Unbiased, wide-ranging knowledge – on your side


We have a wide reaching and well-founded knowledge of the insurance sector, providing you with unbiased and carefully tailored advice on what’s right for your company, or public body, with over 20 years’ experience working with corporate entities, large companies, and local authorities, large and small.

Our founder, John Birkenhead, has worked in the insurance industry for 30 years, qualifying as an actuary 25 years ago and has extensive knowledge of all aspects of insurance, from working for insurers, consultancies and audit firms.

He speaks in plain English and maintains client relationships over many years; most of our current clients have been with us for more than 10 years, as our forecasts (of reserves, premiums and insurer insolvencies) haven proven to be right, often in the face of opposition (and libel threats!) from the insurers involved.

We tell you what you need to hear, not what others want you to hear.

We pride ourselves on saying the things that other advisors can’t (or won’t) say; our top 10 messages to clients in the past have been:

  1. You are buying too much insurance
  2. You are paying too much for your insurance
  3. Your policy is an off-the-shelf policy, inappropriate for you
  4. You can safely self-insure classes of business X & Y
  5. Your insurance company is too weak to be selling that class of insurance to you
  1. High excesses are not appropriate for you – your claimants have no security
  2. You have been badly advised by your broker, over many years
  3. You are marketing your risks in the wrong way
  4. Your data is poor and needs cleaning up
  5. Your claims trends are poor, thus you need to market your risks in a different way

Our top 10 most common projects with clients in the past have been:

  1. Identifying excessive reserving for past risks, releasing funds for more future risk taking/less insurance purchase
  2. Helping clients understand core risk metrics (eg frequency of large claims)
  3. Helping clients understand their ELCI, RTA and S144 exemptions [now removed] from statutory covers
  4. Scoping, managing and delivering an assessment of the client’s Expected Maximum Losses to set appropriate cover limits
  5. Helping clients understand the benefits of non-insurance (IPT-free) solutions (loans, Bellwin Scheme, existing reserves, LOIs etc)
  1. Designing optimal insurance programmes (XS/AGGS) and cover limits per claim, per event and per year
  2. Providing estimated premiums (and negotiation tactics) before broking
  3. Designing Solvency II-friendly insurance renewal submissions, attracting new insurers
  4. Scoping, managing and marking tenders for new insurers and new brokers
  5. Identifying AML (anti-money laundering) issues for public sector insurance placement

We are proud of the fact that we build robust, long-term solutions for clients, spending considerable time building the essential “foundations” first before even contemplating insurance purchase as a solution.

All of our advice is confidential (we don’t need to contact any of your insurers or brokers) and can be provided without disturbing your existing relationships with insurers and brokers.

Of course, once you have seen the results of our work, you may see possibilities which do not involve your current insurer or broker.

We can assist with all aspects of tendering for new providers in these areas

We don’t work with everyone, and indeed remove clients from our list if they are not fully engaged with us.

Our ideal client:

  • understands that good, independent advice costs money, but is worth it in the long-term
  • is looking for a vendor-neutral advisor, who has no financial interest in any solution architecture (captive, mutual etc) nor in any insurer or broker
  • is not looking for small premium reductions – these should be achievable by your broker, at no additional cost for their service
  • is not looking for quick fixes/quick premium reductions – risk is a complex subject and requires time for appropriate communication, debate and risk management changes
  • appreciates that a thorough, robust insurance transformation can take 9 months or more; we drive transformational change based on clear step-by-step analysis, not by quick fixes
  • is open to new ideas, new ways of working, new public data sources and new management information controls

“Ask John to perform his version of search and destroy on your premiums”

“Ask John to perform his version of search and destroy on your premiums”