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Ex-Gallagher duo Paul Dickson and Howard Pearson launch new broker

Innovation Broking focuses on mid-market emerging technology clients

Former Arthur J Gallagher and Giles executives Paul Dickson and Howard Pearson have reunited to launch a new broker, Insurance Times can reveal.

Innovation Broking, which started operating at the beginning of April, is a commercial retail broker focused on providing insurance and boardroom advice to mid-market emerging technology companies.
Dickson is the new company’s chief executive and Pearson is development director.
The broker will be initially based in Watford but will open a London office within its first 12 months of operation.

Speaking to Insurance Times about the new company, Pearson declined to give financial targets for the start-up but said: “It will be a fairly substantial first year and we are up and running and on track already. I would call it a more ambitious plan than most start-ups.”

Innovation Broking will focus on organic growth rather than acquisitions. Pearson said: “Paul and I have got strong records of organic growth, as opposed to growing only by consolidating and increasing margin that way. You never say never, but it is absolutely not our strategy to be in the business of acquisitions. There are too many people out there with that strategy.
We are a client service business. We are not trying to make our money by re-engineering businesses, which is what acquisitions are so often about. As far as we’re concerned, great businesses are built around the client.”

Innovation Broking is looking to hire individuals and teams going forward. The company currently has three other employees in addition to Dickson and Pearson, and two more will be joining next week.

Pearson said: “We are looking for people who have incredible client relationships and expertise that would be complementary to what we do.”
Dickson left Gallagher in October 2014 and Pearson departed in December 2014.
Dickson joined Gallagher as part of the 2013 Giles acquisition and became Regional Managing Director for the Central UK division, including part of London.
He was regional managing director for London and the south-east at Giles. Dickson joined Giles in 2008 after the consolidator bought Dickson Insurance Brokers, a company he founded in 1986.

Pearson was chief executive of broker OAMPS UK, which Gallagher bought in June 2014. Before joining OAMPS in April 2011 he was retail managing director at Giles.

By Ben Dyson in Insurance Times