Insurance broker Parker Norfolk and Partners has made a range of senior hires to build its expertise within trade credit and political risk.

Alan Wallace, the CEO of the Lloyd’s of London-registered brokerage firm, says it “will continue to add headcount and move quickly in doing that”.

Originally a motor fleet insurance broker owned by Miles Smith Insurance Group, the company has gone through a rebrand and change of focus after it was acquired by Wallace and his business partner Tracey Anderson in August 2017. Parker Norfolk will now offer structured trade credit and political risk insurance brokerage services.

Wallace came from a role as head of insurance services at Bank ABC, and before that worked with RK Harrison, International Risk Consultants and Infocheck. Anderson, who serves as Parker Norfolk’s managing director, was previously with RK Harrison for a decade, and before that with International Risk Consultants for 14 years.

Now heading up Parker Norfolk together, the two have opened offices in London and Birmingham and made six new hires.

These include Rupert Cutler (pictured) and Richard Bishop, who both joined the firm in mid-May as directors of financial and political risks.

Cutler specialises in African risk with clients in Europe and North America. He comes from a similar role at Price Forbes & Partners, and previously worked for Newman Martin and Buchan, where he helped set up the financial and political risk division.

Bishop focuses on Islamic insurance and reinsurance. He was most recently an independent consultant, before which he was the CEO of Cobalt Insurance Holdings, a sharia-compliant broker which he co-founded in 2012. Bishop previously worked with the likes of Besso, Lovat Insurance Brokers and GNL Insurance.

Rob Farquharson and Laura Ferguson, meanwhile, will join Parker Norfolk on June 6 and 11 respectively, as directors of trade credit. Both come from Marsh’s trade credit team, where Farquharson held the role of development executive and Ferguson was practice leader.

Peter Dalton will join as Parker Norfolk’s COO on June 19. He is currently chief risk officer at Besso, and previously worked with Cooper Gay for more than 16 years.

The appointments follow that of Cathy Brayne, who was hired in March as Parker Norfolk’s client services manager. She joined from Howden Group, where she was a client executive for 12 years. She previously worked with Marsh and Barclays, among others.

Speaking to GTR, Wallace says Parker Norfolk will not be looking to compete with the market’s big players, but rather take a specialist approach based on the specific experience of the new team members.

“There is no sense in us attempting to have an enormous bandwidth and trying to slug it out with the likes of JLT, Arthur J Gallagher or BPL,” he says. “There are lots in the herd and they are all queued up bumping into each other. So the idea is to try and be innovative, do something different and generate new revenue for the insurance market in London from our collective thought process and experience.”

As such, Parker Norfolk will take a regional focus, specifically on Africa and the Middle East, “although we will accept the wider theatre that comes to us”, Wallace says.

Bishop adds that the team will be looking to actively engage with its clients to come up with new solutions. “There is a mismatch between the way the insurance industry thinks its clients want to be engaged with, and the way that the clients should be engaged with. That’s an opportunity for us, to actually engage as partners in trying to solve their problems and help them do more business, rather than just being a supplier of a product every now and then. You have to add value to the whole proposition,” he tells GTR.

While initially operating in the area of trade credit and political risk, the intention is to expand into other disciplines, which will involve more hires and possibly also more acquisitions. “We’ll grow this business on selectively chosen multi-lined capabilities. Our next step, I imagine, would be reinsurance, then we’ll move into retail insurance,” Wallace says.

The acquisition of Parker Norfolk was completed through Altra Consultants and funded by Maven Capital Partners, a private equity fund.