Meet the Leeds Expo panellists: Tony O’Gara

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Towergate’s regional MD talks about the broking landscape in the "biggest financial centre outside of London".

Tony O’Gara is regional manager for broking at Towergate and is set to take part in the second debate of the day at the Leeds Broker Expo on September 21 2017.

O’Gara will discuss the issues impacting client service in the local area and look in more detail at the economy in the region with key brokers from the area.

Ahead of the event Insurance Age spoke to O’Gara about some of the issues he’ll be discussing on the day.

Economy
On the economic position O’Gara commented: “Leeds is still the biggest financial centre outside London – Leeds and Manchester have benefitted from their rivalry spurring each other on! The two cities have done incredibly well to thrive and retain their own unique identities despite being only 40 miles apart.”

He advised that the city centre has been “revitalised” with the arrival of a new John Lewis and the Trinity Shopping Centre and remarked that these could be a catalyst for further growth.

In business he pointed out there is a “buoyant office market with tower crane count well up” and a number of emerging business centres.

He added: “It is a long way off but the Northern Powerhouse will be bolstered by HS2.”

Focusing on insurance he explained that most insurers do have a presence in Leeds but added: “Although many follow a hub and spoke model with Manchester tending to be the hub.”

These insurers also serve other cities in the region such as Hull and places in the North East.

Brokers
On the broking side the atmosphere is competitive. O’Gara noted: “It is a thriving and eternally competitive market with all the nationals represented with some big regional players including Romero, Henderson, Gauntlet, JM Glendinning and a lot of smaller start up independents.

“The nationals have found it difficult to get any real foothold in Yorkshire over the years.”

In terms of his own business Towergate is recruiting apprentices and investing in training.

“As you would expect I’m really looking forward to the Expo,” O’Gara concluded.

Sign up
To hear more of his views sign up now to grab your place at the event where brokers do business.

Also on the first panel session will be:

  • Simon Mabb, managing director, Romero Insurance Brokers
  • Tim Mortimer, regional director, Bluefin
  • Mark Thomas, branch sales director, Lorica Insurance Brokers
  • Joe Henderson, CEO, Henderson

The further panel session in the afternoon will include even more regional experts and leaders.

Tackling the topics of client service and the region’s economy will be:

  • Richard Pitt, chief network officer, Broker Network
  • Michael Eardley, director, professions, PIB Insurance Brokers
  • Nick Houghton, group managing director, JM Glendinning Insurance Brokers
  • Jon Newall, principal, Lockyers

In addition to this the day will feature rugby legend Shaun Edwards who is set to speak about the importance of teamwork and share tales of his time as an international player.

Don’t miss out, register for your place today.

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