Our Wholesale Broking and Outplacement team is one of our fastest growing departments, with the business set to almost double in size over the next five years. Supporting our UK-wide agency network the team source wide-ranging cover that we don’t ordinarily offer. Their role as intermediaries for the agencies is why they’re known as National Intermediary Services, or NIS within the business. As the growth of the team means new areas and roles are opening up, we met with some of the team to find out how they view all this opportunity and change. And to uncover how NFU Mutual supports them to do their best work.

How would you describe the general culture within the team?
“It’s like joining a family,” says Kareen, our Sales and Service Team Leader. “We tell that to people during the recruitment process, but once they’ve joined, they’re always surprised by how true it is. We all support each other and help each other out, often without even needing to ask – it’s something I’ve never seen anywhere else.”

For Supply Chain Manager Kelly, NFU Mutual culture isn’t just about feeling like a family at work, but also knowing the importance of family at home. “When I joined, I had three-year-old twins,” she explains. “I needed somewhere that understood that there are other priorities outside of work, so am forever grateful for the flexibility I have in my role here. Of course, 98% of the time we’re all working hard and focused on the job, but it’s so much easier when I know my employer understands if something else needs my attention.”

“It’s a really supportive culture,” says Mohammed, a Supply Chain Consultant. “And everyone is so open and approachable – from new recruits to senior management. There doesn’t feel like there’s any division between levels.”

“There’s a great life outside the office too,” adds Customer Account Handler Tom. “We had a team away-day last month with karaoke and bowling afterwards, it was a great social day! It’s just a place where everyone gets along.”

Eloise, who works for the team as a Business Development Consultant, agrees. “It’s grown a lot but it’s still such a close team,” she says. “And because it’s still growing, there are so many more opportunities to develop ourselves. There’s a strong emphasis on personal and professional development.”

You said the team has grown a lot, how fast are we talking?
“We’re currently averaging 10-15 new employees per year,” says James, the Head of NIS. “And looking to double the size of the business by 2028.” According to Placement Consultant Dave, this means great things for the future. “We definitely have ambitious growth plans and we’re already achieving high levels of growth,” he says. “And there’s so much variety in what we do, which means that different areas are opening up all the time. This creates loads of opportunities.”

“There’s coaching, mentoring, training,” says Steph, also a Placement Consultant. “With an emphasis on upwards movement and scope to develop. It’s not just a broking role.”

“Yes, it really makes you feel like you can progress,” agrees Kareen. “Not just up the line, but into any different area of the business. Or maybe even an area that doesn’t exist yet.”

It sounds like investment in people is a big part of NFU Mutual culture.
“Definitely,” says Eloise. “And that range of opportunities is the best part of the job for me. I’ve worked in a few different teams at NFU Mutual, starting in admin and moving through to new business. But business development consultant was always my dream job – even before it was a job! Why? Because I loved liaising with the NFU Mutual Agency Network. I’ve developed great relationships with the agencies in the years I’ve been here - in a way, it was all building up to this role.”

“They actually follow through when they talk about development,” says Annie, a Supply Chain Governance Manager. “I feel like every company says they’ll support you to grow and move up, but that’s often not the reality. Here, there really are so many opportunities, and they’ll work with you to find the right ones. If you want to move up, or you’re happy to stay where you are but maybe want to specialise a little more, they will point you towards those chances.” She says that, while it’s a very personal and supportive approach to development, it’s very structured too. “We have annual Personal Development Plans and regular feedback. And if there’s something you want to look into, or gather information on outside of your usual role, it’s actively encouraged. They’re always looking to help you grow.”

“You can tell how much they put into the training and development,” adds Regulation and Risk Control Consultant Kate. “I recently did a course on effective influencing which involved role-play. Every one of us got to work with an actor and a psychologist to talk through each scenario. NFU Mutual clearly invested a lot in that. And they’re constantly encouraging things like secondments into different areas of the business.”

What kinds of people thrive in the Wholesale Broking and Outplacement team?
“Because of NFU Mutual’s strong connection to the farming industry, there might be this image of us being focused purely on agriculture." says James. “But that couldn’t be further from the truth. So many of us in the team come from the wider market, where the skills we bring to NIS enable us to deal with many risk classes in the wider business sectors and business profiles. So, you need to be the kind of person who enjoys those challenges. You also need to be agile, curious and a good problem-solver.”

“We have ambitious people in the team,” he continues. “But everyone develops at their own pace. So if you’re happy doing your job, going home and leaving the job at the office, that’s appreciated every bit as much as those wanting to progress. What’s more important to us is that drive to go the extra mile and deliver fantastic service to our customers. That’s the NFU Mutual culture – the 'spirit to serve' I think, is part of the DNA.”

What is it that makes that ‘spirit to serve’ so important for NFU Mutual?
“We’re a mutual,” says James. “Our raison d'etre is not to make money for shareholders. We exist to give the best solutions for our customers. It’s our customers and our people first, rather than revenue first but in my experience having great customer outcomes and a motivated and loyal team always leads to achieving the financial goals one sets.”

“The lack of old-fashioned sales pressure makes a big difference,” says Kelly. “We sell based on communicating our advice and explaining things in the right way. There’s nobody telling you to sell 20 of these things in a month or whatever. You just do what’s right for the customer.”

“Plus, there’s a ready-made customer base,” adds Annie. “So, we don’t have a lot of the added distractors that other brokers have.”

“And it also feeds back into the team,” says James. “Treating our people well and having Industry leading engagement is not an aspiration here, it’s a given.”

“I think the customer retention figures tell the story,” says Dave. “There’s a 95% retention rate across the business, and that’s a really good indicator.”

Interested in joining the team?
The amazing colleagues who spoke to us have discovered a variety of development opportunities as part of the NIS team. Why not invest in your future? Find your place at one of the top-rated companies to work for in the UK. Search our current vacancies.