General & Medical Group

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by General & Medical Group's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from General & Medical Group is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.generalandmedical.com

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
26 | GENERAL & MEDICAL GROUP
David Wildman, managing
director
Established 30 years ago in 1988, General & Medical was
started from managing director David Wildman’s home
with just a word processor, a fax machine and a filing
cabinet. General & Medical was initially a finance and insurance
brokerage that specialised in offering leasing and hire purchase
contracts on medical and dental equipment to practitioners
throughout the UK. With a background in banking and finance
David, however, felt he could offer clients a more personal and
comprehensive service than competitors at that time. It worked,
and he soon found himself offering a broad swathe of finance
and general insurance services.
I have always wanted a longstanding connection with my customers, so it was
important to me that the company grew steadily. I wanted to ensure we were
building on solid foundations, with as little reliance on outside factors as possible.
Within a few years, we were utilising our own funds to support the leasing
contracts we offered. We also had established binding authorities with Lloyd’s of
London for many of the insurance services we offered.
Continuing to grow
We have continued to grow, based on the ethos of building a solid foundation with
minimal outsourcing. Although these days, this can be considered unfashionable
by some, I feel if you wish to grow a company over the long term for the benefit
of your clients, as well as yourself, you must try to be in control of as many services
as possible that you offer. If something does not go according to plan, then you
take responsibility and are thus in the best position to fix it. It is also important to
employ and train good staff to ensure the principles that the company is founded
on are carried through to the customer experience; this is something which we are
passionate about and continuously strive towards.
The General & Medical Group, as we have now become, having grown and made
a minor acquisition in the past, is now very much focused on the insurance sphere.
The market is dominated by large organisations chasing high-volume business. It is
true, we have grown, but we are still small compared to many that we successfully
compete with. Our success is a result of a constant focus on maintaining the
personal touch for our clients, by listening and reacting to their needs.
Private medical insurance (PMI) was one of the first general insurance services we
offered to our existing leasing clients, and this has proven to be hugely successful.
Within five years, PMI had overtaken finance and leasing as the main focus of the
company. In 2006, we opened the doors on General & Medical Insurance Ltd,
our own insurance company, to underwrite the PMI scheme and other general
AT A GLANCE
GENERAL & MEDICAL GROUP
»Managing director:
DavidWildman
»Established in 1988
»Based in London, Peterborough,
Guernsey and Texas
»Services: Medical insurance
and international wholesale
insurance broking
»No. of employees: 45+
General & Medical
Group
27GENERAL & MEDICAL GROUP |
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2018
insurance practices. Now, after 12
years, General & Medical Insurance Ltd
has gone on to become the backbone
of the General & Medical Group.
Observations in the market
Having entered the PMI market over
28 years ago, we have observed that
there has been only a handful of
new, small insurers coming into the
marketplace, and I personally believe
that this is not good for the consumer.
With mergers and acquisitions
among the bigger companies, it is a
possibility that, within a few years,
choice may be severely limited and
innovationstifled.
New insurers are vital to provide a
greater range of options for clients,
and to curb absolute dominance of the
market by a few large organisations.
Encouragement for new, innovative
insurers by both the government and
the regulator would be both wise
andwelcome.
It is important to move forward and
evolve to suit the fast-paced world we
now live in. As managing director, I
am always looking for new ideas and
innovations that will help us stand
out. This process and philosophy
of constant, forward-thinking
development provides us with the
diversity to weather any fundamental
changes to any of the markets we are
engaged in, without compromising the
group as a whole.
Having had a close connection with
the market for many years now, and
wishing to diversify our offerings
to clients, we have since become a
broker at Lloyd’s. We have established
a division called General & Medical
International, opening an office in the
City that employs capable, multilingual
members of staff. This enables us to
deal with clients from both the UK
and beyond, specialising in wholesale
insurance broking. Sticking to our
principles of first-class client service,
the success of this division has led us
to establish a new group company in
the US, G&M Insurance Services Inc,
which we hope will further the growth
of the group.
The future
I am optimistic about the future as
we have already thought carefully
about changes in our markets, such
as Brexit, and we have made changes
which will help us to see it through,
no matter the outcome. The future
for us must focus on being open to
new ideas and opportunities; this
may include some further acquisitions
to help with growth. As a smaller
insurer, it is undoubtedly a tough
world where we compete against
some massive players; we can,
however, afford to be nimble, quick
to react to market changes and
constantly be aware of the needs
of our clients. Most importantly,
we must continue to provide an
exceptionally personal service to our
clients – knowing we give attention
and care is the most rewarding part of
what wedo.
Finally, I believe that new blood is
needed in our sector, and that there
should be greater encouragement
for independent entrepreneurial spirit
from all angles. My achievement of
starting an insurance company may
never be a common occurrence, but
neither should it be a unique case. If
the only way to enter the market is by
being a big insurer, competition and
innovation will go out of the window;
our market is dominated by large
organisations headed by people who
perhaps remain in the industry for a
year or two before moving on. The
companies these individuals govern
are generally focused on short-
term profits, as demanded by their
shareholders. The big thing we have
to wonder about is whether or not this
really puts the client first.
Gillian Close, Phillip
Wildman and David
Wildman receiving
the Lloyd’s certificate
of accreditation
We have developed
many other services
and insurance
products available
through our divisions
and subsidiaries
My achievement
of starting an
insurance
company may
never be a
common
occurrence, but
neither should it
be a unique
case

www.generalandmedical.com

The Parliamentary Review Publication, in which this article originally appeared, contained the following foreword from The Rt Hon Theresa May MP.

The Rt Hon Theresa May MP's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By The Rt Hon Theresa May MP

This foreword from the then Prime Minister appeared in the 2018/19 Parliamentary Review.

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review. For Her Majesty’s Government, our task in the year ahead is clear: to achieve the best Brexit deal for Britain and to carry on our work to build a more prosperous and united country – one that truly works for everyone. 

The right Brexit deal will not be sufficient on its own to secure a more prosperous future for Britain. We also need to ensure that our economy is ready for what tomorrow will bring. Our Modern Industrial Strategy is our plan to do that. It means Government stepping up to secure the foundations of our productivity: providing an education system that delivers the skills our economy needs, improving school standards and transforming technical education; delivering infrastructure for growth; ensuring people have the homes they need in the places they want to live. It is all about taking action for the long-term that will pay dividends in the future.

But it also goes beyond that. Government, the private sector and academia working together as strategic partners achieve far more than we could separately. That is why we have set an ambitious goal of lifting UK public and private research and development investment to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027. It is why we are developing four Grand Challenges, the big drivers of social and economic change in the world today: harnessing artificial intelligence and the data revolution; leading in changes to the future of mobility; meeting the challenges of our ageing society; and driving ahead the revolution in clean growth. By focusing our efforts on making the most of these areas of enormous potential, we can develop new exports, grow new industries and create more good jobs in every part of our country.

Years of hard work and sacrifice from the British people have got our deficit down by over three quarters. We are building on this success by taking a balanced approach to public spending. We are continuing to deal with our debts, so that our economy can remain strong and we can protect people’s jobs, and at the same time we are investing in vital public services, like our NHS. We have set out plans to increase NHS funding annually by an average by 3.4 percent in real terms: that is £394 million a week more. In return, the NHS will produce a ten-year plan, led by doctors and nurses, to eliminate waste and improve patient care.

I believe that Britain can look to the future with confidence. We are leaving the EU and setting a new course for prosperity as a global trading nation. We have a Modern Industrial Strategy that is strengthening the foundations of our economy and helping us to seize the opportunities of the future. We are investing in the public services we all rely on and helping them to grow and improve. Building on our country’s great strengths – our world-class universities and researchers, our excellent services sector, our cutting edge manufacturers, our vibrant creative industries, our dedicated public servants – we can look towards a new decade that is ripe with possibility. The government I lead is doing all it can to make that brighter future a reality for everyone in our country. 

British politics provides ample material for analysis in the pages of The Parliamentary Review 
The Rt Hon Theresa May MP
Prime Minister