|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (February 2012)|
Endsleigh Insurance is a Cheltenham-based UK insurance intermediary specialising in the student, education and graduate markets. It is the preferred insurer for several unions and professional associations.
The Endsleigh group consists of several parts including Endsleigh Insurance, Endsleigh Financial (EFIT) and Endsleigh Business (EBIS) Endsleigh Insurance offers a range of insurance products from car, home, travel and student insurance to landlords, public liability and tenant's cover. Endsleigh Financial offers free financial advice for people seeking mortgages, pensions or life assurance polices, and Endsleigh Business offers businesses and companies professional insurance coverage. Endsleigh claims to have over 500,000 customers.
Endsleigh is currently the only official and approved insurer of The National Union of Students and is owned in full by Zurich Insurance which also runs its UK operations from Cheltenham. In early 2009, managing director Mike Alcock moved to Zurich insurance to become head of UK distribution, paving the way for Ian Passmore to become the current Managing Director.
Conceived by the former Nottingham University student Michael Jeremy Naylor, Endsleigh was founded by the National Union of Students (NUS) in 1965 to provide tailored insurance services to university and college students. It was probably named after either Endsleigh Street, Endsleigh Place or Endsleigh Gardens, in Bloomsbury, on the Duke of Bedford's Bedford Estate. Under Mike Naylor's guiding and driving hand as its Managing Director, it then rapidly expanded into the graduate and professionals markets. Since its founding it has been the only insurer recommended by the NUS and is now the preferred insurance supplier for many professional associations, including the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, the Association of University Teachers and the Association of Optometrists.
In 1970 Endsleigh moved from its London headquarters to Cheltenham Spa, where it continued to recruit relatively young but fiercely ambitious staff, selected for their drive and talent, to create an organisation attractive to customers of similar age. This approach challenged the then more traditional aspects of conventional insurance marketing and administration.
In 1976 the NUS sold 100% of the company to Gouda Insurance International, as it was felt a stronger financial base was needed to fully exploit market opportunities. The NUS retained two seats on the board and in 1982 bought back a 14% shareholding. Its founder and still driving influence, Mike Naylor, died in a motor accident in July 1995. In April 2002, a management buyout, led by the Managing Director, Mike Alcock, bought out Gouda and formed a partnership with Zurich Financial Services. In January 2007 Zurich acquired 100% shareholding.
The company moved into the business market in 2000, and this combined with a 25% increase in customer base helped profits leap from £2.5m in 2000 to £8.6m in 2003. In February 2005 the 'Sunday Times PricewaterhouseCooper Profit Track 100' rated Endsleigh as the 76th fastest growing company in the UK, at 52% a year.
From 1993 to 1996, Endsleigh sponsored the English Football League. From 1988 to 1999 Endsleigh was the main shirt sponsor for Burnley F.C., with its logo appearing on the players' shirts, and it did the same for Cheltenham Town F.C. from 1997 to 1999. In the late 1990s to early 2000s, a club called Endsleigh, later known as EFC Cheltenham, played in the Hellenic Football League.
As of 1 September 2008, Endsleigh discontinued operating its local branch service (which was made up of 119 UK Branches). This was followed in early 2011 by the closure of the operations centre in Belfast, and the firm is now operated from two sales operations centres - Cheltenham Head Office, and Burnley. The Cheltenham location also manages all non-sales related areas of the business, such as Marketing, Finance, IT, and the company's subsidiary businesses dealing with financial advice and business insurance, among other interests.
- These streets were all named after the Duke's Devon country house Endsleigh Cottage.