Business News Local News

Nostalgic insurance entrepreneur is ‘coming home’

Monopoly Insurance acquires BeWiser Barrett House Andover

A local commercial insurance brokerage has bought the former Bewiser head office in Andover

Monopoly Insurance have acquired Barrett House on Savoy Close, the prominent red-brick building on the Winchester Road roundabout.

Director of Monopoly Insurance Joel Kirby says he’s ‘coming home’ as the former Winton School pupil started his insurance career in Barrett House in 2012 whilst working for Bewiser.  

The freehold property was purchased by Be Wiser in 2014 for £550,000, but has a current market value of over £750,000. 

Joel exclusively told Love Andover, “I always wanted to one day set up my own insurance brokerage and just perhaps move back into the building, back to where it all started for me”. 

This week, that dream became a reality for the 30 year-old entrepreneur.

After spending two years working at Bewiser, in 2014 Joel moved out of managing personal insurance and ventured into commercial insurance, working for two other brokerages before ‘taking the plunge’ in 2019 to start his own business.

‘It is amazing to see where we have come from in such a short space of time”, says Joel.

“From me being on my own with only a handful of clients, a mobile phone and laptop sat on my sofa as I didn’t even have a desk.

“In just under 4 years we have built a fantastic team servicing nearly 8,000 clients showing exceptional growth year on year.

“With the purchase of Barrett House this is my way of saying we are ‘going back home’ in a rather nostalgic way.”

Barrett House housed insurance brokerages for over 20 years and the company’s owners want to continue that legacy with Monopoly Insurance.

Monopoly Insurance is fast becoming a major player for insurance products for the hospitality sector.  With products which best serve pubs, restaurants and hotels, the Andover based company prides itself on creating bespoke packages for shops, retail and tradespeople.

Be Wiser was formed in 2007 and was noted as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies, employing over 700 staff. In 2021 it became part of Atlanta Insurance Intermediaries Limited and continues to trade as Be Wiser today.

Betraying the amount of effort and money required to make the premises fit for purpose, Joel says, “After a bit of a refurb at the property, we hope to move in around Easter”.

We wish Joel and his growing team every success for the future.


About the author

David Harber

David Harber is the founder and Managing Director of Love Andover, including the Love Andover Observer newspaper and 95.9FM Andover Radio. He is a fellow at the Royal Society of Arts and a card carrying member of the Nation Union of Journalists.