technology
                                                           business every day and a customer base of over 140,000 policy holders it’s vital that we have an IT system
    to suit your business needs is the only way that a
    real return on investment can be delivered.
                                                           that can handle volume. It allows us to concentrate on service.                                                   The uptake of Open GI’s universal e-commerce solution, X-Stream,                   schemes and is the result of a strategic partnership formed over 12 months ago.
                                                                                                                                                                             continues to increase, with Towergate Underwriting being the latest                Open GI is the only software house that has the level of web functionality we
                                                           “We chose Open GI because of the projects they have delivered with large brokers like Carole Nash and             to go live.                                                                        require and could achieve the development in the tight timescale.”
    We make our own choice of tools to develop our
                                                           Towergate and also their ability to open up the system via the web. The Internet plays a big part in our future
    solutions, based purely on meeting customer
                                                           strategy. Out of all of the software houses, Open GI offers the most comprehensive technology package and         X-Stream facilitates online quote and buy and account management via a two-        Simon Hughes, Sales and Marketing Director, Open GI, said: “X-Stream is the
    need. At Open GI we are focused on one thing
                                                           has the infrastructure to drive future development.”                                                              way XML link between the Open GI back-office and Internet.                         only truly interactive business solution for those who want to exploit the benefits
    – we develop software for brokers, not for the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                of web trading. It allows information to be keyed into the website and auto-rated in
    sake of development.
                                                           Simon Hughes, Sales & Marketing Director, Open GI, said: “Footman James is one of an increasing number            X-Stream is a key tool for Towergate web development. It allows policy             the back office, providing an immediate quote, without incurring operator costs.
                                                           of brokers attracted to Open GI’s ability to deliver complex bespoke developments, particularly in the area       administration, underwriting rules, rates and documentation to be held in the
                                                           of eCommerce. IT systems are no longer viewed as a peripheral requirement for brokers, but a method               back-office and controlled online by Towergate.                                    “We are working with a number of major firms to implement X-Stream, however
                                                           of reducing costs and opening up new distribution channels. With a premium income of £40m, and a well                                                                                                Towergate is our largest web installation to date. There are currently over 1,000
                                                           defined business strategy, we are expecting Footman James to grow and add further users to the Open GI            Max Carruthers, Operations Director, Towergate, said: “This latest development     Towergate users on the Open GI system – a figure which is expected to continue
                                                           platform.”                                                                                                        with Open GI is part of a larger project to web enable all of our commercial       to increase as we work together on further projects.”

    Phillip Bell, Chief Executive, Open G I

                                                                                                                                                                                              THE AXA
    Join Countrywide This Year!
    Countrywide is embarking on a new membership drive for 2007/8.

    As the network’s existing 750 members go through the membership renewal process, Countrywide is encouraging new brokers to sign
                                                                                                                                                                                          “My clients want
                                                                                                                                                                                            exclusive home
    up in order to benefit from the extensive range of facilities on offer.

    John Dawson, Head of Countrywide, said: “We have added numerous new facilities in 2006 and will continue to do so to help brokers
    increase their competitive advantage and profits.

    “A material change in our proposition – Partner Broker – will aid customer retention and generate growth for participating brokers.
    Launched in late 2006 in excess of £6m GWP household has been commited by a select group of members and many more are expected
    to sign up as roll-out continues.

                                                                                                                                                                                            insurance with
    “As we extend Partner Broker to other business classes, the priority being Commercial Non Motor, Countrywide will be ideally placed to
    support any Open GI user looking to grow their business through market leading insurer deals and the experience of Countrywide staff.

    “With Countrywide, unlike some other networks, brokers do not have to commit large volumes of GWP or use insurers that the network                      John Dawson,
    chooses to support. They simply pay a flat fee, whilst retaining complete independence. Brokers who renew for 2007/8 can be confident                Head Of Countrywide
    that they will have access to yet more advantaged commercial and personal products and services.”

                                                                                                                                                                                          extensive features”
    If you are interested in joining Countrywide please contact Countrywide Broker Relations on 01905 754455.

    Ecclesiastical - For All Your Full                                                            Countrywide Advantage Full Cycle
    Cycle EDI Needs                                                                               EDI Private Car Product – From
    Want to spend less time chasing your insurance providers and
    more time building your business? Just look what brokers are                                  Hastings

    saying about Ecclesiastical …
                                                                                                  The Countrywide Advantage private car products have now been
      “It’s great that the staff don’t change and I have been able to build up a                  successfully trading for the last 12 months offering competitive
      rapport with members of the team.”                                                          premiums to countrywide members.
      “The Helpdesk is very helpful. Excellent service provided. Great team!”                     These products specifically quote for mainstream private car business and attract
                                                                                                  a varied level of commission rates. Policies are Underwritten by Advantage
      “I really like the Helpdesk - when you ring them, they know what they’re                    Insurance Company Limited and administered by Hastings Insurance Services
      talking about!”                                                                             Limited. Rates have been developed using sophisticated techniques to target a
                                                                                                  wide range of risks.
      “EDI with Ecclesiastical always runs smoothly.”
                                                                                                  Advantage is one of the few motor insurers to use full postcode rating, this allows
                                                               …are you one of them?

    If you already use Ecclesiastical for your EDI requirements, you’ll be well
                                                                                                  demographic data to feature extensively in the rating structure without the need
                                                                                                  for additional lifestyle questions. A consequence of this is that Advantage can
                                                                                                                                                                                        AXA Exclusive
                                                                                                  compete with direct insurers where others may be unable.
    aware of their exceptional UK-based EDI Helpdesk and claims service. You’ll
    know that Ecclesiastical has extensive systems expertise and comprehensive
                                                                                                                                                                                        A new perspective on mid net worth home insurance
                                                                                                  Advantage also uses one of the best management information systems available
    product knowledge. And you’ll appreciate their dedication to building strong                  to monitor its motor account and this enables it to precisely target segments
    and professional relationships that ensure they understand your needs and                     without having to resort to across the board rate changes.
    expectations – then surpass them.
                                                                                                                                                                                        AXA Exclusive is a new home insurance product designed                                                        research company. It’s available via EDI, so it’s quick and
                                                                                                  All claims are handled by Hastings Insurance Services on behalf of Advantage.
    If you’ve yet to use Ecclesiastical, you’re missing a great opportunity to work with          With over 200 highly experienced staff, including a number of specialist teams,       in association with brokers for people with higher value homes                                                easy to access and activate. If you need help with switching
    a provider that prides itself on going that extra mile. Willing to consider those risks       both volume and complexity of claim is not an issue. The operation also has the       and possessions. It offers identity theft cover, worldwide                                                    on to the AXA Exclusive Full Cycle EDI product, please
    that don’t fit the norm (although they can’t promise to accept everything!), they             benefit of state-of-the-art technology, including image processing.                   contents cover including accidental damage, buildings                                                         call our dedicated team on 0870 3000 705 or e-mail
    offer a product and service proposition that makes working with Ecclesiastical a
    pleasurable experience.                                                                                                                                                             cover and business equipment cover – all as standard.                                                AXA Exclusive is
                                                                                                  If you would like to find out more information, please contact Mark Jones at
                                                                                                                                                                                        AXA Exclusive has been given the highest 5 star rating for                                                    also available manually by completing a proposal form.
                                                                                                  Hastings on 01424 735719.
    Ecclesiastical would be delighted to meet with you to discuss taking the relationship                                                                                               features and benefits by Defaqto, an independent market                                                       Visit
    forward, so call them on 01452 334820 to arrange a convenient date.

    Alternatively, visit their website,, email edi_ or access through the following product codes on
    your Open GI system:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      HOME INSURANCE
                            CWIDE EIG BLUE EDI 17.5 CCE
                            CWIDE EIG BLUE EDI 22.5 CC2E

                                                                                01452 334820
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       INSURANCE                              INVESTMENTS                                 PENSIONS                           HEALTHCARE

                                                                                                                                                                                            Lines open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. AXA Insurance UK plc. Registered in England No 78950. Registered Office: 5 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1AD. A member of the AXA Group of Companies.
4                                                                                                                                                                                                          AXA Insurance UK plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority. In order to maintain a quality service, telephone calls may be monitored or recorded.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Partner Broker

    Lancaster – Developing a Classic                                                                                                                                                                              What Is Partner Broker?
    Maurice Gosney, of Lancaster Insurance Services Limited provides
    us with an insight into how brokers are benefiting from the                                                                                                                                                   The Partner Broker Initiative is about helping members win more clients.
    Countrywide exclusive Classic Car FCEDI Product.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  It is an extension of the benefits of Countrywide membership, made
    How did you find yourself promoting the Countrywide product for Lancaster?
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  available in recognition of a commitment from brokers to place minimum
    I was looking for a career in Insurance so I joined the quotations department                                                                                                                                 levels of business within the Partner Broker insurer panel.
    at Lancaster Insurance in June 2003. Having gained a thorough understanding
    of Lancaster Insurances specialist products, I decided to apply for the position
    of Business Partners Account Manager. I wanted a fresh challenge, and I was                                                             Maurice Gosney, Business
    promoted into the position in April 2006.                                                                                               Partners Account Manager,
    What does your job entail?
                                                                                                                                               Lancaster Insurance                                                                            A Partner Broker’s View
                                                                                                                                                                                 Partner Broker Update
    In brief, my role is to establish key relationships with insurance brokers throughout   criteria non-ABI listed vehicles can still be traded as FCEDI upon referral to our
                                                                                            dedicated underwriting team by telephoning them on 01480 484852.                                                                                  Karl Hanson, Managing Director of Bartlett Davies Bicks,
    the UK. I help brokers to develop their Classic Car opportunities by providing
    advice and guidance, using my specialist knowledge of the Classic Car Insurance                                                                                              ● 27 Participating Members                                   Paignton, Devon
                                                                                            How well is the product roll-out progressing?
    market.                                                                                                                                                                      ● GWP Commitment In Excess of £6m
    Have brokers been receptive to the Countrywide Full Cycle EDI product?                  Some brokers are not even aware that they have access to the Countrywide             ●    Partner Broker – Commercial Non-Motor                   “We have successfully placed 85% of some 500 household
                                                                                            Classic Car product and this is where I come in! Even when brokers are familiar           coming soon                                             new business cases via Partner Broker since going live.
    Yes – many are already realising the business benefits through reduced                  with the product I can still help, by providing advice on how to get the best from
    processing time and costs. This, coupled with the higher commission levels              the quotation engine and using in-depth risk detail to unlock more discounts. I
    available, makes the product very attractive to brokers. However, it is the scope       am happy to deal with any queries brokers may have, they just need to give me                                                                     “Partner Broker has had a major impact on helping us win
    of the vehicles that can be covered that makes this product truly outstanding.          a call.                                                                                                                                           new household business. We have always enjoyed a strong
    During the products development we realised that we had to provide brokers with                                                                                                                                                           local presence but haven’t until now had the time or tools
    a product that covered a wide range of risks, otherwise they would be unable to         So what’s next?
    meet their clients needs.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 to realise the full potential of cross selling opportunities.
                                                                                            As we approach the start of the Classic Car season, I will be continuing to visit
                                                                                            brokers throughout the UK. I will be offering help and advice regarding the finer
                                                                                                                                                                                        A Partner Insurer’s View                              With Partner Broker, not only do we benefit from increased
    So what risks can you cover?
                                                                                            points of our specialist Classic Car product, as well as providing product guides                                                                 commission and more competitive rates across a panel of
    Well of course we have a vast range of Classic Cars which are ABI listed within         and other promotional materials. It’s a case of helping brokers realise the real            “As a strategic insurer, MMA is delighted to          insurers, we also have access to free business development
                                                                                            benefits and broader potential of the Countrywide Classic Car FCEDI product.
    our product, but we also cover a large number of non-ABI listed Classic vehicles.
                                                                                            If any broker wants to discuss their specific requirements or has any queries
                                                                                                                                                                                        be part of the Partner Broker initiative. This        support.
    These typically include Motorhomes, American Cars, 4X4’s, Ex-Military Vehicles,
    Vans and Tractors provided they are over 12 years of age. Subject to underwriting       they can call me on 01480 484825 or email me at broker@lancasterinsurance.                  provides MMA with an opportunity to support
                                                                                                                                                                        Countrywide Partner Brokers with an enhanced          “Countrywide’s Business Consultants have helped us to
                                                                                                                                                                                        product offering, helping them to acquire new         generate prospect lists, monthly routines and marketing
    Quite Simply, Quote Semploy!                                                                                                                                                        customers and retain existing ones.” Derek
                                                                                                                                                                                        Plummer Commercial Director MMA.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              communications, all of which has enabled us to achieve
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              growth and increase profits. Further to this, there is no
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              increase in membership fees.”
    As part of Fortis’ commitment to continually strive to enhance their                    Phone the Semploy team on 0845 122 3293 or Email them on
    service offering, they recently re-issued their product for the self-          if you require a further copy of the Underwriting Guide.
    employed, Semploy.                                                                      On-line quotes are available on the Fortis website

    Product enhancements 2007 - A number of changes were introduced (effective              Stationery
    14 January 2007).                                                                       To order stocks of the new Semploy                                                       Future Plans
                                                                                            stationery you have  options:
    Fortis Introduced Statement of Fact on manually quoted business based on the                                                                                                     Feedback from existing Partner Broker participant’s highlights that
    information provided on a quotation document (Statement of Fact already existed         1.   Log on to the Fortis website at
    on the website).                                                                    and                                                       additional value will be gained from introducing High-Net-Worth and Non-
                                                                                                 access the on-line order form                                                       Standard facilities.
    The quotation and hold covered procedure was improved for manually quoted                    within the Agent’s section
    business ensuring contract certainty for you and your customers.                        2.   Complete the stationery ordering
                                                                                                 form and fax back to 0845 121                                                       Partner Broker Commercial Non-Motor is at an advanced stage of
                                                                                                 3015 or
    Tools cover has been reviewed and now includes mobile phones and has been
                                                                                            .   Email:
                                                                                                                                                                                     development, and launch is anticipated soon.
    extended to include Stock In Transit cover. In addition the sum insured limit
    available for Tools and Stock In Transit cover has been extended.
                                                                                            Your feedback is crucial to Fortis
                                                                                                                                                                                     Join Partner Broker
    There was a general review of endorsement wordings and a number of generic
    policy endorsements have been removed from schedules and incorporated into              when making developments and
    the re-issued policy wording. There have also been new additions under the              enhancements to their products. Should                                                   All that is needed is a minimum commitment of £250k GWP Home
    Extensions to Public Liability to offer increased protection.                           you have any comments or questions                                                       growth. To find out more contact Tim Rogers on 01905 754455 or email
                                                                                            regarding the above, please get in touch
                                                                                            by emailing,                                               
    Contact Fortis
    So why don’t you try out the newly improved product for yourself…                       contacting your Fortis Regional Sales
                                                                                            Developer, or calling the Fortis Broker
                                                                                            Support team on 0845 120 0516.

6                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             7
                                                                                                                                                                                      Moorhouse Launches CV
    Commercially Speaking                                                                                                                                                             Countrywide has reported a positive response to the new
                                                                                                                                                                                      Moorhouse Full Cycle EDI Commercial Vehicle product with 500                            Countrywide, is expecting the take-up amongst brokers to continue to increase,
    Groupama Insurances offer high quality competitively priced                           with this in mind their new product Optima Trade Plus (only available via their                                                                                                     as the launch of the Moorhouse product complements the range of Full Cycle
                                                                                          extranet) provides cover for EL, PL, Tools, Goods in Transit, Stock And Other               broker systems activated to trade in just over a month.
    commercial insurance to all Countrywide members. Not only is this                                                                                                                                                                                                         EDI Commercial Vehicle products available via Countrywide strategic insurer
    a financially attractive option but the key advantage is the flexibility              Contents and PA under a single policy for a huge list of trades and companies                                                                                                       partners. Following a number of rating improvements, the product is considered
                                                                                          with less than 8 manual employees.                                                          The product was launched via the Countrywide network in November 2006 and
    in the way you can obtain your quotes.                                                                                                                                            caters for a number of markets including non-standard occupations and couriers.         highly competitive and will enable brokers to quote in areas that they wouldn’t
                                                                                                                                                                                      Additional commission is available for Countrywide members and a rating                 normally be able to. Countrywide recognise that in current market conditions it is
                                                                                          In other areas of course they appreciate well-managed risks with a total material                                                                                                   vital that their membership continues to receive new profit generating facilities.
    In Person                                                                                                                                                                         advantage has been agreed.
                                                                                          damage and business interruption sum insured of less than £4million in any one
    The Groupama commercial team in Manchester will be happy to consider your
                                                                                          location.                                                                                                                                                                           Moorhouse is also very pleased with the partnership, as the Countrywide network
    submissions for commercial combined and property owners risks by post, fax or                                                                                                     The addition of Moorhouse to the Countrywide Commercial Vehicle panel extends
    email. They are happy to discuss enquiries by telephone before you submit a                                                                                                       the range of cover available to brokers and the number of Full Cycle EDI products       has always offered a particularly attractive proposition. With over 750 members
    formal quotation request if required.                                                                                                                                             – improving trading efficiency.                                                         virtually all trading electronically, Moorhouse has access to a significant share of
                                                                                                 Manchester Underwriting and Operations Centre                                                                                                                                the market.
    Optima On-Line
    Optima On-Line is an increasingly popular extranet service where you can get                                          Groupama House
    INSTANT quotes and cover for:                                                                                        60 Spring Gardens
                                                                                                                            Manchester                                                Fortis’ New Product For The Leisure Industry
    •    Tradesmen and Professionals - Optima Trade and Professional and the                                                 M60 1HU
         brand new Optima Trade Plus                                                                                                                                                  The leisure industry is wide ranging, forms a substantial part of the UK
    •    Shop - Optima Shop                                                                                                                                                           economy and has experienced substantial growth over the past decade,
    •    Office - Optima Office and Surgery                                                              Commercial Underwriting and Quotes                                                                                                                                         Hotels and Guest         Licensed or unlicensed and including hotels
    •    Property Owners – Optima Property (if this is declined on-line please
                                                                                                                                                                                      a trend that looks set to continue.                                                           Houses                   with conference and leisure facilities and holiday
         contact the underwriters directly)                                                                         Telephone: 0870 850 0123                                                                                                                                                                 complexes
                                                                                                                                                                                      Although Fortis already insure a large number of pubs and restaurants within its retail
                                                                                                                        Fax:0161 834 7305                                                                                                                                           Fitness Centres          Gyms, health clubs, health farms and spas
                                                                                                                                                                                      product, there are large parts of the sector that haven’t previously been specifically
    So with all this flexibility what is Groupama good at?                                                        email:                                           catered for in its product range.                                                             Public Halls             Village halls, church halls, community centres
    You will find that they are particularly competitive for the smaller business and                                                                                                                                                                                               Entertainment            Bowling alleys, bingo halls, casinos, theatres,
                                                                                                                                                                                      This gap has been addressed with the launch of their new Leisure product which
                                                                                                                                                                                      provides all of the core covers which this sector commonly requires, with total flexibility   Venues                   cinemas, concert halls, banquet and function
                                                                                                                                                                                      to change sums insured, limits and cover basis, and with the more specialist covers                                    rooms

    NIG Strengthens Its
                                                                                                                                                                                      available as options.
                                                                                          Waste Management
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Leisure Learning         Dance halls and schools, cookery schools, craft
                                                                                                                                                                                      It will meet the individual needs of a large number of brokers’ SME clients in this sector

    Relationship With Countrywide                                                         From Zurich                                                                                 at competitive terms.                                                                         Clubs                    Working men’s clubs, political clubs, ex services
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             clubs, gentlemen’s clubs, masonic lodges,
                                                                                                                                                                                      The table opposite illustrates some of the sample trades catered for.                                                  snooker clubs
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Amateur Sports           Bowling, golf, tennis, squash, hockey and angling
    NIG strengthened its relationship with Countrywide following a                        Following the involvement of HSE regulations and the subsequent                             For detais of Leisure and other Fortis products please visit the Fortis Website:              Clubs                    clubs
    recent campaign to increase business through the Countrywide                          improvements in this sector, Zurich are actively seeking Waste                    
    NIG Sovereign Product.                                                                Management risks and are able to cater for the majority of aspects
                                                                                          such as:
    In the promotional campaign, Countrywide contacted existing members who
    had a standard NIG agency. A direct mail campaign and follow-up telesales calls       •    Disposal
                                                                                                                                                                                      Countrywide Launches Broker Clubs
    resulted in more than 75% increase in take-up of new agencies using the NIG           •    Collection
    Sovereign Option product.                                                             •    Transfer stations                                                                      The Countrywide network has launched a new ‘clubs’ arrangement                          John Dawson, Head of Countrywide, said: “Countrywide Clubs are all about
                                                                                          •    Recycling                                                                              for members willing to commit to growth targets across specific                         providing recognition and reward for a brokers’ support commitment in a specific
    NIG is committed to supporting the partnership with Countrywide and promoting         •    Water treatment                                                                        business lines and insurers.                                                            business line to a specific insurer. The arrangement complements our recently
    added value to the membership base. Advances in technology and greater use of                                                                                                                                                                                             launched Partner Broker initiative, which offers the equivalent of preferred status
    the internet enable NIG and Countrywide to better understand the customer and         Policies can include:                                                                       A total of five Countrywide clubs are now available, covering Household and             arrangements across a panel of insurers. Levels of support are achievable and
    the insurance solutions they are looking for. Using the Open GI platform helps                                                                                                    Commercial Business. AXA and Fortis are the first insurers to launch Household          the benefits mean members can compete against the bigger players.”
    enhance the NIG / broker transaction, making it faster, simpler and more efficient.   •    Bespoke extensions                                                                     Clubs and Zurich the first to launch Fleet, Shops, Offices and Commercial
    For the end-customer, benefits are seen in the form of enhanced products, cost        •    Pollution cover (for sudden and identifiable incidents only)                           Combined. Further clubs will be added from other Countrywide strategic
    savings and improved customer service.                                                •    £10m PL (either as part of a package or in isolation where necessary)                  insurers.
                                                                                          •    £25m EL (either as part of a package or in isolation where necessary)
                                                                                                                                                                                      The level of support commitment ranges from £50,000 to £100,000 GWP and a
                                                                                          If you currently have an agency with Zurich Commercial then you automatically               total of 50 brokers have already signed up. The arrangement includes numerous
                                                                                          have access to the experienced team of dedicated underwriters specialising in               commission and rating advantages, in addition to those already offered by
                                                                                          Waste Management.                                                                           Countrywide. Brokers who join Zurich Commercial Clubs, for example, benefit
                                                                                                                                                                                      from increased commission, discretionary discounts, an interest free direct debit
                                                                                          If you would like any further information on this product or have a presentation            facility, and free uninsured loss recovery on Fleet cases.
                                                                                          you would like to submit to the team please feel free to contact them on the
                                                                                          following direct numbers.                                                                   ‘Clubs’ runs alongside Countrywide’s recently launched Partner Broker initiative.

                                                                                                                     Darren Mallet: 020 8722 5276                                     David Smith, Managing Director – Broker, Zurich, said: “In today’s market it’s
                                                                                                                      Gosia Boys: 020 8722 5080                                       vital to work with networks that can help brokers grow their accounts with us and
                                                                                                                     Nick Mitchell: 0207 60 5452                                     win business. Countrywide Clubs offer a wide range of benefits and realistic and
                                                                                                                                                                                      achievable targets. Members can choose to work with us on a panel or solus
                                                                                          Zurich Insurance Company is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.   basis, according to what best suits their business. The Partner Broker panel
                                                                                                                                                                                      arrangement is already proving successful and we’re expecting to see the same
                                                                                                                                                                                      for Clubs.”

8                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    9
                                                                                                                                                                              abcWhat if it’s not just you
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     that’s let down?
     Countrywide Launches 2007 Broker Clinics
     Following the success of Open GI’s 2006 Product Clinics, the Countrywide Network has launched
     a series of events for its 750 plus members.

     The one day free-of-charge Countrywide Clinics are designed to provide support and guidance on regulatory and
     technical issues.

     In 2006, over 500 brokers attended Open GI’s Product Clinics across the UK and Ireland, and similar high levels of
     attendance are expected at Countrywide’s events.

     The first Countrywide Clinic was held at Open GI’s Worcester Head-Office at the end of January. The day’s agenda
     included updates on Countrywide’s latest developments - Partner Broker and Countrywide Clubs - and a commercial
     presentation from leading insurance company Zurich. Insurance Compliance Services also gave guidance on Treating
     Customers Fairly, an area that Countrywide member research has identified as requiring further attention.

     Countrywide clinics are all about members forging closer relationships with strategic insurers to support mutual business
     growth. At the same time Countrywide are also offering free consultancy sessions around specific regulation issues.
     With the FSA having set a deadline of March 2007 for firms to have reached the “implementing” stage of their Treating
     Customers Fairly initiative, current clinics will include sessions that give practical advice to help members organise their
     business needs accordingly. Future clinics will focus on other regulatory issues, in line with the needs of brokers, and
     the FSA’s focus.

     The next Countrywide Clinics are to be held in April 2007, to find out more information contact the Marketing Department
     on 01905 754455.

     Fortis AUTOline Rescue Quiz
     In December 2006 Countrywide offered all members with Fortis agencies the chance to win £100 of High Street vouchers by completing
     the Fortis Autoline Rescue Quiz.

     There was a great response from Countrywide members and all entries with correct answers were entered into the draw, 5 winners were picked at random.

     Congratulations to:
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Find out more
     •    Anita Tasker from Denny O’Hara
     •    Simon Waring from Ryburn Brokers                                                                                                                                                         by talking to
     •    Nick Richards from Cass Stephens
     •    Debbie Allsop & Sue Symons from Reynolds Insurance Services                                                                                                                               your Zurich
     •    Simon Harris from DF Edmonds

     For more information about the Fortis Countrywide AUTOline Rescue product contact Countrywide Broker Relations on: 01905 754455.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  contact today

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            We’ll help lift your performance.
                                                                                                                                                                                                      When placing commercial cover, poor service can mean you miss out
                                                                                                                                                                                                      on much more than a good business performance. That’s why working
                                                                                                                                                                                                      with us is now easier than ever. From offering direct contact with our
                                                                                                                                                                                                      experts to providing a wide choice of packaged, bespoke and specialist

                (L-R) John Undy, Countrywide Sales Executive,                                           (L-R) Martin Cramp, Account Executive, Fortis                                                 cover, we’ll make sure winning business doesn’t stop you living your life.
                Winner Nick Richards, Cass Stephens and Mark                                            Insurance, Winner Simon Harris, DF Edmonds                                                                                                      /commercial
                      Stobbart, Fortis Account Executive.                                              and Alex Durham, Countrywide Sales Executive.

                                                                                                                                                             Zurich Insurance Company a limited company incorporated in Switzerland. Registered in the canton of Zurich No. CH-020.3.929.583-0. UK branch registered in England. No. BR105.
10                                                                                                                                                           UK Registered Office: Zurich House, Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire P01 1DU. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
The Fortis Insurance Website is Relaunched
The original Fortis Insurance website was launched in October
2001 following the inception of the company.

In those days it was a small site containing limited information with simple
design, and no dynamic content or interactivity. Over the years the internet has
evolved considerably in terms of technologies, usage and perceptions, and the
Fortis website has also grown.

Following months of work behind the scenes the site was relaunched in the
new style of Fortis branding during December 2006. It’s aim is to increase the
ease of use and functionality, as well as conforming to Disability Discrimination
Act requirements and continuing to meet FSA and ICOB requirements.

Current tools such as the Commercial On-line Quote and Policy Documentation
for download will continue to exist. In addition browsers can search for their
nearest broker accurately, all their agents can access even more information
on the secure extranet pages and in the future there will be additional options
for readers to subscribe to receive Press Releases and Job Vacancies.

If you have any further suggestions to influence the way in which the site could
evolve for the future then the Fortis Marketing team would be happy to hear
from you, please e-mail:

Visit the relaunched website at:

                                                        Sports And Social Club Insurance
                                       Specialist Cover Available To Countrywide Brokers
Towergate Underwriting Sports and Leisure is a leading specialist provider of insurance for sports and social clubs. Acting as a virtual
insurer Towergate give you quality service and expertise you can rely on.

This policy is now available to Countrywide brokers and provides your clients with the specialist cover they need - giving you a market advantage in placing sports
and social club insurance.

Along with attractive levels of commission for you, the product has been recently improved, and can offer you the ability to place business for larger clubs in addition

•    Cover for most sports clubs including football, rugby, bowls, cricket, tennis, squash, table tennis, golf, hockey, health, sports & fitness, members and social
•    A specialist golf club policy offering bespoke covers that meet the insurance requirements of commercial golf
•    A new business development team that will work with you to help you provide your clients with a quality service.
•    A dedicated claims team working in the same office providing an efficient service, and quick and accurate updates
     on any claim.
•    An Underwriting Team that can boast impressive retention rates and quality service throughout the year.
•    A Management Team with over 0 years experience writing Commercial Sports Club Insurance.

Towergate Underwriting are committed to offering Countrywide brokers a dedicated service and will give you support
to provide a tailored insurance solution for your clients. You don’t have to become a specialist – let Towergate
Underwriting provide the expertise and cover your clients need!

Towergate Underwriting Sports and Social Club insurance is underwritten by leading UK insurers giving your clients
the reassurance that their insurance is placed with secure providers with a proven claims service.

For a quotation or further details contact Towergate Underwriting Sports and Leisure on: 01708 777750 or email:

     Case Study                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Case Study

     Scheme Solutions
                                                                                                                                           “Broking is a good industry to be in, if you’re growing, profitable and streamlining processes
                                         Company Profile                                                                                   via technology. The Open GI platform has been fundamental to supporting the growth of
                                         Company Name:    Stuart Alexander
                                         GWP:             £60m and increasing (Insurance Times fastest growing broker in
                                                                                                                                           this business and is likely to continue to have a positive impact, particularly in light of
                                                          the South East in 2006)                                                          the latest new technologies now on offer."
                                         Number of Staff: 150                                                                                                                                                                           Stuart Reid, Chief Executive
                                         Company Contact: Stuart Reid, Chief Executive                                                                                                                                                             Stuart Alexander
                                         Business Focus:  Specialist scheme broker (Portfolio includes property, charities,
                                                          gun trade, medical devices, marine cargo and freight liabilities)
                                         Locations:       Fenchurch Street, London, Southampton, Bournemouth
                                         Date Founded:    199

     Stuart Reid,                                                                                                                          Open GI System Stability:
     Chief Executive, Stuart Alexander

                                                                                                                                           Since signing a long-term strategic IT contract with Open GI in 2006,
     The Issue: Bespoke solutions for specialist schemes trading.                                                                          Stuart Alexander has invested in a number of solutions to drive further
     Stuart Alexander and Open GI                                                                                                          efficiencies, including Open GI’s new Linux based platform. The platform        Tangible results / benefits:
                                                                                                                                           is now in use within many firms, chosen for its low cost, security and           • Faster system performance as a result of
     Years with Open GI: 1                                                                                                                reliability.                                                                       Open GI’s new Linux based platform.
     Open GI Solutions: Open GI Linux based platform, Scheme Toolkit, Scheme Manager, Open GI Web solutions – Electronic                   With new schemes being continually launched, it’s vital that Stuart
     Prospect Acquisition (EPA) and Advanced Prospect Management (APM), Open GI Disaster Recovery Solution.                                Alexander uses the most powerful system on the market today. Since
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Automation of renewals via Scheme Toolkit
                                                                                                                                           installing new Linux servers, more data can be handled and back office
                                                                                                                                           processing has improved significantly in terms of speed and efficiency.            has reduced batch processing to 10 minutes.
     Stuart Alexander's Objectives:                                      MTA and Renewals calculations, along with Scheme Manager
                                                                         for the creation of rate tables and postcode lists. Processes                                                                                      • Online exposure of schemes to the web via
                                                                                                                                           Open GI Reporting:
     Since the business was set up in the early 1990s Stuart             are integrated with the back-office system, reducing operator                                                                                        X-Stream opens up the Internet trading
     Alexander has grown 10% year on year both organically and           intervention.                                                     For a fast growing acquisitive firm like Stuart Alexander, the ability             channel.
     through acquisition. Referring to the business as offering all                                                                        to report on business critical data held within the Open GI system is
     the benefits of a provincial broker based in the heart of the       Automating the renewals process has had a major impact on         also vital, particularly in a regulated environment. It gives an up to the       • Enhanced business intelligence allows for
     City, Chief Executive, Stuart Reid, is very clear about their       efficiency. The business is now able to batch process 2,000       minute picture of business performance and can also demonstrate due                faster and more accurate decision making
     objectives when it comes to IT.                                     marine policies in as little as 10 minutes, where it could        diligence.                                                                         capability and performance analysis.
                                                                         previously take up to two days.                                   Stuart Reid said: “The Open GI system is great for reporting. Management
     He said: “At Stuart Alexander it has always been our intention                                                                        accounts can be extracted within a matter of minutes, as can a whole host
     to run the business from a single IT platform. There are other      Stuart Reid said: “It’s not always easy to see the time savings   of data relating to business performance. As with all firms, knowledge is
     acquisitive brokers that run systems in tandem but in my view,      across our normal day to day business processes due to the        power.”
     that doesn’t make sense either operationally or financially. We     volume of data required by insurers. It’s evident at renewal
     migrate businesses onto the Open GI platform as soon as we          however, as this is where administration could otherwise be
                                                                                                                                           The Future:
     can in order to streamline processes.                               targeted at generating new business. Moving from manual rate
                                                                         tables to fully automated processing is definitely the way we
                                                                                                                                           With a host of further acquisitions in the pipeline and a solid IT platform in place to drive and support growth, the future for Stuart
     For a business focused primarily on schemes, the use of             would like to develop the business.”
                                                                                                                                           Alexander is looking very positive. It has also opened up new distribution channels.
     Open GI’s Scheme technology is extremely important as it is
     capable of replicating the efficiencies of open market trading      Open GI Scheme Solutions and the web:                             Stuart Reid said: “The Internet is an important part of our strategy and is going to be more and more important for brokers well into
     and improves overall profitability. In the last 12 months, Stuart                                                                     the forseeable future. By enabling our schemes via Open GI technology, we can effectively generate new business online without
     Alexander has launched four new schemes, including marine           Open GI’s scheme solutions can be fully web enabled via the       the extra staff costs.
     and vocational therapies - all of which have been automated         use of X-Stream, a solution which creates a two way XML
     using Open GI’s Scheme Toolkit solution.                            link between the broker’s website and trading system in order
                                                                         to facilitate online purchase. Stuart Alexander is planning to
     Open GI Scheme Solutions:                                           implement the solution for its new dinghy scheme to exploit
                                                                         the opportunities available via affinity sites such as the RNLI
     Open GI has a range of software to cater for schemes. Stuart        and Royal Yacht Association. And also for its new Internet-
     Alexander uses Scheme Toolkit to design and maintain its own        only Flatprotect product which provides insurance for blocks
     unique data capture screens and carry out New Business,             of flats.

14                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   15
     Interface                                                                                                                                                                           To a lot of our competitors,
                                                                                                                                                                                         a house is just bricks and

     Seamless Business Continuity Planning
     As the FSA Arrow visits start again many                   to the shareholders and stakeholders at large. The          There is also, of course, the advantage to be gained
     Open GI Users will be reviewing the                        Chartered Management Institute believes that only           by letting clients know that their broker takes risk
     FSA Handbook with renewed interest. In                     49% of organisations have a Business Continuity             management seriously, to the extent of being able
                                                                Plan let alone a testable one. This despite the latest      to tell them where the broker’s new office would be if
     particular the elements within Systems and
                                                                Flood Risk analysis from the ABI and the fact that the      the worst happened and new premises needed to be
     Controls that are broadly concerned with                   UK loss averages at £450-£500 million per annum.            found. In practice, finding a new premises whilst the
     Fiduciary Duty and specifically the elements               The security services website makes salutary reading        loss adjuster surveys the smoking ruin of the office
     of Approved Person core responsibilities.                  regarding the scale of the                                                              may not be easy.
     Tucked away in section 3.2.19G is the                      terrorism risk.
     reference to continuity planning and the                                                                                                          For a start, there has to
     FSA requirements for plans (assuming they                  The FSA is following a path
                                                                already trod by the Bank of
                                                                                               “40-45% of all businesses                               be premises available to
                                                                                                                                                       lease and how long does
     exist!) to be tested as proven.

     As there are many pressing issues within the FSA
                                                                England and the Treasury.
                                                                The London Chamber of           affected by a disastrous                               it take to organise a lease
                                                                                                                                                       – 3 months? Then there is
     Handbook this subject may not come to mind
     instantly, but it is nevertheless, one of the pillars of
                                                                Commerce have made
                                                                numerous         references            event fail.”                                    the problem of cabling the
                                                                                                                                                       new office, the standard
     the FSA Regulatory Regime and it seems logical             to the lack of continuity                                                              time quoted is  months.
                                                                planning of business in the                                                            To cap it all there is the
     that providing for somewhere to go in the event of
     a disaster occurring is good business practice and a       Capital – no doubt police forces around the country
                                                                would echo their sentiments as the threat of terrorism
                                                                                                                            fundamental problem of compatibility of the new
                                                                                                                            PC’s you buy to your data and your office software
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  ...but at Groupama we believe
     key part of risk management.

     What makes this planning so pertinent is the often
                                                                is as real as ever.                                         system, It is not just about going down to PC World
                                                                                                                            and buying the latest PC’s and plugging them in!
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  home is where the heart is.
                                                                The Government has realised that any form of                                                                             At Groupama our home insurance
     quoted figure that 40-45% of all businesses affected
     by a disastrous event fail, even after a successful and    terrorism is a distinct threat to the State and the         Nor is the time honoured thought that everyone can           offers a very warm welcome.
     efficient claim process. Equally 80% of businesses         economy, but they also realise that any interruption        work from home likely to be much help either, Staff
     so affected never fully regain their previous level of     of the machinery of State or economic activity could        get bored quickly without human contact. They do not
     economic activity. With the Buncefield depot disaster      have serious implications for the Country. The Civil        have access to the files and work patterns become            Whether it’s the breadth of our
     still providing repercussions for national and local       Contingencies Act 2004 makes the point quite clear,         strained. It is very easy for them to be tempted to          cover or the caring nature of our
     businesses it is worth remembering some of the key         imposing a duty upon all Authorities and utilities to       another job if the disruption is for any significant
                                                                make provision to continue ‘business’ in the event          length of time. The Health and Safety at Work Act of
                                                                                                                                                                                         claims handling, we’re keen to offer
     facts of that explosion:
                                                                of disaster (from whatever source). The implications        course transfers the employer’s responsibility to the        a helping hand.
     •    Overall financial impact circa £5 billion             are that suppliers to Authorities and Utilities will have   staff members home in these circumstances, so it is
     •    400 businesses unable to use their premises           to confirm their preparedness to their client and so on     assumed the employer will have carried out a Health
                                                                in a pyramid of confirmation!                               and Safety at Work Act survey in advance!                    We’ve recently rebuilt our policy with
     •    25,000 employees unable to work
     •    2,500 jobs lost                                                                                                                                                                extended cover and a host of useful
                                                                What does this mean for insurance brokers? Firstly          The only real answer is to take out a contract in
                                                                                                                                                                                         extras and completely redesigned the
     Little wonder therefore that the Government is so          they have to comply with the FSA:-                          advance with a specialist providing office recovery
     keen to enshrine testable continuity planning as a                                                                     space who will ensure that you have somewhere to             way we manage claims - so it’s even
     natural part of the duty of care owed by a Director        “At the narrowest level, any significant disruption to      run your business, controlling your cash flow as a           simpler to get the help and advice
                                                                firm’s operations may prevent them from satisfying          minimum and provide for any particular IT needs you
                                                                the FSA threshold conditions and compliance with            may have.
                                                                                                                                                                                         your customers need.
                                                                the Principles for Business. More broadly, significant
                                                                disruption may directly challenge at least two of the       One such specialist is Broker Continuity Planning with       After all, our professionals are on
                                                                FSA’s strategy objectives – those referring to market       8 purpose built disaster recovery offices around the
                                                                confidence and consumer protection.”                        country and a further 9 planned. Managing Director           the front-line and not in the back
                                                                                                                            Paul Dyer has built this service with FSA compliance         office, so if the worst does occur we
                                                                It is important to note in this context that the various    firmly in mind and has already obtained exclusive
                                                                of forms that such disruption might take – as a result      BIBA partnership.
                                                                                                                                                                                         can offer a bit more than just tea
                                                                of terrorism or any other cause – is unimaginably                                                                        and sympathy.
                                                                broad. Ultimately, effective Business Continuity            It seems difficult to argue against the logic of having
                                                                Management is part of good risk management. As              disaster recovery plans incorporating work area
                                                                such, the FSA already expects all authorised financial      recovery, because it is logical, compliant, defends
                                                                                                                                                                                         So if your home insurer is losing
                                                                institutions to consider the need for a risk - based        the business and the shareholders’ assets.                   the plot, speak to Groupama.
                                                                BCM framework including an appropriate business
                                                                continuity plan. This expectation is reflected in SYSC      Paul Dyer concludes “it seems perfectly sensible for
                                                                .2.19G of the senior management arrangements,              Open GI Users to write to their clients pointing out         You’ll find us right up your street.
                                                                systems and controls module of the FSA Handbook,            that they take risk management seriously themselves
                                                                which states:                                               and in the event of a disaster their clients will still be
                                                                                                                            able to contact them at the disaster recovery location
                                                                “A firm should have in place appropriate arrangements,      specified – all to ensure continuity of service to their
                                                                having regard to the nature, scale and complexity of        valued clients.”
                                                                its business, to ensure that it can continue to function
                                                                and meet its regulatory obligations in the event of an      Of course, the office area recovery plan must be part
                                                                unforeseen interruption. Those arrangements should          and parcel of the disaster recovery plan as a whole
                                                                be regularly updated and tested to ensure their             so all businesses should have given thought to what
                                                                effectiveness.”                                             they should do in the event of an emergency.

     Buncefield Depot Disaster, December 2005
                                                                                                                                                                                         Groupama Insurances 24-26 Minories London EC3N 1DE
                                                                                                                                                                                         Telephone: 0870 850 8510
16                                                                                                                                                                              Authorised and regulated by the FSA                 A long term investment
     Interface                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Interface
                                                                                                                                                                                “When BMW Williams wanted to improve the aerodynamics of
     Living With Linux                                             By Alan Goode, Technology Writer and Analyst
                                                                                                                                                                                their Formula 1 race cars a couple of seasons ago they turned to
                                                                                                                                                                                a Linux platform.”
     Whether you know it or not, chances are that you have recently used                  So what makes a company decide to deploy Linux rather than the ubiquitous
     a service running on Linux. As Bill Weinberg, Senior Technology                      Windows? What are the benefits of using Linux and can it be trusted to run your
     analyst at the Open Source Development Labs (ODSL) states that                       core back-office systems?
     while users are unaware of it “they touch Linux every day as they                                                                                                          Linux is considered to be the flagship of open sources products and “open                Modern car engines are much more efficient at squeezing horsepower per litre
     go about their business.”                                                            Why Companies Choose Linux
                                                                                                                                                                                standards are the key to increasing choice and flexibility,” notes John Meegan,          than they have ever have been. This is also the same when running Linux on the
                                                                                          Linux has moved away from the image of an operating system that geeky IT              IBM Software Group Open Source Strategy lead. An IT environment based on                 latest Intel processors. More processing power for less outlay. Bush highlights
     Do you realise that when you search Google or make a mobile phone call, you are                                                                                            open standards like Linux, including those implemented with Open Source,                 this for the systems that were designed to help the BMW Williams team: “The
                                                                                          students play with and is now very much a mainstream, supported, enterprise
     likely to be using a service running on Linux? Bill expands this by saying “Linux                                                                                          private source, and mixture of the two, allow companies to choose solutions from         initial outlay was definitely less for the Linux system and the reason why they
                                                                                          operating system that is used by some of the leading companies in the world.
     may run in your mobile phone and also inhabit your network. When you connect                                                                                               multiple vendors and be assured that the different solutions will work together.         chose Linux as a strategic platform.
     through your local ISP, the wireless router you use to connect your notebook is                                                                                            This is opposed to more proprietary solutions which lock-in the customer to a
                                                                                          When a company is evaluating which operating system to choose and thinking
     very likely running Linux, as is your telecommunications provider”.                                                                                                        vendor and limit choice to a single vendor or a single tool, potentially limiting        Ticketmaster Streamlines Its Business With The Help Of Linux
                                                                                          of moving away from closed proprietary solutions - which may have become
                                                                                          obsolete or too expensive to run - then Linux can be an ideal solution.               integration opportunities.
     From the mobile phone to the high-end server that is running your favourite search                                                                                                                                                                                  Have you ever used an on-line ticketing agency to purchase tickets for your
     engine, Linux is everywhere. It is a serious solution for enterprise users with                                                                                            These are some of the many reasons why companies are increasingly turning to             favourite show or band? If you have, then you may have chosen to use a service
                                                                                          A Linux based system can give you the benefits of:
     some of the biggest names, IBM, Hewlett Packard, Sony, Motorola, Panasonic                                                                                                 Linux to provide a trusted platform for their enterprise IT solutions. In fact, IDC      provided by one of the world’s largest ticketing agencies, Ticketmaster – www.
     and Siemens, all offering Linux solutions.                                                                                                                                 have forecast that by 2008 the Linux industry will be globally worth £18bn and 
                                                                                          •    Flexibility
                                                                                          •    Cost-reduction                                                                   Stuart Cohen, CEO of OSDL, has gone on record to state that “Linux is forecast
     So what is Linux and how did it become a flexible alternative to proprietary                                                                                               to be the fastest growing server operating system environment”.                          As an ever-expanding global on-line company, Ticketmaster was looking for a
                                                                                          •    Rich functionality
     operating systems such as Microsoft Windows?                                                                                                                                                                                                                        cost-effective and flexible technology solution that could satisfy the demands of
                                                                                          •    Good performance
                                                                                          •    Increased security                                                               So what are companies using Linux for? We have already highlighted that many             millions of customers. In 2005 the company sold more than 119 million tickets,
     Linux – The Facts                                                                    •    Open standards                                                                   of you have used an application that is being run on Linux in your daily lives. Let’s    valued at some £bn.
                                                                                          •    Freedom from vendor lock-in                                                      take a look at a couple of case studies that provide evidence of why Linux is a
     Linux is a computer operating system based on the                                                                                                                          viable and flexible platform for running business-critical applications.                 With the help of Linux, IBM and SAP, Ticketmaster was able to reduce the
     UNIX operating system that owes its existence to a                                                              Flexibility and cost are two of the many reasons why                                                                                                number of data centres that it needed to run its on-line business from three to
     young student, Linus Torvalds from The University                                                               companies choose to deploy a Linux solution. In fact       Bmw Williams Give Extra Vroom To Their F1 Cars With The Help                             two – a primary site located on the West Coast of the USA and a backup site

                                                                 “Linux is forecast to
     of Helsinki in Finland; hence the name Linux. The                                                               a study commissioned by IBM in 2005 by the Robert          Of Linux                                                                                 on the East Coast. The Linux operating system is a flexible platform for running
     software at the heart of all subsequent releases                                                                Francis Group, an independent technology analyst                                                                                                    important commercial applications and services and this is one of the reasons why
     of Linux, version 1.0 of the Linux Kernel, was first
                                                                be the fastest growing
                                                                                                                     company, reports that Linux is 40% less expensive          When BMW Williams wanted to improve the aerodynamics of their Formula 1 race             Ticketmaster deployed it: “The ticketing marketplace is continuing to evolve, and
     released in 1994.                                                                                               than a comparable Intel-based Microsoft Windows            cars a couple of seasons ago they turned to a Linux platform to squeeze some             Linux and the SAP platform provide Ticketmaster with the flexibility to bring new
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         services on-line quickly” said IBM’s Steven L. Canepa, vice president of global
                                                               server operating system
                                                                                                                     solution and 54% less than a comparable SPARC-             more horses out of their three litre, one thousand horsepower race car. Today’s
     Linux is an Open Source Software (OSS) system                                                                   based Sun Solaris solution (i).                            modern F1 race car is so dependent on technology that you cannot even start              media and entertainment industry. He goes on to say that “The Ticketmaster
     which means that the source code of the Linux                                                                                                                              one without plugging it into a laptop.                                                                                             solution is an excellent example of the
     Kernel is available for anyone to use, modify, and
     redistribute freely.                                           environment.”                                    Kevin Galloway, a senior technologist at IBM, believes
                                                                                                                     that many enterprises choose Linux to “reduce              At the time, BMW Williams had the
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   role Linux is now playing in transforming
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   core business-solution environments.”
                                                                                                                     licensing and operating costs”. This was the case for      technology company Hewlett Packard
     A recent EC commissioned report to investigate the                                                              Open G I when developing their solutions for the Linux     as one of its top-line technology                                                                                                   There has been a cumulative snow-
     economic impact of Open Source software found that it is worth around £1bn every     platform. Mark Sollis, Solutions Consultancy Manager for Open GI, explains why:       partners which meant the team had the                                                                                               ball effect with the take-up of Linux
     year to the European economy. The report went on to say that the technology is       “As well as providing a much thinner client, to assist in larger installations, the   latest technology solutions available on                                                                                            as a platform to run critical business
     flourishing, with a “large share” of both private and public enterprises reporting   choice of Linux provides us with a more flexible platform for our solutions. Unlike   tap. They turned to an Hewlett Packard                                                                                              applications. As more and more
     use of OSS.                                                                          other operating systems, the Open Source nature of Linux gives us freedom to          XC Linux cluster to provide them with                                                                                               companies migrate their core business
                                                                                          move our operating system development at our pace. This has a positive impact         enough processing power to enable                                                                                                   solutions to a Linux platform then
     The main use of Linux is as a server operating system – in fact the analyst          on our customers as they can be buffered from potentially high-cost license fees      them to re-tune the aerodynamics                                                                                                    companies increasingly sit up and
     company, IDC, stated in 2004 that 25% of all global servers were running Linux.      and development that is driven by the technology provider.”                           of the car after each race. This gave                                                                                               examine the advantages of deploying
                                                                                                                                                                                BMW Williams an edge over their                                                                                                     Linux. This is borne out by Jorge
     There are now hundreds of companies that have released their own version of          In this competitive market place, it makes a compelling story for the financial       competitors as it greatly reduced the                                                                                               Chereque, business systems manager
     the operating system. Two of the largest vendors that have developed commercial      director if a company can reduce operating cost and at the same time increase         time it took to design, test and refine                                                                                             at Ticketmaster - “We’ve found that
     versions of Linux, are Red Hat and Novell’s Suse.                                    productivity through flexible IT solutions.                                           aerodynamic designs for the race                                                                                                    other big companies are now running
                                                                                                                                                                                car. Dr. Tim Bush, manager of high                                                                                                  Linux as the main platform. Linux
     You can even purchase a server or a desktop with Linux already pre-installed.        By choosing Linux you not only reduce cost but retain functionality that other        performance technical computing for                                                                                                 has always allowed us to run a cost
     Vendors including HP and Dell sell hardware that comes with a pre-installed          proprietary operating systems have. Linux has the same capability as other            HP EMEA stated that “BMW Williams                                                                                                   effective hardware infrastructure.”
     version of Linux.                                                                    operating systems such as Windows. It can also offer unsurpassed computing            needed a 3x speed-up in aerodynamic modelling”. The Linux solution gave
                                                                                          power and portability running on a wide array of popular processors including         them that capability. Bush is sworn to secrecy over the exact Linux solution they        With its transformation of its critical business systems almost complete,
                                                                                          Intel, ARM, AMD and NEC MPCore - It even beat a Cray supercomputer in a               developed for their client, as BMW Williams did not want it falling into the hands       Ticketmaster is better equipped then ever before to provide a total solution for
                                                                                          benchmark performance test run in 1999.                                               of their competitors, but he hinted that the Linux cluster is using “hundreds of         its customers. In addition to delivering a better environment for its end users, the
                                                                                                                                                                                processors and a low-latency, high-speed interconnect. The machine allows smart          migration to Linux is helping the company further strengthen its relationships with
                                                                                          In today’s connected world there are many security threats to consider when           guys to ask what-if questions and get their answers overnight and It dramatically        customers. Ticketmaster clearly recognises the value of Linux to its operations.
                                                                                          deploying an operating system so how does Linux stand up to them? There               shortens the development cycle. The time it takes to design and test something
                                                                                          are far less reported viruses and other vulnerabilities for Linux in comparison       and get it on the car is dramatically compressed - from  weeks to 5 days.”              Linux is a proven and flexible solution to run business critical applications. It is
                                                                                          to Microsoft Windows. This may well be to do with the fact that there are more                                                                                                 gaining popularity with business as an operational platform because it reduces
                                                                                          instances of Windows running but independent research does not think that this        This technology is also assisting BMW in improving the aerodynamics on its road          operational expenditure by reducing licensing cost, can run on many hardware
                                                                                          is the major reason. The Robert Francis Group found security levels in Linux          cars. Bush explains that “If you drive a BMW convertible at 80 miles an hour, you        platforms, improves security and offers good performance advantages over other
                                                                                          generally exceeded those of Windows. They found that Linux provided a more            get a lot less buffeting and noise with the roof down, because these guys use            operating systems.
                                                                                          secure and manageable environment out of the box with “significantly more             these kinds of simulations even to design road cars, It’s becoming a mainstream
                                                                                          functionality in terms of security integration and management.”                       technology.”

                                                                                                                                                                                (i)       TCO for Application Servers: Comparing Linux with Windows and Solaris August 2005 (Robert Francis Group)

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     Tread Carefully, Friend                                                                                                                                                        •    Meeting customers’ expectations.                                                  3. After Sales Customer Care
                                                                                                                                                                                    •    Putting things right if they go wrong and understanding why something went
     By Charles Maddocks, Insurance Compliance Services Ltd                                                                                                                              wrong to stop it happening to other customers.                                    Two areas come under the spotlight
                                                                                                                                                                                    •    Not taking advantage of your customer.
     The true meaning of the acronym TCF should be obvious to all by                                                                                                                                                                                                       Firstly claims. The FSA have conducted some thematic work on claims handling.
     now but the sentiment expressed in the title could just as easily                       •    TCF is not about being ‘nice’ to customers, creating satisfied customers or       The FSA’s own checklist splits TCF into  distinct areas. They are                     They were pleased overall, and found many good examples of fair treatment of
     come from the boys of the Canary Wharf Gang.                                                 requiring all firms to offer the same levels of service                                                                                                                  consumers. However, they found it notable that 56% of firms said that the most
                                                                                             •    TCF is not about requiring all firms to match ‘best practice’, or requiring all   1.   Management Responsibilities, Strategy & Reporting                                 common reason for rejection of a claim was that it fell outside the scope of cover.
                                                                                                  firms to follow the same bureaucratic processes.                                  2.   Sales & Marketing                                                                 They felt this might indicate that policy conditions are unnecessarily complex and
     The FSA are out and about now checking on your progress in Treating your
                                                                                             •    TCF does not mean that customers are absolved from making decisions or            .   After Sales Customer Care                                                         difficult to understand, or that the product information is unclear, or the sales
     Customers Fairly.
                                                                                                  taking responsibility for those decisions                                                                                                                                process poor. They concluded these were all reasons for senior management to
                                                                                                                                                                                    Looking at each in turn you should be able to produce evidence to cover the            want to examine their claims handling data and dig deeper to establish what it
     As we enter the third year of regulation we, as Compliance Consultants, see
                                                                                             The FSA have since offered more guidance, in particular a self-diagnostic tool         points listed                                                                          tells them about their business
     many reactions towards regulation. One of the worst at present is complacency.
     “They’ll never get round to me”.                                                        which you can find at:
                                                                                                                                                                                    1. Management Responsibilities, Strategy & Reporting                                   Secondly complaints. A complaint handling process and procedure is required
     The FSA are currently ringing 900 firms to conduct a telephone survey on TCF.           The FSA have also indicated they expect firms to travel along a TCF process                                                                                                   under FSA rules. TCF requires that you go further. Just handling complaint within
     The victims will be chosen from all registered firms at random. To quote a recent       comprising 4 steps. They are:                                                          Sarah Wilson again; “Thematic work showing poor compliance with disclosure             the timescales and deadlines established under the rules does not show that TCF
     catchphrase “It could be you”.                                                                                                                                                 rules, poor sales practices for some products etc at the very least suggests that      is embedded in the business. For our part we always recommend that complaints
                                                                                             1.   Establishing what TCF means for your firm                                         senior management good intentions are not always being translated into an              (and commendations, don’t forget) are fed back not only to the person responsible
     The survey can take up to an hour, although for one of our clients it took only 40      2.   Conducting a gap analysis to identify what areas might need to be tackled         appropriate attitude on the ground. They may also suggest that more difficult          but also to Management to decide on the cause and whether it is a one-off lapse
     minutes, and that’s a lot of questions.                                                      and when                                                                          work remains to be done – for example in the area of remuneration, where a firm’s      or a systemic failing that can be corrected to not only avoid future complaints but
                                                                                             .   Implementing change                                                               approach might be at variance with what it professes itself keen to achieve.           also improve that customer experience.
     They’ve stated that the questions they will ask will be along the following lines:      4.   Embedding TCF in the business.
     How your firm’s behaviour takes account of the needs, level of understanding and                                                                                               •    Management endorsement                                                            Embedding
     rights of your customers.                                                               It is stage 3 to which the 31 March deadline applies – firms will be expected          •    Embedded from top to bottom in your structure
                                                                                             to have completed stages 1 and 2 and be well advanced in implementing the              •    Staff involvement                                                                 The final stage in the FSA’s four-step approach is embedding. The FSA are
     •    How you market and target products and services.                                   necessary changes, in a substantial part of their business. The consequences           •    Staff competence; training, testing and sign-off.                                 expecting embedding TCF in firms should lead to noticeable change at industry
     •    How you ensure your customers are provided with clear information.                 of being found lacking are put starkly by Sarah Wilson “Unfortunately, others are      •    TCF policy – explicit and circulated                                              level.
     •    How you ensure your customers are given suitable advice.                           still at the beginning and have a long way to go – to them there is a warning: you     •    Complaints handling
     •    How you manage your customers’ expectations.                                       are increasingly being left behind by competitors who are finding commercial           •    Systems & Controls                                                                For individual firms this stage should be viewed as continuous. TCF should not
     •    Do you have your answers ready?                                                    advantage in putting consumers at the heart of their business; you will also find      •    Management Information – the FSA are working on how firms are getting on          be seen as a single step change. It’s not a “fit and forget” concept. The FSA will
                                                                                             that the FSA has less and less patience with inactivity and starts to consider              with measuring their progress so expect questions on this.                        expect TCF to be under regular review by Management. Make it part of your
     And, equally important can you prove them? The FSA have said that they will be          greater use of enforcement action.”                                                                                                                                           Compliance Monitoring Programme (CMP).
     following up some of these telephone surveys with visits “to verify the answers”.                                                                                              2. Sales & Marketing
                                                                                                                                    She goes further; “This would particularly be                                                                                          As such it will be valuable evidence of your compliance with the principle of TCF.
     Over and above this survey the FSA                                                                                             the case where a firm has failed to identify    Consider at least all the following items:                                             And don’t get caught out by the FSA’s usual follow up to any answer you give:
     have set a deadline for all firms to reach                                                                                     shortcomings which lead to consumer                                                                                                    – “show me” or to put it more bluntly “can you prove that in writing?”
     the implementation stage of TCF change                                                                                         detriment, has not developed a strategy to      •    Disclosure
     programme. The deadline is 1 March                                                                                            remedy them and has committed a serious         •    Sales process and procedures                                                      So, I say to you: ignore TCF at your peril!
     this year and Supervisors will be looking                                                                                      breach of the principle, whether or not there   •    Demands and Needs statement
     for evidence of this. We have one client                                                                                       has been a breach of a detailed rule.”          •    Personal recommendation                                                           To rely on receiving no complaints as sufficient evidence that you treat your
     who has received notice of a thematic visit                                                                                                                                    •    Significant or Unusual exclusions or limitations                                  customers fairly is foolhardy and To have no documentary evidence of all the
     to cover sales, disclosure and customer                                                                                   A comment that has been proved lately                •    Statement of price                                                                work and effort you have put into implementing TCF is risky. Remember, “It could
     documentation. Undoubtedly TCF progress                                                                                   where firms have been fined for breaches             •    Summary of Cover                                                                  be you”.
     will be part of this.                                                                                                     of this principle: A firm fined £270,000             •    Contract certainty
                                                                                                                               for breaches of principles 2,,and 6 in
     So what does it mean and what evidence                                                                                    December 2006 and another £245,000
     are they looking for?                                                                                                     in September for breaching principles 2,
                                                                                                                               and 6 (also 11 for not being open with the
     When TCF was first elevated to an Initiative
     within the FSA it was the first example of
                                                                                                                               regulator). Notice the repetition of Principle
                                                                                                                               2 (Skill, Care and Diligence) and Principle
                                                                                                                                                                                    Product Clinics Continue In 2007
     the FSA adopting a Principles based                                                                                        (Management and Control) in these
                                                                                                                               enforcement cases. The same principles               Open GI is continuing its series of Product Clinics throughout the                     The next series of
     approach to regulation. This is as opposed                                                                                                                                     UK and Ireland in 2007.                                                                Product Clinics are to
     to a prescriptive rulebook approach.                                                                                      were used when an individual Approved
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           be held in the following
                                                                                             Persons was personally fined £17,500 for client money breaches leading to
                                                                                                                                                                                    The one day free-of-charge Clinics are designed to give brokers the opportunity        areas:
     Put simply, the FSA will tell you what it is they want you to achieve and it is up to   potential customer detriment.
                                                                                                                                                                                    to explore the functionality of the Open GI system in small workshops with expert
     you to how you achieve it. As Sarah Wilson of the FSA said TCF is “an initiative                                                                                               consultants.                                                                           Chester – April
     that stressed senior management’s responsibility to focus on the FSA’s high level       So what is it and what must I do? Here are some guidelines
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Belfast – May
     principles and to use its judgment to establish how best to comply with these.”                                                                                                Last year over 500 brokers attended Product Clinics across the UK Ireland,             Manchester – June
                                                                                             TCF is not just about customer satisfaction. FSA have said that “Put bluntly,
                                                                                                                                                                                    and this figure is set to increase in 2007 with the high demand from customers         Sheffield – June
     The principle here is Principle 6 - Customers’ Interests “A firm must pay due           satisfied consumers may have been treated very unfairly (and, of course, the
                                                                                                                                                                                    ensuring that the programme continues.                                                 Southampton – June
     regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly” (my underlining)        reverse may also be true). So while we quite understand that firms will collect
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Reading – June
                                                                                             and analyse data on consumer satisfaction, it is not going to be adequate for
                                                                                                                                                                                    Although the aim is to reach even more customers than before, Open GI                  Maidstone – June
     And that is almost all you had to work on. To quote Sarah Wilson again “our aim         measuring progress against our initiative.”
                                                                                                                                                                                    specifically limits the number of places at Product Clinics. This ensures that         Chertsey - June
     throughout has been to avoid precise definitions of ‘treating customers fairly’ for                                                                                            brokers are able to ask questions related to their business, enabling them to get
     all situations but rather to challenge senior management to reflect on what it          •    TCF should cover every aspect of your business and include:
                                                                                                                                                                                    the most out of their systems, increasing the value of investing a day of their time   For more information about any of the Open GI Product Clinics please contact
     should mean in practice in their business.”                                             •    Training of staff.
                                                                                                                                                                                    to the programme.                                                                      your Account Manager on: 01905 754455.
                                                                                             •    Clear and easy to understand information for customers.
     Even the FSA’s first pronouncements on TCF were negative i.e. what it isn’t.            •    Ensuring the customer gets the right advice/product.

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     Heath Lambert                                                                            Open GI Launches                                                                       The Future’s Online for Allen & Allen
     Launches Full Cycle                                                                      Tradesman via                                                                          Specialist motor broker, Allen & Allen Group, has reported 40% growth in its on-line business in less than 12 months as a result of
                                                                                                                                                                                     utilising new Open GI technology.
     Open GI is the first software house to release
     Heath Lambert’s new range of Full Cycle EDI
                                                                                              imarket                                                                       was launched in February 2006 and is powered by Open GI’s e-Quotes engine. Their sites are now receiving between 0,000 and 40,000 hits per
     Homeline products.                                                                                                                                                              month including thousands of leads from aggregator sites.
                                                                                              The latest product on Open GI’s commercial trading platform to be
     The products are underwritten by Lloyds and cater for a range of standard and
                                                                                              integrated with imarket is Tradesman.                                                  e-Quotes is available for Private Motor, Household, Motorcycle and Commercial Vehicle and enables brokers to provide comparative quotes on the web. Utilising XML
     specialist household risks including High-Net-Worth. A Thatched Owners scheme                                                                                                   technology, the software is capable of handling significant quote volumes – a pre-requisite for brokers dealing with aggregators.
                                                                                              The product has successfully been tested with imarket and is now available for
     is to be launched soon.
                                                                                              integration. Groupama will be the first to launch Tradesman with Open GI brokers       The technology has allowed Allen & Allen to grow business without having to recruit
                                                                                              during the spring, with testing currently being scheduled with other imarket           additional staff, as they exploit the electronic interoperability that combines their on-
     In developing Full Cycle EDI products with Open GI Heath Lambert expect to
                                                                                              insurers.                                                                              line distribution with their traditional business using the tools available from
     more readily exploit market opportunities and extend their broker distribution.
     It is also in line with their strategic imperatives of maximising potential market                                                                                              Open GI.
                                                                                              imarket and SME development continues to be a priority for Groupama.
     opportunity with minimum distribution costs. Open GI brokers represent a large
                                                                                              Integrating with a major software house like Open GI on a key business line is         The web is proving extremely important for Allen & Allen. They are working closely
     proportion of the market and electronic trading reduces business cost throughout
                                                                                              an important development. One which will help Groupama maximise the benefits           with aggregators and Open GI to integrate the functionality of the core Open GI
     the value chain.
                                                                                              of e-trading across a large, predominately commercial broker base. Groupama            system within their website. As e-Quotes is XML based, the quote process takes
                                                                                              is keen to drive forward product availability via imarket. They feel that the portal   place on their web-server. This allows them to handle massive quote volumes.
     “At Heath Lambert we offer competitive rates, underwriting                               gives brokers the power and flexibility to compete and will have a positive impact
     flexibility and a referral service, giving brokers the opportunity                       on the way insurance is transacted in the future.                                      Allen & Allen are exploiting their combined knowledge of the motor market and
     to increase their competitive advantage. We are also able to                                                                                                                    Internet and as a result are building a very successful distribution channel. They are
                                                                                              Integration between the Open GI platform and imarket portal adds value for             planning to launch further sites in the near future covering additional product lines
     accommodate many non standard and small and medium
                                                                                              Open GI users as it avoids time consuming duplication of data. Open GI continue        and are looking at Open GI’s on-line extended Quote & Buy solution.
     commercial risks that may not be available via the system.” -                            to work closely with insurers to expand the range of business lines available.
     Victor Wild, Divisional Director, Heath Lambert.                                         Groupama’s Tradesman adds to Open GI’s current portfolio of imarket integrated         The uptake of e-Quotes continues to increase. Three to five years ago, the Internet
                                                                                              products – Commercial Combined, Shops and Offices.                                     was a new concept for many brokers but now it is in commonplace use for both
     Open GI is also pleased to be the first in the market to add Heath Lambert                                                                                                      marketing and sales generation. Allen & Allen is one of Open GI’s biggest internet
     products to their Household quotation engine as it adds yet more choice for Open                                                                                                partners and their latest figures prove testament to the volumes of on-line business
     GI brokers, particularly in niche areas. The last 12 months have seen a significant                                                                                             that can be written by brokers in a relatively short time without additional staff
     increase in the number of insurers developing Full Cycle EDI Household products                                                                                                 costs.
     and Open GI expect the trend to continue.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            , Allen And Allen’s Online Quote
                                                                                                                                                                                     Open GI made the decision to utilise XML technology some time ago, listening to                          Comparison Tool For Brokers
     This is the first Full Cycle EDI development of its kind for Heath Lambert and is part                                                                                          their customers and recognising the need to provide an on-line quotation solution
     of the company’s strategy to improve trading efficiency for brokers. Applications                                                                                               that would support the potentially large quote volumes that could be driven into
     from new agents are encouraged and no minimum support is required.                                                                                                              broker sites by aggregators.

     Motorcycle Quote Checking Facility Now Live                                                                                                                                     Kerr Henderson Pilots New Open GI Platform
     Open GI’s Automated Quote Checking facility is now live across all business lines following the addition of motorcycle rates with                                               Open GI’s newly launched user interface, Open-i, has generated positive feedback amongst brokers in the first month of going on pilot.
     Chaucer Insurance.                                                                                                                                                              The interface has been designed using the latest Java® and Microsoft.NET® technologies and is launched on the broker’s desktop via a browser. This makes the
                                                                                                                                                                                     system more attractive and intuitive for staff, introducing ‘point and click’ operation without taking away any of the existing core functionality.
     Open GI business lines already covered include Private Car, Household and Commercial Vehicle. The facility enables insurers to test thousands of risks in a matter
     of minutes prior to the release of rate updates - maximising accuracy and removing manual administration.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Open-i is on limited release at a number of firms; currently there are 1,790 users across 75 sites including Belfast-based Kerr Henderson (General Insurance Services)
     Take-up continues to increase with new insurer business lines being added every month. Chaucer is the first insurer to go live on motorcycle and Norwich Union is
     currently in development.
                                                                                                                                                                                     For Kerr Henderson, Open-i is a significant step forward in the evolution of the Open GI system, providing a new and
                                                                                                                                                                                     improved screen-based working environment for their staff. Whilst the look and feel of the system is very new, all of
     Chaucer became involved in the new development as they are always looking for ways to maximise process efficiencies through greater automation. As a result Open
                                                                                                                                                                                     the functionality is still there, which means that existing users can get to work straight away without any training. Within
     GI’s Automated Quote Checking facility has enabled Chaucer to significantly increase the volume of testing carried out across all of their business lines.
                                                                                                                                                                                     Open-i familiar key strokes can be used, but now most commands are also mouse driven. This is a major benefit
                                                                                                                                                                                     when introducing new staff as they can get to grips with the system more easily. Kerr Henderson has also seen further
     There has been a significant increase in the number of insurers committing to Open GI’s Automated Quote Checking (AQC) in recent months and the trend is expected
                                                                                                                                                                                     benefits of the intuitive screens, having found that staff feel that they can do more with the system as less frequently
     to continue. Open GI continue to work in partnership with insurers to allow the facility to be delivered on a free-of-charge basis.
                                                                                                                                                                                     used areas of functionality are opened up.
     To find out more about Open GI’s Automated Quote Checking facility please contact Phil Hampton, Insurer Operations Manager on 01905 754455 or email
                                                                                                                                                                                     Kerr Henderson is currently in the process of updating many of their internal processes in order to streamline workflow
                                                                                                                                                                                     and improve efficiency. The latest software from Open GI is playing a major part in this programme, as virtually all of
                                                                                                                                                                                     their administration can now be carried out from the Open G I platform.

                                                                                                                                                                                     There have also been additional benefits in implementation times; with Open-i being an interface rather than a
                                                                                                                                                                                     completely new system, disruption is negligible. Open-I is proving itself to be a risk free way that existing Open GI
                                                                                                                                                                                     brokers can gain further competitive advantage without having to make a large capital outlay. It also makes the whole
                                                                                                                                                                                     Open GI platform a compelling proposition for any brokers that are currently considering changing software supplier.              Open-i Client Screens

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     eCommerce Q & A                                                                                                                                                 Xpro Targets Open GI Brokers
     With Simon Hughes, Sales and Marketing Director, Open GI
                                                                                                                                                                     Document management solutions provider, Xpro Service DMS, is expanding its presence in the UK broker market by partnering with
      As more consumers are choosing to buy insurance online, the number of brokers engaging with                                                                    Open GI.
      the internet as a channel for business is steadily increasing. There are a number of solutions now                                                             Xpro’s TokOpen solution is fully integrated with the Open GI platform allowing for fast retrieval of client documents. Brokers can achieve significant cost savings with
      available allowing firms to get the best out of their websites and compete other non-intermediary                                                              on average six-months return on investment and considerable space savings by removing filing cabinets.
      players. Open GI’s Sales and Marketing Director, Simon Hughes, answers some frequently asked                                                                   The solution’s centrally managed workflow maintains document and user security and future-proofs the organisation against the FSA’s changing legislation regarding
      questions.                                                                                                                                                     storing documents. An onsite hosting and scanning service is also available.

      What solutions does Open GI offer for brokers wanting to                     What’s the most                                                                   This is Xpro’s first partnership of its kind with a software house and increases the range of document management solutions for Open GI brokers.
      set up an ecommerce site?                                                    efficient way of                                                                  John McIntyre, Xpro Services DMS General Manager, comments: “We are delighted to be partnering with a market leader like Open GI. With a customer base of 2,000
                                                                                   setting up an                                                                     firms, it provides us with an opportunity to increase our presence significantly over the next decade.
      We offer an end-to-end ecommerce solution for both scheme broking            ecommerce site?
      and open market products. e-Quotes is available for private motor,                                                                                             “Xpro’s solutions deliver a return on investment to brokers in terms of months rather than years, and close integration with the Open GI platform can push administration
      household, motorcycle and commercial vehicle and enables brokers             Implementing a solution                                                           savings to well over the 50% mark. Added to this, space savings accrued can often avoid an office move.
      to provide comparative quotes on the web. Policy administration,             which     integrates  the
      underwriting rules, rates and documentation are held in the back-office                                                                                        “Xpro’s unique approach to project planning and high quality solutions ensure client expectations are met time-after-time. Being highly competitive on cost - 25% less
                                                                                   broker’s website and                                                              than competitors – has also had a positive impact on business wins.”
      and controlled centrally whilst the broker has access to the facilities in   back-office system is the
      real-time from the Internet.                                                 most efficient method of                                                          Simon Hughes, Sales & Marketing Director, Open GI, said: “The addition of Xpro to our panel of document management providers adds yet more choice for Open
                                                                                   deployment. It allows the                                                         GI brokers. With over 80% of their business in the UK insurance market, they fully understand brokers’ requirements and have an enviable track record of providing
      Utilising XML technology, the software is capable of handling significant    provision of comparative                                                          solutions that deliver on price and performance.”
      quote volumes – a pre-requisite for brokers dealing with aggregators.        quotes from a panel of
      It can also be extended to include an on-line quote and buy facility. X-     insurers, via the brokers’
      Stream and Scheme Toolkit on the other hand is a powerful combination        quote engine.
      of technology that allows brokers to web enable their commercial
      schemes. After all, part of our responsibility as a software house is to     Can you offer clients
      give brokers the right advice about technology, including costs and
                                                                                   the facility to pay
      implementation timescales.
      Is it expensive to set up an ecommerce site? Do brokers                      Our e-Quotes solution can
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Monitoring The FSA
      underestimate the costs?                                                     be extended to include a
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Contract Certainty and Client Money Handling have featured heavily as discussion points for the broking
                                                                                   Quote & Buy solution to
      The cost varies according to what the broker wants to achieve. They may                                                                                                                             community recently, with the FSA considering how they might monitor these two areas of concern.
                                                                                   allow brokers’ customers
      want a simple web presence or a fully functional channel for business                                                                                                                               Open GI has been tracking the debate, and in preparation for the eventuality that brokers may have to
                                                                                   to complete their purchase on-line, subject to insurer agreement. The
      with on-line payment. At Open GI, we work closely with the broker                                                                                                                                   report their activities in this area, significant developments have been made to the Open GI core platform
                                                                                   feedback has been positive.
      and offer consultative advice to help them understand exactly what’s                                                                                                                                Regulation Software.
      involved. We provide project management throughout the process to
                                                                                   What are the benefits for brokers in setting up an                                                                     As with all regulatory software development, Open GI has released these enhancements well in advance of mandated requirements
      mitigate against any cost / time overrun.
                                                                                   ecommerce site? Can the internet really achieve business                                                               being placed on brokers to meet the demands of regulatory reporting. This will enable those with the software ample time to
                                                                                   volumes?                                                                                                               familiarise themselves with the workflow and reporting systems involved.
      Are small brokers engaging with the internet?
                                                                                                                                                                                                          In terms of Contract Certainty, brokers will be able to record the date that terms have been agreed and precisely when evidence
                                                                                   A number of our brokers are achieving literally hundreds of thousands
      Generally we have seen a significant increase in the number of smaller                                                                                                                              of cover was issued to the insured. This will be applicable for both retail and commercial clients at both new business and renewal
                                                                                   of internet quote requests per month, typically via aggregators, without                                               stages. The software will also identify the number of policies that have not yet achieved Contract Certainty. Brokers will then be
      brokers engaging with the Internet as a channel for business. Undoubtedly,
                                                                                   having to recruit additional staff.                                                                                    able to selectively report on these items.
      one of the reasons for this is that the costs have decreased. It’s cheaper
      now to set up an ecommerce site as there are more web companies
                                                                                   It’s also worth noting that the internet is not just about selling new business                                        The FSA has also suggested that it is to review the handling of Client Money, targeting brokers failing to carry out Client Money
      competing for the same business. Equally, the rise of the aggregator has                                                                                                                            calculations or to track money held within broking chains.
                                                                                   on-line, it’s about giving existing, loyal customers the opportunity to shop
      helped brokers mitigate the costs of web marketing.
                                                                                   with their preferred broker, via another method.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Enhancements within Open GI’s Regulation Software will allow brokers to differentiate between Client Money (as defined by the
      Who do you provide ecommerce solutions for?                                                                                                                                                         FSA) and Insurer Risk Transfer Money. Indicators will be added against each insurer for information and reporting purposes and
                                                                                   Do you offer a solution that caters for aggregators?                                                                   for inclusion in correspondence. This will significantly aid any Client Money calculations performed within the Open GI system.
      Because we offer a range of ecommerce solutions to cater for a variety
                                                                                   At Open GI we acknowledged some time ago that we would need                                                            The upgraded version of the regulation module is currently on limited release, with general release imminent. Brokers holding
      of needs, we deal with some of the largest players in the market (e.g.
                                                                                   to provide a solution that would support large quote volumes as a                                                      licenses of the regulation module should look out specifically for release version 4.00F. As with all upgrades license holders will
      Towergate) as well as the smaller provincial broker and everywhere in                                                                                                                               receive these enhancements to their core functionality free of charge as part of Open GI’s commitment to continuous product
                                                                                   consequence of aggregators - hence our early decision to use XML
      between. Ecommerce is not exclusive to one type of broker.                                                                                                                                          improvement.

24                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               25
Solutions for Successful Brokers                                                                                                                                                                                             Interface

         Take a good look at the comprehensive suite of products available from Open GI and
                                                                                                 Open at BIBA : One
             you will find a tremendous depth of functionality behind our new intuitive, easy
                                                                                                 To Watch                                                                               Open GI Partners Triumph At
                 to use interface. You, the broking community contribute continually to the                                                                                             Insurance Times Awards 2006
                                                                                                 Open GI will be celebrating its first
                                                                                                                                                                                        Open GI would like to congratulate Fortis Insurance, DAS Legal
                      development of Open GI solutions, a process of consultation and            anniversary as a new company at this year’s
                                                                                                 BIBA Conference, following its MBO from
                                                                                                                                                                                        and Grove and Dean who were all winners at the 2006 Insurance
                                                                                                                                                                                        Times awards.
                                                                                                 Misys on 29th March last year and subsequent re-brand on 25th
                            continual evolution resulting in the most functional and             May.                                                                                   The 2006 Insurance Times Awards were held in Birmingham on the 8th
                                                                                                                                                                                        December, to celebrate industry achievements.
                                                    relevant broking management solution         Both Open GI and the Countrywide network will be showcasing major product
                                                                                                 developments and new initiatives at stand C25. This includes the new desktop           Brokers Grove and Dean (t/a Performance Direct), based in Essex, were winners
                                                                                                 user interface, Open-i, an end-to-end ecommerce solution and commercial
                                                                       available to you today.   registers solution, as well as Countrywide’s new Partner Broker initiative.
                                                                                                                                                                                        of Broker / Intermediary Innovation of The Year.

                                                                                                                                                                                        DAS Legal Expenses won Legal Expenses Provider of the Year, the 18th
                                                                                                 Whether you sell online or face-to-face or have a single office with a small team      Insurance Times award DAS has collected.
                                                                                                 or run a multi-site operation, Open GI and Countrywide have a solution that can
                                                                                                 bring real business benefits. We can help you streamline processing, open up           Fortis Insurance proudly picked up awards for Commercial Lines Insurer of the
                                                                                                 new distribution channels and deliver competitive advantage in a constantly            Year and Motor Insurer of the year, for the fifth year running.
                                                                                                 changing market.
                                                                                                                                                                                        Barry Smith, CEO, Fortis Insurance, said: “2006 was an exciting year for Fortis,
                                                                                                 There’s also good news for coffee lovers. Our award-winning Barrista is back           with the launch of two new products, Care Home and Leisure and the popularity
                                                                                                 and ready to freshly prepare your favourite complimentary tipple from lattes and       of our light Commercial Vehicle product, Van Guard, which has seen over 20,000
                                                                                                 espressos to mochas and americanos.                                                    policies written in the first nine months of operation.
                                                                                                 So if you want a top quality coffee to give you a boost or a top quality solution to   “We take this opportunity to say thank you to our business partners for their
                                                                                                 give your business a boost visit stand C25 : The one to watch in 2007.                 continued support and to our staff for their hard work and loyalty.”

                                                                                                 Come And Have A Go If You                                                              Finance Finesse - Improved
                                                                                                 Think Your Hard Enough!                                                                Premium Finance Handling
                                                                                                                                                                                        The next generation of Premium Finance software is now on
You can achieve greater business efficiency with Open GI. Realise your
                                                                                                 The Open GI football team are offering a challenge to all brokers
                                                                                                                                                                                        general release from Open GI. Version 1.00W now includes key
                                                                                                 to attempt to beat them at the beautiful game.
                                                                                                                                                                                        improvements that help smooth the process of setting up client
                                                                                                                                                                                        direct debits.
aims, contact our business development team on 01905 754455 or
                                                                                                 After a recent win against Footman James the team are confident that they can
                                                                                                 take on any Open GI Broker.
                                                                                                                                                                                        The Open GI Premium Finance module is a fully integrated part of the Open GI
                                                                                                 Captain Jason Wheelhouse, Account Manager, Open GI, said: “After a slow                platform. As such the software offers the key benefit of single point data entry quoting reference MD566-07 and arrange for                                  start to the season the Open GI team have finally found their form. We want
                                                                                                 to challenge all brokers to take on the Open GI Team if they think they can
                                                                                                                                                                                        – saving users time and money through reducing errors. It also offers integrated
                                                                                                                                                                                        payment reconciliation, within the core Open GI system. All payments and
                                                                                                                                                                                        accounting records are processed within the back office, linked to providers
                                                                                                 beat us!”
                                                                                                                                                                                        using Electronic Data Interchange. Automated reconciliation of accounts, allows
       our experts to talk to you about your business needs.                                     To organise a match against Open GI contact Captain Jason Wheelhouse
                                                                                                 on 07786 274512
                                                                                                                                                                                        transactions to be processed rapidly. Discrepancies are isolated and reported on

                                                                                                                                                                                        Now in the latest release, which is free to license holders, additional features
                                                                                                                                                                                        have been added that allow users to lookup bank details based on sort-code.

Solutions for Successful Brokers
                                                                                                                                                                                        This has the dual benefit of speeding up the Direct Debit process, but also helps
                                                                                                                                                                                        improve accuracy as details are automatically completed.

                                                                                                                                                                                        All of the major Premium Finance providers are integrated with the Open GI
                                                                                                                                                                                        system – including: Close, Finsure, Kaupthing Singer & Friedlander, Premium
                                                                                                                                                                                        Credit and Premium First

                                                                                                                                                                                        Amber Credit is also due to release their integrated product this quarter.
                                                Buckholt Drive, Warndon, Worcester, WR4 9SR                                                                                             As well as saving you time and money, integrated premium finance also offers
                                                            T 01905 754455 F 01905 754441                                                                                               the opportunity of access to an additional revenue stream for brokers with many
                                                                                                                                                                                        providers allowing flexibility of charges and enhanced commission rates.

                                 user group
                                                                         Sky’s The Limit For Open GI
               Customer                                                  Open GI has beaten its 2006 charity target by raising over £8,000 for County Air

               Development Groups                                        Staff at the company pledged to raise at
               Another year, another set of challenges. As a survivor    least £,500 for the Midlands charity during
               of 43 years in the insurance industry I can well          the year, to which the company would add
               understand those among us who have decided to call        a further £,500 if the target was reached.
               it a day. It certainly does not get any easier.
                                                                         Fundraising activities included a sponsored
               The Open User Group has managed to buck the trend of      leg wax, balloon race, call red week,
               reducing numbers by increasing its membership over        and Wimbledon and World Cup themed
               the last couple of years to over 600. As a result Open    competitions.
               GI continue to recognise our growing importance in
               the development of software and consult with us on a      Annie Newell, County Air Ambulance, said:
               regular basis regarding enhancements to the system.       “We are delighted with the amount raised
               We can safely claim to have had a major influence on      by staff at Open GI. County Air ambulance
               the latest updates and there are more to come.            relies solely on public contributions
                                                                         therefore it’s vital to have the support of
               Open GI hold regular Customer Development Group           large local companies to ensure we can             Phillip Bell, CEO, Open GI (Centre
               meetings (CDG’s) to discuss round the table the needs     continue to provide this service to people      Right) Presents A Cheque To County Air
               of users and how best to satisfy those needs. The User    across the Midlands.”                              Ambulance Paramedics And Pilot.
               Group is represented on every CDG and in most cases
               have requested them, In 2007 we have asked for a CDG      Phillip Bell, CEO, Open GI, said: “Thanks to the support of our 300 staff we have once again
               on the Writer products. If you do have any requests       exceeded our fundraising target. County Air Ambulance is an extremely important organisation and
               for topics for a CDG please e-mail me on: jfregan@        we are delighted to be able to help them provide a life saving service.
      or write to me at the address below.
                                                                         “As one of Worcester’s largest employers we have a responsibility to the community in which we
               The major benefit of membership of the User Group         work, which is why each year staff vote to support a particular charity. This year we are pleased to
               is, of course, the escrow agreement which gives us        extend our support to Acorns Children’s Hospice.”
               the rights to the source codes of the software should
               anything happen to Open GI. Obviously, that would be      Acorns Children’s Hospice currently care for over 500 life-limited children from across the West
               a Doomsday scenario but we have a fund set aside          Midlands and Three Counties. They offer a network of care services through its three hospices in
               to enable us to create a holding company should the       Birmingham, Walsall and Worcester.
               need arise. If you were not a member of the User Group
               in such an event you would not get further updates or     The Acorns community team provides support to the whole family at home, 24 hours a day, seven
               support.                                                  days a week. It costs £4,500 per day, per hospice, to provide these services free of charge to
                                                                         families, and Acorns receives less than 10% of its funding from the government, relying almost
               Let me end on a happier note. The User Group and          entirely on community donations. Acorns has helped well over 1200 families in the last 18 years.
               Open GI are working together more closely than ever
               before. This is for the benefit of all of you. Always     For more information about Acorns visit:
               remember that Misys, of fond memory, and thus Open
               GI, did not become the biggest because they were the
               most expensive but because they were the best. All
               these fancy Windows based products may look better
               but they do not have the functionality of the
               Open GI platform. If you pine for a mouse then try the
               new Open-i.

               Open GI User Group
               Gresham Chambers
               14 Lichfield St.
               WV1 1DG
                                                                                                                                              Play Area At Acorns
               T: 01902 426363                                                                                                                Childrens Hospice,
               F: 01902 426565

               John Regan
               Open User Group Chairman

                                                                Published and produced by:                              Edited by:

                       Interface                                Open G I limited
                                                                Buckholt Drive, Warndon, Worcester, WR4 9SR
                                                                                                                        Anna Pass, Caroline Hardiman and Jon Dipple.

                                                                T 01905 754455 F 01905 754441                           To contribute to Interface telephone Marketing on
                                                                W                                      01905 754455 or e-mail:

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