Insurance broker Bruce Stevenson hails premium year

From left: CEO Edward Bruce and finance director Mark Dallas. Picture: Stewart Attwood.
From left: CEO Edward Bruce and finance director Mark Dallas. Picture: Stewart Attwood.
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Edinburgh-headquartered insurance broker Bruce Stevenson has reported growth in all of its main financial metrics – including a skyrocketing of operating profit – as it looks to ink further acquisitions.

Bruce Stevenson was established in 1981 by the father of current chief executive Edward Bruce. The chartered broker, which says it is the largest firm of its kind in Scotland, now has 100 people working across five offices – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Galashiels, London and Turriff.

The Leith-based firm – which offers insurance broking and risk management services for business and private clients – has reported record revenue of £7.6 million for the year to 31 August, up from £7.1m in the previous 12 months.

Operating profit was up by 85 per cent and gross written premiums (GWP) overtook £36m, up from £33m.

It also in 2019 made a “significant” investment in IT systems and the integration of Turriff-based Youngson Insurance Consultants, a bolt-on acquisition completed in the last quarter of 2018 to strengthen its offering in Aberdeen and North-east Scotland.

Edward Bruce said 2019 “was a challenging year for businesses in Scotland and across the UK and many of our clients were not immune to feeling the pain”. He added: “In uncertain times, we have benefited from providing security and reassurance for our customers and this has translated to a strong set of results.”

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The independent broker said that while renewable energy and social housing represent its two largest industries, growth has also been posted in the likes of Scotland’s food and drink industry “where the distillery scene has represented one of Bruce Stevenson’s fastest-growing sub-sectors alongside B&Bs and self-catering accommodation”.

Additionally, commercial, property, private client, art, and farming and estates remain key for the firm.

Recognition

Edward Bruce continued: “The firm is now making a name for itself over a wide range of sectors not only in Scotland but across the UK and we’ll be looking to build on this position over the next couple of years.

"We will continue to focus on our customers, our people and our relationships with insurers nationwide to ensure we stay ahead of the curve. We’re determined to be both the ‘broker of choice’ and the ‘employer of choice’ in Scotland.”

Finance director Mark Dallas said: “We grew all of our main financial metrics – revenue, operating profit, net assets and GWP – in 2018/2019, and have made a strong start to the current year.”

The firm, a founding member of the industry UNA Alliance, accelerated with organic growth, investing in its people and technology, “and has achieved regular annual double-digit revenue growth”. It also said its senior management team will “continue to actively consider further growth in niche areas and by way of acquisition”.

Bruce Stevenson announced in October 2018 that it had acquired Youngson Insurance Consultants after the former closed out its most recent five-year growth plan. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Edinburgh firm added at the time that Youngson Insurance Consultants, with a team of seven in Turriff, added about £2.5m in GWP.