Aug 03, 2020

Scottish insurance broker Blackford builds momentum with senior hires and Aberdeen office opening

 

Scottish independent insurance broker Blackford has confirmed its long-term commitment to the market in the north by recruiting industry veteran Chris Tosh to its board of directors.

 

The firm, which specialises in business risk, was founded in Glasgow in April 2019 and opened its Edinburgh base a few months later. As part of its rapid national growth strategy, it today (Monday, 3rd August 2020) moved into Aberdeen’s Marischal Square development.

 

Since the pandemic lockdown started in March, 38 companies across Scotland have switched to the values-led firm. Its portfolio includes a wide range of organisations in technology, professional services, construction, renewables, oil and gas and many other industry sectors.

 

Mr Tosh, a technical and compliance insurance specialist with more than 35 years’ experience, joins as a group director and will lead the development of Blackford’s Aberdeen operation. He previously held senior roles with insurer, RSA, and north-east broker, Central Insurance Services. He was most recently head of UK Underwriting at Marsh Commercial. Since 2018, Mr Tosh has also been a member of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) technical committee.

 

Also joining the Aberdeen operation from Marsh are Pamela Mackintosh and Maureen Stewart. Mrs Mackintosh joins as client manager having previously fulfilled client service director and head of affinity positions in Scotland during her 29 years at the firm. Mrs Stewart, who has worked in the insurance trade for four decades, was previously a commercial team leader at Marsh in Aberdeen. She takes up a senior broker position at Blackford, taking the collective experience across the new Aberdeen team to more than 100 years.

 

Chris Tosh said: “I’ve admired the progress Blackford has made in such a short space of time and I’m very honoured to be able to lead the new Aberdeen office. The company has quickly established an exemplary reputation since it was founded just over a year ago and, as a result, has enjoyed 100% client retention since October.

“Pamela and Maureen have a superb track record in advisory and, having worked together for many years already, we have very quickly established a robust team. Our focus will be to enhance Blackford’s portfolio with clients in the construction, oil and gas and renewables sectors, which are key to the economy in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has changed businesses culturally and economically, without a doubt. We intend to be in the Granite City for a very long time which will help to ensure a national presence for Blackford – advising clients in areas stretching from Argyll to Aberlour, and Selkirk to Shetland.”

 

Blackford’s founder and managing director Tom Aldridge, said: “While responding to coronavirus has been challenging for everyone, we are in a strong position to continue with our expansion plans and drive our business forward across the north of Scotland.

“Clients are looking for an informed, uncomplicated approach that leaves them properly protected; where policy coverage and the broker’s technical competence are the priorities. This has never been more relevant as we navigate a hardening insurance market – where insurance prices are rising – and in the midst of an uncertain and difficult trading environment.

“As a former head of sales for Aon, Marsh and Central Insurance, it may seem a little ironic to adopt a strategy that doesn’t incorporate a true sales focus but I strongly believe that by getting the service and protection part right allows us to attract like-minded clients by way of reputation and referral.

“Securing Chris to lead our Aberdeen base is a real coup. He is one of the most technically adept brokers in Scotland and, coupled with the talents of Pamela and Maureen, we have a really strong team who share our company ethos and values. They are a great asset to the group, and we are very pleased to welcome them to Blackford.”

 

Blackford is backed by James Hallam, one of the UK’s leading independent brokers, and a small group of private investors.

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Blackford is a trading name of Blackford Group Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference 831508). Registered Office: Blackford Group Limited, 26 Charlotte Square, Edinburgh EH2 4ET (Registered SC616744). Blackford Group Limited is an Appointed Representative of James Hallam Limited, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Firm Reference 134435).

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