Tony Knight of business insurance broker Knightsure celebrates 25 years in business, with the construction industry providing many of his clients.
From sub-contractors at building sites to publicly-listed companies, he's arranged millions of pounds of peace-of-mind insurance cover to businesses across the country.
Tony Knight is marking 25 years after setting up insurance brokers Knightsure in 1990, the year John Major became Prime Minister following Margaret Thatcher's dramatic resignation.
His first customer that year, which also saw the infamous Poll Tax riots and Britain tipping towards recession, was a haulage firm with 80 vehicles.
Now the specialist, who works from his office at Locks Heath, near Southampton in Hampshire, has nearly 260 clients on his books.
Many are from the construction sector – from developers and builders to trades and architects.
Winning Awards in 2015
Knightsure's silver anniversary comes hot on the heels of receiving an award from the insurance industry's bible, Insurance Times.
The trophy, for excellence in commercial broker e-trading, was presented to Tony by TV personality Rob Brydon amid loud applause; a one-man operation outshone a finalist with thousands of staff.
Tony's largest annual premium to date – £177,000 – comes from the construction industry, covering employer's and public liability, fleet and heavy plant. The largest current client turnover, at £45m, is from the communications sector.
He said: "The 25 years have flown by, with digital technology powering to the front of how business is done in our industry. What has always remained a constant over that time, however, is the fact that you have to get under the skin of each potential client, with face-to-face chats, in-depth research and insight."
"That way, you understand a client's needs and requirements, including compliance issues, in a way that is difficult to convey over the phone or through email."
"It's about giving peace of mind to clients, covering eventualities which might not have been flagged up by them unless your homework was done. In turn, customer loyalty is engendered because they know you are looking out for them."
Here’s to the Next 25 Years
Tony's firm focuses on the middle market, with annual premiums averaging between £10,000 to £25,000 and turnovers of typically around £5m and more.
In a career spanning 46 years to date, one of the more unusual requests for Tony involved the insurance version of carrying coals to Newcastle.
He arranged cargo cover for the transport of 75,000 tonnes of coal, imported from the United States as part of an emergency stockpiling measure during the acrimonious 1984 coal miners' strike.
Tony added: "Fast-forwarding to 2015, the British economy appears to be in fine fettle, with record employment, historic-low interest rates and negligible inflation, which means people's spending power is greater, with a palpable sense of confidence in the air.”
"Knightsure's clients, across many sectors, are all reporting that same optimism, a welcome counterbalance to the debilitating aftermath of the economic downturn back in 2008."
You can visit Knightsure’s award winning online presence at www.knightsure.co.uk