Commercial motor specialists Plan Insurance Brokers were winners on Thursday night at the Family Business of the Year 2016. The prestigious Family Business United Awards Gala Dinner took place at Mayfair Hotel, London on 2nd June, celebrating the contribution family firms make to the UK economy.
The Surrey based brokers picked up the People’s Choice Award for best family run firm in London & South East region. The awards are in their fourth year and are hosted by Family Business United, a much valued magazine and resource centre for UK family businesses.
Origins of Plan Insurance Brokers
Plan was established 25 years ago by Peter Georgiades and his eldest son, Scott. Peter’s remaining two sons Ryan and Grant joined the business over a decade ago and have helped it to grow steadily. From their Purley offices Plan specialise in commercial motor insurance - motor trade, chauffeur, taxi and haulage being their main markets. Peter stepped back from overseeing proceedings in 2001 but still enjoys servicing a book of loyal clients. He explains what the award means to him,
“It’s probably the Greek in me but I’m incredibly proud of what Scott, Ryan and Grant have managed to achieve. They’ve grown the business whilst maintaining the principal of personal service and placing customers at centre of what we do.” Peter Georgiades, Founder and Chair
Gold standard service
Plan closely monitors their customer service and are confident in their processes and staff training to employ external rating company Feefo. As a result, all of their customer feedback is made public. This openness has helped Plan build a trusted reputation for providing outstanding customer service and quality cover. The evidence of this is in their award, winning by a public vote.
What made Plan stand out?
The award was voted for by the public from a short list of nominees. To be eligible for the vote Plan had to be selected by a panel of judges. As well as a customer centric approach Plan’s management team believes that their success can be attributed to five key areas:
Strong Brand – The brothers realise that it’s not just about designing a logo. As commercial vehicle insurance brokers, Plan’s entire company ethos is geared towards helping to keep UK businesses motoring by minimising the chances of being off the road and unable to earn.
Technology – Fresh ideas and enthusiasm has been bought to the company and makes Plan stand out - with a dynamic management team that sees value in digital services and bespoke IT systems, streamlining processes and engaging in social media.
Innovation - Cycling is something the family are incredible passionate about. Recognising a gap in the market for specialist cycle insurance, Yellow Jersey Cycle Insurance was launched 18 months ago. Already they are working with Team Wiggo (Bradley Wiggin’s race team) and Matrix Fitness (Laura Trott’s race team) and are continuing to go from strength to strength.
Thought Leaders – Plan is establishing itself as a thought leader within the commercial motor industry providing expert opinion and advice in areas of regulation.
Charity Sponsors – The Plan team supports numerous local, trade and national charities through fundraising and other activities.
Managing Director Ryan Georgiades shares his thoughts on receiving the award,
“It goes to show just how much family businesses mean to the public. It demonstrates the power of social media - we had over 400 likes and re-tweets when we mentioned we'd been shortlisted! I think that's fairly unheard of; people don't tend to want engage with commercial insurance brokers in their free time. If you give a high level of service your customers will value you. We owe a massive debt of gratitude to our hugely dedicated team.”
The importance of Family Businesses
Winners came from numerous business sectors and from across the country. The Family Business Awards celebrate the contribution of all types of family firms make to the UK economy including engineers, hoteliers, bakers and funeral directors. Bagnalls, a nationwide decorating business from Shipley in Yorkshire were ‘painting the town red’ after being crowned Supreme Champions.
Plan were the only winners from the finance services industry although the event was sponsored by Close Brothers Asset Management and PWC.
Paul Andrews, Founder and Managing Director of Family Business United revels in the diversity of the awards:
"We are delighted to be able to pull together such a vibrant bunch of family businesses, some that have succeeded for numerous generations and continue to thrive, and others that are relatively young but have great values at the heart of what they do."