Broking Success: Right opportunity

Matthew Collins, founder and managing director of Ascend Broking, targets growing from £14m to £50m gross written premiums in five years as the firm positions itself as a viable alternative to larger brokers.

Ascend Broking

Offices: Chelmsford, Essex

Staff: 25

GWP: £14m

Specialisms: Transportation, construction, marine, property, commercial

What was your career before Ascend?

I left school in 1988 and realised I wasn't going to be a professional football player, so I got a job as an underwriting trainee at the Royal Insurance in Chelmsford.

I joined FMW in 1992, and in 1998, I was appointed broking director. In 2001, I was part of the team that did a management buyout.

That business was acquired in 2008 by

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