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Berkley Insurance Australia

New broker cluster group targets independents

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Broker Co-op – a cluster group formed exclusively for Australian independent brokers – launched today.

Founding member Charles Gow-Gates, Director at Sydney-based Barrack Broking, told a new option for independent brokers is needed to fill a gap in the market, with the mandate of putting members first.

Mr Gow-Gates declined to name other potential members at this stage but says discussions are taking place with a number of interested parties.

“Whilst most Australian brokers are aligned to one of the major broking networks, there is a notable misalignment between their specific needs and the strategic focus of their broking groups,” a statement from Broker Co-op says.

“Further, with only one cluster group open to independent brokers, there is little choice and most independent brokers have no voice and no negotiating strength.”

Mr Gow-Gates says Broker Co-op will work as a co-operative, and participants will be shareholders within the group and pay no joining or annual membership fees. Membership applications must be endorsed by the Broker Co-op board.

Members will have access to a “full suite of cluster services”, through a partnership with AUB’s Insurance Alliance. As previously reported by, The Insurance Alliance gives brokers access to AUB’s services and systems without a requirement to become equity members of Austbrokers.

“The dominance of the major broking groups and lack of representation of an independent’s needs in the market will lead to an unsustainable future for all independent brokers,” Mr Gow-Gates said.

“Broker Co-op is designed to provide an important and influential voice for the interest of brokers, not shareholders or related insurance market players, and hence fills an important gap in the Australian broking market.”

Interested independent brokers can apply to join Broker Co-op via the application form on the website before the end of July.