Kevin Amphlett has established a reputation as one of the most entrepreneurial figures in the industry. And, he tells David Sawers, there is still plenty of gas left in the tank
For someone who has just experienced the “bumpiest flight of his life”, Kevin Amphlett remains focused on the task at hand. Philosophical, but focused, too.
“I’ve no desire to be the richest man in the graveyard David,” the Chase Templeton CEO tells me over a coffee. “But I’m full of energy and enthusiasm and while that continues, with the growth potential that we have, my foot is firmly on the accelerator.”
Amphlett is in London to discuss his plans for growing the business he founded with his wife Julie back in 2002. And in spite of the apparent perils of short haul flights to and from his home on the Isle of Man, he has no intention of letting up.
Not surprising, perhaps, given the success of his enterprise. Boasting annual premium income of £50m, turnover of £7.5m and a client base of 50,000, Chase Templeton is on the crest of a wave. In fact, with organic growth of 30% year on year, it seems that business couldn’t be much better, I suggest. I’d be wrong.
“I’ve never gone into a new year where I’ve got so much enthusiasm for the plans that we have,” Amphlett explains.
Bullish words, perhaps, at a time when the country is only just coming out of recession, but Amphlett has a track record that speaks for itself. Since 2002, Chase Templeton has been acquiring specialist healthcare brokers across the country and now commands significant clout in the market. After taking over Health Matters in 2002, Amphlett made successful plays for PHA Insurance Services, Redferns Insurance Services and Private Medicalcare Limited. Perhaps the most high profile acquisition, however, was in June 2007 when Chase Templeton acquired Preferred Medical Limited, the Somerset-based intermediary that was owned and managed by former Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries chairman Phil Taylor.
There are still funds left in what is clearly a significant war chest for more acquisitions, Amphlett suggests. In fact, two large acquisitions are ongoing; one target has premium income of £8m, while the other has £3m. If those acquisitions complete successfully, they will add £1m profit to Chase Templeton’s bottom line.
However, Amphlett clearly doesn’t want to get greedy. Yes, he has considered raising some venture capital (VC) for acquisitions and while he doesn’t rule it out entirely, he explains that he “doesn’t necessarily want a VC firm in today”.
Amphlett, who has worked his way up from sales roles at insurers to various broking roles before setting up one of the most powerful brokers in the PMI market, seems content to carry on with what to date has been a successful acquisition strategy.
Chase Templeton, he explains, typically pays two to three times turnover of commission for books of individual and SME private medical insurance (PMI) business. There are potential targets out there, in addition to the ones under discussion, although brokers wanting to sell up, he says, do have to get their houses in order first.
“Some of the smaller firms aren’t necessarily the best at being able to produce detailed management information on request,” he says. When considering a purchase, consolidators such as Chase Templeton need relevant accounting information and up to date management accounts.