Prestige Insurance Holdings to create 60 posts as it launches broking brand

Prestige Insurance Holdings to create 60 posts as it launches broking brand

As part of its digital expansion, a Northern Ireland group of insurance companies is investing over £3 million and generating 60 new employment.

Next year, Prestige Insurance Holdings will launch a new digitally-led broking brand with new technical, product management, customer service, and marketing positions available in Belfast, Newry, and Londonderry, as well as remote working options.

Significant developments in recent years have included a multi-million pound investment by global equity company Capital Z Partners Management, LCC (Capital Z), and the acquisition of Open & Direct from Swinton Group.

Meanwhile, Autoline Insurance, located in Newry, combined with Abbey Insurance to form AbbeyAutoline.

Trevor Shaw, chief executive of Prestige Insurance Holdings Limited said: “As a business with local roots and an abundance of heritage, we have a commitment and passion for growth and market expansion and are continually looking for opportunities to develop our business across the group through acquisition and adding to our talent pool.

“We have strategic growth plans in place to help us continue on the path of building a digital-first, modern and global insurance portfolio, and with a commitment to innovative technology and servicing our network of valued customers, we have a new digital broking brand, Stroll, coming to market in early 2022.”

Brian Allen, managing director of digital at Prestige Insurance Holdings Limited said: “The pandemic has seen an acceleration in the shift towards a more digital world triggered by changes in online shopping behaviours that are likely to have lasting repercussions.

“Digital technology is a new force that is driving big changes in the insurance sector. For us as insurers, the changing landscape of insurance has led to a flurry of technological advancements in the industry, and the way customers interact with us is changing as a result.

“Our customer is savvy, both technically and culturally and they need insurance that works for them. Their time is precious and we want to give them some of that time back by changing how they search for and buy insurance.

“Consumers can bank online, book a taxi and order groceries all with the touch of a button, and the same should be true for buying insurance. We want to take the hassle out of insurance — no more searching for documents in a bottom drawer — everything will all be available in the palm of your hand,” Mr Allen added.

“We’re building an insurance journey that starts where the customer is and gets them to where they want to be, quickly and easily, and we’re excited to bring Stroll, a new brand with all these digital capabilities to the Prestige Group of companies in early 2022.”

AbbeyAutoline, BondLovis, Prestige Underwriting Services Ltd, Octane London Market Limited, Covernet, and Trumo are among the Prestige Insurance Holdings Limited enterprises.

In 2020, Abbey and Autoline joined to form the largest insurance broker in Northern Ireland.

“It (the merger) reinvigorated our image in the market and has significantly broadened our offering,” Julie Gibbons, managing director of AbbeyAutoline insurance broker, said at the time of the transaction.

“When both businesses came together, we knew there would be growth. They were complementary to each other rather than overlapping.”


Jollyes Pet Shop expansion brings new jobs -

Jollyes Pet Shop expansion brings new jobs

Jollyes, a pet retailer, has announced a £325,000 investment in additional stores in Northern Ireland, as well as improved partnerships with suppliers on both sides of the border.

The company, which has 12 locations in Northern Ireland, generated five new jobs on Saturday when it opened a new store at Longwood Retail Park in Newtownabbey to replace its Glengormley location. A ‘pamper and groom’ spa is also located within the store.

Jollyes will also establish its first store in Cookstown’s Sweep Road Retail Park in February, creating ten new employment.

The company wants to expand further by acquiring smaller pet retailers and taking on new leases, according to the corporation.

Jollyes also stated that it is investing heavily in its suppliers on the island of Ireland, which supply all of its 70 locations in the United Kingdom.

It plans to expand its product lines with Mackle Petfoods in Co Armagh, which produces Lifestage dog food, and Frozzys, a frozen pet food firm based in Belfast.

“We’re looking forward to reaching out to more customers here with a new store at Cookstown and a new state-of-the-art store at Newtownabbey,” Laura Hadden, regional manager for Jollyes in Northern Ireland and Scotland, said.

In 1971, the first Jollyes opened in Enfield, England.

Northern Ireland’s first private intensive care unit to open as part of £9m expansion

Northern Ireland’s first private intensive care unit to open as part of £9m expansion

As part of a £9 million expansion, Kingsbridge Private Hospital will open Northern Ireland’s first private intensive care unit.

The Kingsbridge Healthcare Group has hospitals in Belfast and Ballykelly, both in County Londonderry, as well as facilities in Donegal and Sligo.

Santander UK provided funding for the company’s recent expansion and the acquisition of the North West Independent Clinic in Ballykelly earlier this year.

The bank will also supply day-to-day services to the group under a new agreement with Santander.

Kingsbridge is working on a £6 million expansion at its Belfast hospital on the city’s Lisburn Road, which would expand beds by a third and include a new ward, operating theatre, and endoscopy suite by early 2023.

Soon, Kingsbridge will operate Northern Ireland’s first private intensive care unit, as well as private cardiac surgical services. The hospital now has five-day beds and three surgery rooms.

In Ballykelly, Kingsbridge Private Hospital North West is undergoing a £3 million refurbishment, which is expected to be completed by the middle of next year.

The project will update wards and infrastructure, as well as build a new outpatient service and a theater. Kingsbridge also wants to offer a private GP service in Ballykelly five days a week, according to the company.

The group was set up in 2004 as 3fivetwo Healthcare. It also has a medical training academy, plastic surgery company, Cosmetech, and an optical and hearing division.

Jeremy Macartney, group finance director at Kingsbridge, said: “Santander UK’s support enables us to build on our existing services while delivering a wide range of specialisms that will significantly enhance choice for patients.

“We are committed to working in partnership with the Northern Ireland Executive to address waiting lists and this funding from Santander UK enables us to provide much-needed bed and theatre capacity to help tackle this.”

Mark Robinson, relationship director at Santander UK, said: “We are pleased to support Kingsbridge Healthcare Group’s important work to expand its capacity to provide private healthcare to patients in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

“We look forward to working with the Kingsbridge team over the years to come.”