Following a £1.5m refit, teams from across its existing Wakefield branches have come together into larger, fully refurbished premises at Phoenix Court, from where clients of all size, type and location will be supported.
Wakefield Councillor Darren Byford, responsible for economic growth and regeneration, joined Gallagher employees at the official opening event to ‘cut the ribbon’ and declare the new regional office open for business.
Gallagher is already one of Wakefield’s largest employers, with more than 200 people based at the Phoenix Court office, including a 55-strong UK IT hub. In addition to housing teams that support local businesses of every size and type with their risk management and insurance needs, Wakefield is also home to Gallagher’s national ‘Brand Partners’ operation which manages affinity relationships with some of the UK’s biggest brands. The newly refurbished offices have scope to accommodate up to 270 employees, in line with the broker’s regional plans for growth.
Gallagher’s roots in Wakefield date back over 25 years with sustained levels of business growth enjoyed in recent years. Over the last 5 years, the Wakefield teams have grown their revenue organically by nearly 22%, with client retention during that period exceeding 95%. The broker has also made some key strategic appointments in the region since the start of the year, welcoming Amjad Akhtar to the team as regional broking director, and James Murray, who has joined Gallagher as branch director to head up operations in Leeds.
To celebrate the occasion, head of branch, Andrew Brown, and Managing Director of Brand Partners, David Birch, were joined by Gallagher’s CEO of its UK Retail division, Michael Rea, who met with employees and department heads to see how the team is benefiting from the new facilities. The business has invested significantly in increasing its communications capabilities at Phoenix Court, installing state-of-the-art IT, TV and teleconferencing services, additional meeting rooms, and upgrading colleague and welfare facilities.
During the course of the day, employees at the new branch raised funds for Wakefield District Sight Aid, a charity that supports people living with sight loss, totalling £1,466. A representative from the charity attended the event to accept the cheque from the team.
At the official opening, Councillor Byford commented: “The launch of Gallagher’s brand new regional head office signifies an exciting milestone, not only for the insurance broker, but also for the city of Wakefield. The impressive facility will bring exciting additional jobs to the region and will be a valuable asset to local businesses, large and small, looking for additional support with their risk management and insurance needs.”
Alongside Councillor Byford, the Gallagher team - which is also the proud title partner of Premiership Rugby - were joined in their celebrations by Nic Dolly, Johnny Leota and Marland Yarde from the Sale Sharks, who talked about the shared values between rugby and insurance where risk is evaluated, embraced and turned to positive effect. They mingled with the Phoenix Court employees and posed with them alongside the Gallagher Premiership Rugby trophy, which also travelled to the event.
Andrew Brown, Wakefield Branch Director at Gallagher, said: “We already employ 250 insurance professionals in Yorkshire, across our Wakefield, Sheffield and Leeds offices, with over 200 in Wakefield alone. This investment will see Wakefield become an increasingly important commercial hub for the region, while giving us the space to press ahead with our strategic development plans and create opportunities for future business growth.”
David Birch, Managing Director of Brand Partners at Gallagher, added: “This investment in the new Yorkshire hub is fantastic news for all our colleagues. Wakefield has been a great location for us. On average, colleagues have been with the business for more than 10 years, and the region continues to provide new talent to support our growth. That is why we continue to invest in providing on-the-ground expertise and developing specialist insurance and risk management solutions to help firms across the region and beyond protect and grow their businesses.”
The new regional office will manage clients of all sizes and types — from small business, affinity partners and personal lines to large corporates and FTSE 100 companies, servicing a mix of local, UK and global clients. It also is home to Gallagher’s UK IT hub, which provides IT support systems to the Gallagher business across the UK.
With a UK-wide branch network serving customers from more than 50 locations, Gallagher is a community broker with global reach dedicated to providing local service and support to businesses, backed up by national and international industry specialism.