Wayne Pontin is a man on a mission - to broaden the appeal of the AMII to larger brokers while keeping hold of the smaller ones. Nicola Culley talks to the group's new head about his plans.
‘It has been a revelation,” the new Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries’ (AMII) leader said jovially of his appointment. But Wayne Pontin, also the sales development director at adviser firm Jelf, said this with all due respect to his predecessors; despite blaming lack of leadership for AMII “bumbling along” with a “fairly stagnant membership”.
Hauling the industry’s providers into AMII’s corporate membership will be central to Pontin’s strategy, particularly around funding and in tackling topical industry matters such as NHS reform, education work with the CII and product innovation. Break-out teams will be core to keep focus.
In Pontin’s eyes, each leader had contributed in their own way to AMII’s development. But Mike Izzard, chairman between 2008 and 2010, really stood out for him. Izzard is managing director of independent intermediary firm Premier Health Choice.
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Pontin said: “I was particularly encouraged by Izzard. He was completely involved and committed to AMII, which I admired him greatly for given it is a voluntary position. I believe that he threw himself into it. I have more respect and affinity with him for those reasons.
“It has suffered over the past two to three years. There is a huge job ahead. But I feel I can use my 34 years in the industry and the contacts I have made to be a good access point. I am hoping to take it to another level.”
About three years ago, AMII had 98 member companies. It has since seen minor growth, currently sitting at 108. According to Pontin, the issues for AMII lately have been a lack of leadership, innovation and sustainable financial structure.
In his own words, previous leaders had continued to “bumble along” despite AMII needing to do a whole lot more to raise its profile as a respected industry voice.
Pontin’s response to this is to break the perception that AMII is all about the smaller broker. He has started a huge drive to get larger specialist and intermediary firms to join as members. He believes this will, in the first instance, help to broaden AMII’s representation.
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