Barry Fehler’s SEIB Insurance Brokers: celebrating a lasting legacy *Promotion*

  • Promotional feature with SEIB Insurance Brokers

    SEIB Insurance Brokers would never have become a reality, let alone the success story it is today, without Barry Fehler, who was honoured with the “once in a lifetime” award at the fifth annual SEIB Insurance Broker Awards. 

    South Essex Insurance Brokers was born in 1963, when Barry began the company as a brokerage for home, car and life insurance. In the 1960s, Barry bought a hunter chaser named Princes Street, to be produced as a show horse under the South Essex banner. He quickly discovered that the equestrian cover he needed wasn’t available, so he approached an underwriter, arranged the cover, and the rest is history.

    SEIB Insurance Brokers became the first company to specialise in equestrian insurance that truly meets the needs of the horse owner – back in the days when Horse & Hound magazine cost just 15p. Over the years that followed, Barry introduced improved cover for horseboxes, loss of use and even a veterinary emergency helpline.

    Meanwhile, Princes Street went on to win the hunter of the year title at the Horse of the Year Show (HOYS) in 1973, with two more of Barry’s horses, Assurance and Elite, achieving the same accolade in the early 1980s.

    With three HOYS champions to his name, Barry decided to end his company ownership of show horses on a high, and began supporting the sport through the Search for a Star series. More than 25 years later, the finals of this series are the pinnacle of the amateur showing calendar – and has never been limited to horses insured by SEIB.

    In 2018, the first SEIB Awards were held, and with Barry at the helm, SEIB Giving has donated over £250,000 to worthy causes.

    “The future of SEIB Insurance Brokers is bright”

    Barry’s achievements were recognised in very special award presentation, at Eton College Dorney Lake on 6 July, following a recent announcement that he is stepping back in his duties at SEIB Insurance Brokers.

    Following a champagne reception and welcome speech from the Benefact Group chairman David Henderson, Barry was honoured with a video that included personal messages from some of those whom he has worked with throughout his career. The new chief executive of SEIB, Suzy Middleton, as well as chief operations officer, Bipin Thaker, and David Henderson presented Barry, with a bespoke trophy – which came as a surprise.

    “The award today was kept well hidden. I was caught out and lost for words,” said Barry (pictured below), who remains a non-executive director at SEIB but plans to put his feet up, looking after the horses he has at home and tending to his gardens and land, safe in the knowledge that SEIB is in good hands.

    Barry Fehler of SEIB

    “The future of SEIB is bright; our business runs like a well-oiled machine,” he said. “We will quietly grow, acquiring more brokers with the same ethical standards. I went to Ecclesiastical – now the Benefact Group – when I decided to sell the business. They have provided a permanent home for both the business and the staff. At SEIB we have a great, stable team with no changes at the top which is very important.

    “We endeavour to provide the best service possible for our customers. Those that wish to speak to someone on the phone can do so, and customers that need to get a price, or buy, out of hours have the option to on our website.

    “As a business, we’re making every effort to move with the times on the digital front, but we will always maintain our traditional views and approach to customer service, whether that be supporting customers with their claims or tailoring their cover to their needs. Our obligation has always been, and will continue to be to the customer, and keeping them at the heart of our business.”

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