Meet the Yorkshire firm changing the face of insurance

Chloe Connah is among the new recruits at the firm.Chloe Connah is among the new recruits at the firm.
Chloe Connah is among the new recruits at the firm. | Other 3rd Party
A leading Leeds insurance broker is investing in the industry’s next generation, while continuing to offer local companies the best service around.

Morley-based Smith Robinson celebrates its 40th anniversary this month and the company is eyeing the future by employing apprentices to learn – and maintain – the high standards they follow.

“All our apprentices have stayed with us to progress their careers with us,” explains founder David Smith. “We like to recruit local talent and have found a lot of success in recruiting school leavers on our insurance apprenticeship programme – we currently have four apprentices at various stages.”

Director Tracey Mercer joined the firm straight from school 24 years ago, and newer recruits Chloe Connah, Becky Thompson and Kelsy-Jo Ella are currently on the scheme.

Founder David SmithFounder David Smith
Founder David Smith | Other 3rd Party

At Smith Robinson, which boasts two highly skilled Financial Advisers in Phil Handley and Kari Lucas, the focus is firmly on ongoing training: of the 15 employees, ten are fully qualified with the remainder undertaking studies.

David set up the insurance broking partnership in March 1980 after seeing a gap in the market to help small and medium-sized firms.

“All too often those firms were low down in the pecking order of large insurance broking firms, or else using the services of inadequately trained brokers,” he explains.

The formula was an instant success and, in 1994, he merged with a similar company set up in 1982 by Paul Robinson: the result was Smith Robinson & Co. In 2001, the general insurance broking operation was renamed Smith Robinson Ltd, while Smith Robinson & Co remained as a financial advice firm.

Becky Thompson is another new recruit.Becky Thompson is another new recruit.
Becky Thompson is another new recruit. | Other 3rd Party

These days, Smith Robinson has developed a younger management team, led by Tracey, with one eye on the future.

“Succession planning is something that we are well aware of, to ensure that the business continues to provide the level of service our customers expect,” explains David.

“Our highly qualified team are hugely experienced in looking after small and medium enterprises; we have been providing a high level of customer service for the past 40 years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

The independent brokerage was one of the first in the country to be Chartered by the Chartered Insurance Institute in 2007, in recognition of its high level of technical expertise, financial stability and high ethical standards; these days it is one of less than 200 across the UK which hold this status.

“The success of the last 40 years is reflected in the fact that most of the clients who entrusted their insurance and financial services needs to us are still our treasured clients today,” he adds.

See Smith Robinson for more.