Simon Cooper, Technical Director at Advantage Insurance (AHCI) discusses how the company created six new jobs in just six months with the expansion of their technical team
This month, Simon Cooper, Technical Director at Advantage Insurance (AHCI), which is a leading structural defects warranty specialist with offices in Warrington, Birmingham and London, took some time out of his busy schedule to tell PBC Today about the expansion of his technical team (AHCI has added six new members of staff to their technical team over the past six months, reflecting the rapid growth of the business).
The company, which has its headquarters in Warrington, began expanding its technical team at the start of 2018 and following a successful year for the business, the new hires will leave AHCI poised to continue their expansion throughout this year.
The new job roles range from junior surveyors to RICS Chartered Surveyors and Simon Cooper, Head of Technical at AHCI, said: “Our Technical section has developed within the last few months and now boasts both Chartered and qualified Regional Warranty Surveyors together with two Trainee Warranty Surveyors working from our regional offices throughout the UK, which provides our client base with both technical and site support throughout the duration of the design and build process.”
PBC Today asked Simon to tell us a little more about the expansion of his team and what it means for the business in our below Q&A:
Having added six new members to the technical team over just six months, 2018 was clearly a very busy year for you, building upon Advantage’s rapid ascent as a leader in their field since the business launched in 2014. Can you tell us a bit about how you found the right people for the newly created roles within the technical team?
It was apparent with the increased workload that additional Surveyors were required to meet the demand and our clients’ expectations and so with the help of a specialist recruitment agency, I was able to fill a number of roles within quite a short period of time, with professionals whose skill sets both complement each other and also provide a comprehensive service.
What kind of qualities do you look for in a potential new member of the technical team?
Our insurers insist on Chartered Surveyors being employed and I have been fortunate to appoint both Chartered and experienced Surveyors, who have brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to our team. It has also provided a good platform for our junior Surveyors as they are mentored on a daily basis and this has enabled them to contribute significantly in a short period of time.
Could you tell PBC Today about one of your career highlights in 2018?
I think the stand-out for the company and me personally was in our success in achieving Stage 2 Consumer Code Approval Scheme in June. This was the icing on the cake on the back of some hard work in meeting all criteria set out by the Chartered Training Standards Institute and has enabled the company to consolidate its position in the market place with the approval being recognised by most (if not all) high street lenders.
What are the advantages of having technical and site support available for the duration of the design and build process, with a dedicated technical team on hand at Advantage’s Warrington HQ?
I would suggest that this provides a great deal of comfort to our clients, as well as enabling design issues to be addressed prior to works commencing on site. Our team are dedicated in providing a service that meets the clients’ expectations and, just as importantly, their timeframes in terms of site supervision and reporting to their lenders. Availability is also a crucial factor to clients as delays concerning surveys and feedback on technical issues can cause unnecessary penalties and so our commercial awareness is very important.
Could you tell us a bit about the range of projects you cover?
Our policy is available to proposed, part-built or retrospective works in the residential sector and this includes new build and/or conversion and refurbishment works.
Advantage was founded almost five years ago and swiftly established itself as one of the leaders in the field of latent defects insurance. The rapid growth of their technical team reflects the company’s overall expansion and focus on quality. They have recently opened a new office in the South East and have also been recruiting for non-technical staff.
Advantage covers both commercial and residential properties and projects ranging in scale from individual one-off houses to developments with a build cost of over £50 million. They work closely with self-builders, developers, contractors and housing associations as well as intermediaries such as insurance brokers, solicitors’ property advisors, architects, financial advisors, banks and administrators.
With demand for their services growing, the Directors of Advantage plan to make more new hires in 2019, creating more highly skilled job roles at their UK offices. They already work with leading insurers and property developers, providing warranties for a host of the nation’s most prestigious developments.
Tel: 0203 634 9010
*Please note: this is a commercial profile