If you have ever thought about working as an insurance broker, you have probably come across the term, Appointed Representative (AR). But what does an AR do and how can becoming one benefit your business as a broker?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) describes an appointed representative as,
“a firm or person who runs regulated activities and acts as an agent for a firm the FCA directly authorise. This firm is known as the ARs 'principal'.” (FCA, 2020)
The principal (e.g. Gauntlet Group) is responsible for ensuring that any AR complies with FCA requirements rules and regulations. If you do not work as an Appointed Representative, your insurance brokerage must be directly authorised by the FCA.
Direct authorisation with the FCA can take 6 to 12 months and you will have to have funds in place to prove your capital adequacy. As such, many aspiring brokers choose to join an Appointed Representative network like Gauntlet Enterprise for just a fraction of the cost.
For many brokers, becoming an Appointed Representative allows quicker entry into the market and a chance to ‘test the waters’ before committing to FCA authorisation. You can apply to be an Appointed Representative by contacting principals, like Gauntlet, and agreeing to join the AR network. Gauntlet make no upfront charges; our services are funded by agreeing a share of earnings with you at the outset.
The Benefits of Becoming an Appointed Representative
As an appointed representative (AR), you enjoy the freedom and control that comes with running your own business, while allowing the principal organisation to deal with the administrative tasks in day to day broking.
Among the many advantages of becoming an AR, you gain:
Protection from the network principal, who is responsible for ensuring your compliance with FCA rules.
Access to a wider range of products and services thanks to the principal’s established relationships with leading insurers.
The benefits of working with a well-established firm, whose expert broking knowledge and experience can help you to grow your own business.
Access to IT and administrative resources that would otherwise be costly and time-consuming to set up.
Complete ownership of your business and client base.
Ultimately, an appointed representative is able to carry out the business of an insurance broker, but with the added benefit of being able to focus their efforts on winning new business, while allowing the principal organisation to deal with the administrative tasks in day to day broking.
Your Responsibilities as an Appointed Representative
While the principal will take responsibility for ensuring you comply with FCA rules as an AR, you will be expected to understand and comply with the regulatory requirements for your business. Failing to do this can put the principal and your own company at risk. The network principal will usually ask you to sign a written contract documenting this arrangement.
As an AR, you are responsible for the products you sell or arrange, the advice you give to customers, and ensuring the fair treatment of customers (in line with the FCA’s principles). However, you cannot receive payments or invoices directly, nor do you store customer data. These are handled by the principal company and you will need to allow access as needed.
Can I become an Appointed Representative?
If you are an ambitious individual with insurance industry experience looking to build your own business, starting out as an Appointed Representative could offer you the freedom and support you need. Many of our existing ARs previously held roles as:
At Gauntlet Enterprise, we expect our Appointed Representatives to be proactive and hardworking, driven by the desire to grow a successful business. If you are serious about becoming an entrepreneur or a successful self-employed business person, an AR role is the perfect opportunity.
Interested in starting your own journey as an Appointed Representative? Contact us using the form below, call us, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, I am interested in building my own business as an AR.