Gauntlet Marks 10th Birthday of AR Network with Inaugural Awards

The Gauntlet Group’s appointed representative (AR) network, Gauntlet Enterprise, celebrated its tenth anniversary, and Gauntlet Group’s 25th birthday, with inaugural awards for Gauntlet’s dedicated ARs.

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 award for ‘Best New AR’ went to Mark Monk, director of Gauntlet Hallmark and head of Gauntlet Group’s southern office.  Mark, based in Essex, has proved to be driven and extremely successful in his target market of bus and coach insurance, in the south, leveraging past experience acquired over seven years at Wrightsure, to start to build a very dynamic business.

The glass trophy for ‘Most Improved AR’ went to Shepton Beauchamp-based Dean Holloway, of Holloway Gauntlet Insurance Services, who has worked hard in within his local area, networking, building relationships with referrers and embracing the world of web-based content marketing, all to his advantage in his second year.

The ‘Best Team Player’ award was presented by Gauntlet Group’s managing director, Roger Gaunt, to Katherine Brooks, director of Blackpool-based Gauntlet Fylde Coast, in recognition of her success in utilising Gauntlet’s in-house risk management function and cross-selling risk management services to her clients.

The award for ‘Best Marketing Campaign’ was won by Sheffield-based Actus Insurance, whose two directors, Sam Leeder and Paul Taylor, have used social media as a strategy that continually puts their business in the public eye.  With Sam and Paul having made their own YouTube version of ‘East 17’s’ huge hit, ‘Stay Another Day’ last Christmas, complete with lyrics tailored to the world of insurance, the success was much-deserved and applauded by other Gauntlet ARs.

A surprised, Jas Sidhu of Oolu Insure in Nottingham scooped the award for ‘Most Innovative Thinking by an AR’, based on his innovative risk management idea of using new technology and GPS, to track the movements of workers on construction sites, so as to enhance their safety.

The final award of the night was the big-ticket ‘AR of the Year’ accolade.  Despite there being many contenders, this title was seized by Mark Spearpoint, of MQ Brokers, who has made a huge success of his insurance business, yet always manages to find time to network and support his peers within Gauntlet Enterprise.

Fittingly, Gauntlet’s first Appointed Representative, Newcastle-based Alan Oliver, whose interest in running his own brokerage led to the foundation of the Gauntlet AR network back in 2009, was in attendance.  The same was true of Gauntlet’s first ever underwriter – Paul Broadbent – now of Pen Underwriting, but at the time working for GRE.

Paul was one of several insurers who took the opportunity to brief the Gauntlet conference, after an introduction from Roger Gaunt and AR business development consultant, Nigel Law.  Joining Paul from Pen Underwriting, to brief attendees on services and new products, was Nick Newland, whilst other speakers were Simon Lloyd, Head of Broker Development at Eaton Gate, Matt Jackson and Tom McCarthy of Zurich, James Dickinson at Active Claims Solutions and Gauntlet’s sales director, Andy Parkin.

But the six successful ARs recognised with trophies were not the only winners at the Gauntlet AR Conference 2019. 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.

Meanwhile, the final trophy of the event – the Casino Royale Award – awarded to those with the most chips left in the Gauntlet casino at the conclusion of the AR conference 2019, went to Gauntlet’s PR consultant, Jane Hunt of Catapult PR, and Andrew Stubbs.

Gauntlet’s managing director, Roger Gaunt, said: “Our annual AR conference just keeps getting better and better and our 10th anniversary was celebrated in a spectacular way, due very much to the hard work of our Quality Assurance Manager, Glyn Arundale.  We have enjoyed a vibrant, fun, informative and groundbreaking event, launching our new AR awards to celebrate a landmark year for our network.

“We have plans for significant growth in the next six months and shall be announcing several new ARs before the year is out.  Our network is not just growing but also attracting high-fliers who wish to follow in the footsteps of hugely successful appointed representatives like Mark Spearpoint, using them as inspiration. This is why our AR Conference, which brings new brokers within our network together with inspiring people like Mark Spearpoint, Mark Monk, Jas Sidhu, Sam Leeder, Paul Taylor, Katherine Brooks and Dean Henderson, is so valuable for our network development.”

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