Gauntlet’s Springboard 2023

Our Springboard event was held in March, at the Novotel, Leeds, and followed the blueprint set in 2022, by being a superb kickstart for our Appointed Representatives, in the first quarter of the year.

Over 50 attendees came to this sales and growth-focused event for our ARs and we had presentations from both insurer partners and Acturis. This event also turned the spotlight onto the sales opportunity presented by private medical insurance and we welcomed a very insightful presentation by AXA, who took us through their commercial PMI offering.

Our AR partners left the event fired up and ready to explore new growth avenues, knowing that their AR network is there to provide buying firepower and in-depth broking and operational support, whenever required.

Gauntlet’s Juncture Event, 2023

Having seen the huge success of Springboard, we decided that a new mid-year event should be added to our AR development and training calendar, to help inspire second-half performance of our Appointed Representatives. The event was held in June, at the Chequers Hotel in Newbury and was an ideal location for our ARs in the south of England, in particular.

However, the idea of gaining new inspiration for sales and growth mechanisms also attracted Appointed Representatives from further afield and their decision to attend paid off. This highly focused event provided an opportunity for in-depth discussions and networking, creating a different type of event in the calendar.

Everyone valued the presentations from Iprism, AXA and Aviva, with the latter helping to turn the spotlight on to opportunities within the sphere of cyber insurance. Suffice to say, following its success, Juncture is here to stay!

Gauntlet’s Annual Appointed Representative Conference, 2023

Our Annual Conference was held at Weetwood Hall in Headingley and had its usual magnetic appeal for our Appointed Representatives nationwide. Keen to mingle and get together with peers in the network, as well as Gauntlet’s HQ team, ARs travelled many miles to be at the event, with many also wishing to not miss out on the latest news from the AR network that never stands still.

We enjoyed some great insurer presentations from Qlaims and MSL Legal Expenses and the event also provided the first opportunity for ARs to hear about all the schemes and support available to them, as a result of Gauntlet joining the Brokerbility network.  Brokerbility representatives provided a strong insight into all the advantages of being a network member and suggested some of the new developments in the pipeline.

The afternoon session saw everyone becoming super-sleuths and CSI investigators, donning white CSI suits and investigating a murder scene with great gusto, as if a mega prize on Channel 4’s ‘Murder Island’ awaited!

The evening saw the part of the programme that everyone had been waiting for – the annual Gauntlet AR Awards! This year’s triumphant sextet were as follows:

Client Champion: David Bulmer, David R Bulmer Associates

David is proficient at keeping on top of the needs of a large number of clients, who frequently make changes to their policies throughout the year. He utilises his in-depth knowledge of all clients, to make sure this process is seamless and goes above and beyond, to help them out, all of the time. This is one of the key reasons why his book of business has been so successful. Once he gets a client on board, and they see what he and Gauntlet can offer, he very rarely loses them, as the level of service is differentiated from the ‘norm’.

Best Use of Marketing: Actus Insurance

Actus are prolific on LinkedIn, posting regular videos of Sam & Paul discussing all things insurance, so as to help create a basic understanding of products amongst a business audience. They have also run a “Meet the Team” initiative on social media, in which all the team gave facts about themselves, to help build even more rapport with clients. It’s great to see this team profiling and also observe how the Actus team is growing, under Gauntlet’s AR network umbrella.

Team Player of the Year: Rob Evans, Gauntlet South East

Rob has absolutely flown since coming out of his covenant last year. He continues to do his own broking, rather than using Gauntlet’s broking support, as he enjoys it so much. He does everything with a smile and has managed to acquire some big clients along the way. He has great expertise and always takes the time to listen and help others by sharing his knowledge. This is invaluable peer support, as his compliance knowledge, in particular, is profound. He excels in so many different areas and is proof of what you can achieve as an AR, in a short space of time, with the right knowledge, the right attitude and the Gauntlet family at your side.

Best Use of Acturis: Richard Hanson, Hanson Insurance Brokers

Richard has embraced all that Gauntlet’s provision of Acturis can offer and mostly does everything on Acturis himself. He is, however, always happy to share his knowledge and help others in the Gauntlet family. He always takes on board new processes as they emerge and are developed, being very much ahead of the pack when it comes to maximising the benefits of the tailored elements that Gauntlet has developed in conjunction with Acturis. He then expertly tailors the process to suit himself and his business. His compliance on each file is very strong and he never has any problems with mastering the superb IT capabilities.

New AR of the Year: Stuart Marshall, Ovalmere Ltd

Since Stuart de-authorised and joined Gauntlet as an AR, he has worked non-stop to learn Gauntlet’s systems and procedures. He manages most of his own workload and only asks for assistance when needed. He’s always a breath of fresh air and absorbs learning like a sponge. His compliance is brilliant on all files and he manages all his aged debt with ease. He also lets us know if he thinks we can better any of our processes, so we can fine-tune the Gauntlet AR Network and make it the very best it can be – our continual goal. Stuart’s business has gone from strength to strength at Gauntlet and he has already more than made up the percentage he pays via the commission split, thanks to far better access to market, cutting-edge IT, sales lead support and more.

AR of the Year: Roger Smith, Smiths Insurance Brokers

Since Roger Smith de-authorised & joined Gauntlet in February last year, he has been an absolute pleasure to work with. After spending years building up a loyal client base (many of whom he now calls friends), he consistently proves he will do everything he can to stick up and show up for them. He gets on with absolutely everyone he meets and mucks in as much as he can within the network. His confidence has also grown exponentially since joining Gauntlet and he’s become really efficient in using Acturis. He’s just a gem to have in the Gauntlet AR family and is reaping huge rewards, due to his grasping of opportunities.

AR Networking

We believe it hugely important for our team and our AR broker team of appointed representatives to come together, on a regular basis. This allows us to problem-share, benefit from each other’s knowledge and also ensure best practice is in place across the network.

Our appointed representatives really appreciate the opportunities that we provide, which are:

Annual Conference

This takes place in the autumn and is a full day of learning and networking fun. The morning session typically features insurer presentations and this is followed, after lunch, by teambuilding that has taken a large number of forms over the years. From there, we progress to dinner and the presentation of our annual AR Awards. Many of our appointed representatives, especially if travelling from Scotland, Wales or the south, stay over the night before and are able to socialise with some of our head office staff, who they typically also see the next day, at the official conference.


Springboard takes place in the first quarter of the year and involves both head office staff and appointed representatives. It is a one-day event that is all about super-charging sales and inspiring ARs with knowledge. It features presentations from insurers and other business partners.


Juncture is our mid-term event, held in the middle of the year, to inspire great Q3 and Q4 performance and growth. Again, we involve both insurers and business partners and look at a range of opportunities that have come on to our radar.

Take a look at some details of specific events held, in the summaries below.

2022 AR Conference

Gauntlet Appointed Representative Conference, Leeds

September 2022 saw the annual Gauntlet Appointed Representative Conference taking place in Leeds, with a bumper attendance of appointed representatives from across the UK, all eager to network, learn about the latest ways to maximise their earning potential from new insurer products and solutions and share best practice.

The conference started with an inspiring opening address by Gauntlet Group’s managing director, Roger Gaunt, who is continually championing the future of Gauntlet’s local AR brokers, by strengthening their hand within the market via dynamic solutions and compelling buying power.

The event then encompassed morning presentations from some of the insurers and organisations with whom Gauntlet regularly places business – Pen Underwriting, Eaton Gate, Citynet and Qlaims.

From there, it was time to create new bonds between the network’s dynamic local brokers, with this achieved through a fun ‘Minute to Win It’ afternoon activity, focused on completing a range of challenges within 60 seconds.  Working in teams, appointed representatives and members of their support team at Gauntlet HQ threw themselves into a quest for victory.

The evening featured dinner and socialising, plus the ever-popular Gauntlet AR Awards, which this year were awarded as follows:

New AR of the Year – James McDaid, Gauntlet McDaid Insurance Group (top image, left)

AR of the Year – Rob Bradley, Bradley Gauntlet Insurance Brokers (top image, middle)

Best Use of Acturis – Magna Insurance Brokers (top image, right)

Client Champion of the Year – Tim Hinchcliffe, Gauntlet Lancashire (second image, left)

Best Use of Marketing – Craig Oakes, Oakes Insure (second image, middle)

Team Player of the Year – Rick Matthews, Touchwood Insurance Brokers (second image, right)

All in all, another superb and memorable Gauntlet Group Appointed Representative Conference, which has driven our dedicated local brokers further forward and provided more tools for their continued growth.

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Gauntlet’s 2021 Appointed Representative Conference

The 2021 Gauntlet AR Conference fused game-changing announcements and insurer presentations, with challenging puzzles, comedy, networking and, the highlight for many – the 2021 Appointed Representative Awards.

This jam-packed one-day event took place at The Old Swan Hotel, Harrogate against a backdrop of a mini September heatwave and with support from insurer Hiscox, IT software solutions provider, Acturis, and Willis Towers Watson Networks.

Favourable weather assisted the outdoor Crystal Maze-style challenges, although puzzled faces were just as evident on the balance beams and obstacle courses, as around the indoor brain-teasers, which included giant Rubik Cube building and ‘bomb detonation’.

Gauntlet’s Appointed Representatives had already heard how they can be beneficiaries of a UK appointed representative network first – an online quote-and-buy facility, available to all Gauntlet ARs.  All were already totting up the additional income they could accrue, thanks to this brilliant new e-trade facility, developed by Gauntlet in conjunction with Acturis.

With more reasons to be cheerful thanks to gala dinner entertainment, comedian Nick Page, all that remained was to crown the Gauntlet AR Award winners 2021. Many congratulations go to Richard Hanson of Hanson Insurance Brokers in Mirfield, Yorkshire (Best Use of Acturis Award), Dean Holloway of Holloway Insurance Services (Best Team Player), Rob Bradley of Bradley Gauntlet Insurance Services (Client Champion Award), Sam Leeder and Paul Taylor of Actus Insurance (Best Use of Marketing), Nathan Waters of Waters & Co Insurance Services (New AR of the Year), Nathan Pedley of New Era Insurance Services (Resilience Award) and the AR of the Year, Katherine Brooks, of Gauntlet Fylde Coast.

The Gauntlet for outstanding AR network performance in 2022, has certainly been thrown down.

Click here for the full story and pictures.

10th Birthday Celebrations, Harrogate, 2019

The annual Gauntlet AR conference, held at The Crown Hotel, Harrogate, saw six appointed representatives picking up much-deserved awards, recognising various qualities that help ARs succeed with their business dreams.

The afternoon event consisted of four ‘Apprentice’ style challenges – designing a logo, designing and modelling a fashion range to promote the brand, creating and taking 12 photos for a brand calendar and devising and mixing an on-brand cocktail.

The winning team, who were hired and not fired, were Andrew Stubbs of Gauntlet Stubbs, Mark Spearpoint, Harrison Law of Solihull Insurance Brokers, Rick Matthews of Touchwood insurance Brokers, Zurich’s Matt Jackson and Tom McCarthy, and Gauntlet Head Office employees, Darryll Leach, Patrick Hinchliffe and Emma Crawford.


Some Stars Are Born, Harrogate, 2018

On the back of a very successful AR Conference in 2017, we were somewhat worried about being able to deliver an equally successful event in 2018, but needn’t have been. Our ‘Commercial Break’ event not only equipped some of our ARs with key skills that businesses need in the digital age, but also provided valuable product training from our insurer sponsors, in a format beyond the norm, but one that was very focused on the unique selling points of policies and ways in which to communicate them.

‘Commercial Break’ could now be renamed ‘A Star is Born’ given the enthusiasm that our ARs put into making their own commercial videos that were all intended to advertise one of our insurer’s products.

The day was split into two parts, with Rudding Park in Harrogate being the venue for the daytime element and Cedar Court Hotel that for the evening extravaganza. The premise of the day was simple – split the group into four teams and create a TV commercial based on the brief given by the four sponsoring insurance companies, Allianz, Chubb, Hiscox and Chubb.

Another Fine Mezze, York, 2017

It’s probably not every Appointed Representative network that would give their AR away-day a Laurel and Hardy theme with a twist, entitling it ‘Another Fine Mezze’, but then we’re not any other AR network!

As our ARs will testify, this year’s AR teambuilding and peer networking event was simply heaps of fun and not a shambles, despite taking place in York – known for that particular thoroughfare.  With over 40 attendees, we split our AR my of conference goers into three groups, setting each three challenges to complete during the course of the day: a Mezze cookery challenge at York Cookery School; a treasure hunt around York and a fiendish escape-room mission at GR8 Escape!

All three caused merriment, manoeuvres of the clever, considered and ‘creative’ kind, and many modes in which to mingle.  There’s an ‘M’ theme here, as you may note, because, when the scores on the doors were announced, it was Gauntlet director Ian McCarron’s team that smashed it, largely thanks to picking up 10 bonus points for completing the treasure hunt in record time – some compensation for his team members who ran, rather than walking the course!  How they deserved that pay out!

With plenty of opportunity to wind down over dinner at Revolution, all ARs agreed this was the best AR event yet, just leaving us with the conundrum of how to top this in 2018!

Netwalking, Yorkshire Dales, 2016

Our second Appointed Representative network event took place in September 2016 and was all about ‘netwalking’ in the stunning Yorkshire Dales. Our ARs enjoyed briefings on a mountain side and were each put into different groups throughout the day, so that all could work together, bond and share their experiences, in a fun and relaxed way. Our event endorsed the view that creativity and ideas-generation is boosted when out and about in the natural environment and ARs left with many ‘nuggets’ of knowledge that could be used in their individual businesses.

Weetwood Hall, Leeds, 2015

Gauntlet’s first Appointed Representative conference took place at Weetwood Hall, Leeds, in September 2015, and gave ARs, from across the country, the opportunity to come together, learn of the latest support systems available from Gauntlet and hear of new developments from participating insurers. Above all, the mix of formal and informal networking allowed ARs to gain peer support and share best practice, demonstrating how an AR is never on their own when they are part of Gauntlet Enterprise and members of its Appointed Representative network.

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