Page 1

Issue 3

Tidy Darts

Nodor International’s Global Success

Auto-Enrolment Is Your Business Ready?

Ffos Las

Welsh Racing Jumps Ahead

Buck Stops with You Directors’ Liabilities


A Day at the Races Classic Car Insurance How to select the right policy for you

Diamonds are Forever The many facets of jewellery design

HSE’s Billing Powers Insight into the Fee for Intervention scheme


Welsh Racing Jumps Ahead The Ffos Las Story

On the Right Track with KGJ Price Railway Contractors

You Are Your Brother's Keeper

Stylish start for Club Signature

Success at the Sharp End with Nodor International

Gear up for a Classic Investment

The Scene is published by Thomas Carroll Group plc. Editor: Peter Acton, Yogi Communications Publisher: Gwenllian Davies, Thomas Carroll Design: Burning Red

© 2013 Copyright Thomas Carroll Group plc. No part of this publication may be reproduced or used in any form of advertising or promotion without written permission of the publisher. No responsibility will

Swansea Office 12 Tawe Business Village, Enterprise Park, Swansea SA7 9LA t  +44 (0)1792 795 265



Photography: Martin Ellard, Alex Mills, Tim Dickeson, Simon Connellan. Printed by Hartley Colourprint

Contributors to this issue: John Moore, Mark Eedy, Louise Eedy, Alison Davies, Kevin Price, Michael Learoyd, Gareth Cotty, Gwenllian Davies, Peter Acton, Matthew Barroccu.

Caerphilly Office Pendragon House, Crescent Road, Caerphilly CF83 1XX t  +44 (0)29 2088 7733

Diamonds are forever in Wales


Best Companies Shine Out


The Buck Stops with You


Auto-Enrolment – is Your Business Ready?


Meet The New Team in Town


Born Fee – HSE powers



be accepted for any error or omissions or comments made by writers or interviewees. Views expressed in the magazine are not necessarily those of Thomas Carroll Group plc and services and goods featured are not necessarily endorsed by Thomas Carroll Group plc. Editorial submission to: – The Editor retains the right to edit editorial according to style and space considerations.

Brecon Office Swyn yr Enfys, Upper Brechfa, Llandefalle, Brecon, Powys LD3 0NG t  +44 (0)1874 754 770

Thomas Carroll Group plc:    Commercial Insurance   Personal Insurance 

Haverfordwest Office 17 Victoria Place, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA61 2JX t  +44 (0)1437 776 775

Financial Advice   Health and Safety   Employment Law


Cover Story: Simon Hall, Head of Marketing at Nodor International Photograph: Alex Mills

WIN 4 Hospitality tickets at Ffos Las Racecourse

Thoughts of

John Moore With remarkably racing through 2013 … all talk about the Budget, Eurozone uncertainty, a difficult flat economy, various WAG initiatives and the Banks misselling again. Most importantly for us the TC Group AGM broadcasted our business plans, budget disciplines, growth ambitions and for our good people an increased share value and dividends distributed through our Employee Benefit Trust/share incentive plan. The plans as you would expect are all about our determination to improve again on service delivery to you our clients … the first TC Group rule: ‘look after your customer’

To enter our free competition simply read the article on Page 4 where the answer to the following question can be found:

Which jockey has clocked up 50 race wins at Ffos Las racecourse? Email your answer together with your business contact details to: Closing date for entries is 1st August 2013

And also develop our Group prospects … by understanding the business through an educated risk assessment, finding the right intelligent solution, to be competitive and deliver on our promises. For all of our partners that generously refer on our reputation of integrity and knowledge, skilled negotiations and the quality of our people to get claims paid … a big thank you.

and always there is an open invitation to come visit Pendragon for a good coffee and a Welsh cake from mother.

Enjoy and win your 2013 challenge And, excitingly things happening for us through 2013 … a Phase IV extension at Caerphilly, purchase of impressive premises on the Tawe Business Village Swansea and now expansion through to Pembrokeshire with Simon Lawrence joining us to launch a Haverfordwest office … and all made possible through your loyal instructions. Thank you … enjoy and win your 2013 challenge. John Moore Chairman

With the website now offering a ‘how are we doing’ survey inviting you to respond, we must listen and often the best ideas from our client friends …

*Valid for Standard and Premium racedays and will be located in the Bridles Restaurant. Standard terms and conditions apply.

Last Issue’s Winner

Thomas Carroll Group plc is proud to support:

Congratulations to the winner of our issue 2 competition, Jason James of Nolan UPVC Ltd, who wins 6-months' supply of Corgi socks.



Welsh Racing

Jumps Ahead The Ffos Las Story By Peter Acton

A lot of Welsh, a lot of rain and a lot of smiles: and by the way the racetrack is a cracker. Anyone making a first visit to Ffos Las is unlikely to leave it as a last one."


This was the verdict of seasoned racing pundit Brough Scott on his first visit to the new Carmarthenshire racecourse Ffos Las, which, in 2009, became the first Turf National Hunt racecourse to be built in the UK for 80 years.

Built at a cost of ÂŁ20 million, the construction of the 600 acre site was an engineering feat, transforming Europe's largest open-cast coal mine into a purpose built racecourse, conference, leisure and entertainment centre.

Situated near the coast, five miles outside Llanelli, the distinctive 12 furlong oval racecourse, is the brainchild of Dai Walters, head of the large Hirwaunbased civil engineering firm Walters Group, an avid racehorse owner and trainer, and the chairman of Ffos Las.

In 2014, Ffos Las celebrates its fifth birthday and is a testament to the vision and determination of Dai Walters to bring top class racing to West Wales.

Thomas Carroll

The management team is headed by Clerk of the Course and General Manager Tim Long who has been involved with the racecourse from its earliest days, and a commercial team headed by Lindsey Jones.

Photographs: Martin Ellard


Grandstand view: Robert Jones of Thomas Carroll, with Tim Long, Clerk of the Course and General Manager Ffos Las and Lindsey Jones Commercial Manager of Ffos Las Racecourse.

The Scene asked Tim Long what he believes makes Ffos Las special.

The local community has clearly played a crucial role in the success of Ffos Las.

“The Walters Group did a phenomenal job in constructing a purpose-built racecourse from literally below the groundup in a tough economic climate.

“From the word go we were embraced by the local community, both racegoers and the wider business community, and their spirit and support for us has been crucial in our success.

To build the course in just over two years with no external funding and open on time was a Herculean effort, especially in the face of Great Leighs’ closing (the shortlived all-weather racecourse in Essex), which made people view the prospects of Ffos Las with a great deal of pessimism.”

They enjoy their racing but have been deprived of it for generations until now. This pride and sense of ownership for Ffos Las, their love of good sport and for enjoying a great day out, is translated into a tremendous and unique atmosphere at meetings here.”

“Our core market is local with the majority living within a 45-minute drive from the course. We also provide a free transport service for groups of 40 or more, which is bringing in good numbers of people from Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan and as far as Newport." Ffos Las is already building a strong reputation amongst the best in the business. “I think it is fair to say that jockeys and the racing industry in general have taken to us incredibly well,” said Tim Long. “They were impressed that we took on the project in the first place, and that



Over fences: Tim Long of Ffos Las racecourse

Thomas Carroll is the official insurance broker to Ffos Las racecourse and is also a corporate sponsor. Robert Jones, Director of our Swansea and West Wales headquarters said:

Ffos Las has been a very welcome addition to the already rich sporting life of West Wales. Dai Walters and the entire team behind this excellent facility, are to be congratulated for achieving their dream of creating a superb, purposebuilt course that is so highly regarded in sporting circles. They have brought investment, jobs, excellent race meetings and an important addition to the local economy. We are proud to be working with Ffos Las as it continues to grow from strength to strength.”


In 2014 Ffos Las will celebrate its fifth birthday and is a testament to the vision and determination of Dai Walters to bring top class racing to West Wales.” we built the whole thing with no corners cut in construction and facilities. Our advantage is that we have a completely purpose-built track. It is incredibly well drained and this is important given the average annual rainfall in West Wales of 50 inches. Last year we had 70 inches and we kept racing throughout. It is also very wide enabling us to mount a wide range of fixtures and group races, both flat and over jumps, so this flexibility is a great asset. We have state of the art stables, our own veterinary hospital and our own accommodation block for racing staff to stay overnight. Coupled to this is the quality of racing we set out to achieve with a good level of prize money which is attracting top owners to Ffos Las.

Thomas Carroll

We are also seeing the emergence of many new talented trainers in Wales including Evan Williams, Tim Vaughan, Rebecca Curtis and Peter Bowen. Ffos Las is a great asset to them and their businesses as their owners can have runners here, saving the costs of travelling to racecourses further afield.”

Entertainment As well as its sporting profile, Ffos Las, in common with all major racecourses these days, takes its role as part of the leisure, entertainment and corporate hospitality world, very seriously. It heralded 2013 as an even ‘bigger and better year of racing’ than ever, with nineteen National Hunt races, seven on the flat and one mixed race card. High profile races have already included the recently revived Welsh Champion Hurdle.



AP McCoy on Ffos Las

AP McCoy Photograph: Simon Connellan

Eighteen times Champion Jockey AP McCoy OBE has won more races than any other jockey at Ffos Las. Speaking exclusively to The Scene, AP McCoy told us: “Ffos Las is a very fair track, similar to Newbury which is also popular with jockeys and trainers. The hurdles and fences are both well presented and the course is kept in excellent condition. I have had lots of success there so am a big fan!” Tim Long said: “AP McCoy has always been a great supporter and the fact that he has just ridden his 50th winner here tells its own story. He is very popular here.”

The social event calendar extends far beyond race these days. Commercial Manager Lindsey Jones and her team are responsible for staging a full and ever growing array of events. This year’s diary is packed including regional rural shows, comedy nights, exhibitions, conferences and wedding fayres. Entertainment now augments many high profile race days, with tribute acts to chart stars appearing live on stage at Ffos Las to entertain racegoers into the evening.

Highlights for this year include the Eisteddfod Bank Holiday Big Day Out, and Saturday Show Night, both in May. The always-glittering Ladies Night takes place on June 20th, and in this year of Welsh rugby triumph, on August 6th, the Ryan Jones Testimonial Race Day takes place.

For a full listing of Ffos Las events and corporate facilties visit:

“Our visitor numbers across all events at Ffos Las are growing year on year and we work very hard on vital areas such as customer service to ensure people keep coming back,” said Tim Long.



On the Right Track

with KGJ Price Railway Contractors By Peter Acton

When Bargoed-born haulage contractor Ken Price bought a few railway sleepers to sell in 1965, little did he know that his diversification would grow into one of the UKs top four railway track companies with ÂŁ5 million turnover, employing 60 staff and helping to keep the wheels turning on railways up and down the country.


Thomas Carroll

When Bargoed-born haulage contractor Ken Price bought a few railway sleepers to sell in 1965, little did he know that his diversification would grow into one of the UKs top four railway track companies with ÂŁ5 million turnover, employing 60 staff and helping to keep the wheels turning on railways up and down the country. Take a trip on beautiful Bluebell steam railway in Sussex and you could be riding on tracks supplied by Welsh railway contractors KGJ Price.


Photographs: Martin Ellard

Three's company: Ken Price (Left) Managing Director of KGJ Price Railway Contractors with Mary Fletcher, Thomas Carroll Account Manager and Mervyn Harris, Consultant to KGJ Price.

Similarly, wonder at the immensity of Tata Steel’s giant new £185 million blast Furnace Number 4 at Port Talbot, and the huge wagons carrying between 300-400 tonnes of molten metal, are running on a KGJ Price-installed track. Located on a 1/2 acre site in Bedwas, near Caerphilly KGJ Price (standing for ‘Kenneth Granville John’ Price) operates throughout the UK, and can often be called out at a moments notice when track repairs are required.

The ability to respond to emergency requests is one of the company’s strengths, and crucial in a transport sector where downtime can cost huge amounts of money in lost production, construction time or stranded freight. “When an industrial derailment occurs, for example at a steel works, we have a reputation in the industry for responding quickly and we can get teams in place and out to site within four hours of a call-out. Our ability to respond fast and undertake remedial work is a phenomenal advantage to us in the market,” said Ken.

The vast majority of the company’s work is as a niche specialist as opposed to a main line railway contractor. The company not only maintains track, it also designs, manufactures and installs railroads, for a wide range of sectors, including industrial, heritage and narrow gauge railways. Its work can also be seen forming the sidings for railways of all sizes. Continued over


Photograph: Ed Webster


Steaming Ahead: The Bluebell Railway features KGJ Price tracks

KGJ Price installs rail track for the Ministry of Defence and mining companies and is heavily involved with large-scale construction companies, installing temporary track for the transportation of construction waste and materials. This notably included providing temporary tunnelling track for the construction of the new Terminal 5 extension at London Heathrow Airport. The company was originally based at East Moors in Cardiff where it looked after the railway requirements of the giant ASW (Allied Steel and Wire) works for over fifteen years. KGJ Price relocated to its current site ten years ago, seizing on the opportunity to create a large-scale manufacturing facility necessary to work on large lengths of railway track under cover. As well as production, the site houses the company’s design team which produces the track layouts and rail configurations required for projects of all shapes and sizes.

One of the largest contracts undertaken by the firm included extensive works as sub-contractors to Balfour Beatty Rail at Northfleet Terminal, London.

The ability to respond to emergency requests is one of the company's strengths, and crucial in a transport sector where downtime can cost huge amounts of money..." Part of the mammoth London Crossrail project, the company installed track to carry construction waste out to the Thames Estuary. This included supplying 15,000 tonnes of ballast and laying down 4,500 metres of track on concrete sleepers.

Asked about the reasons for its success, Ken Price said: “Quite simply it’s down to good service, we never let people down, and as a result they keep coming back.” Clearly, the company has carved itself as one of very few niche specialists in the UK, but ambitions to expand are evident to see. Preparing for this future, fifteen months ago the company reviewed its operations. A succession plan was put in place which included developing talent within the company, increasing skills training and giving staff, many of whom have grown up in the business, greater responsibilities. “We see ourselves moving up the chain in the near future, we have in place all the necessary certifications and registrations to undertake mainline work. Having forged new contacts with some of the major civil companies and freight operators throughout the UK, we now need to work towards becoming a mainline contractor and build toward that, but without forgetting our roots and providing absolute quality in service and products,” said Ken Price. Visit:


Thomas Carroll


is lending to Businesses These Days!?!

Thomas Carroll Independent Financial Advisers, with its specialist property finance broker facility, could help you unlock your funding requirement to grow your business. With the Government backed incentive ‘Funding for Lending Scheme,’a number of commercial lenders are able to offer a 1% discount on their interest rates. Talk to Thomas Carroll IFA today to find out how we can help secure growth funding for business.

Call Thomas Carroll today: Telephone:

029 2085 5246 Or email:





Thomas Carroll


Classic cars and motorbikes have overtaken other collectables including fine wine and art as an appreciating investment. Selecting the right insurance policy for your appreciating asset is vital. In 2012, a 1967 Ferrari 250 GTO changed hands for a reported £20 million. At the other end of the scale, an unrestored 1959 Austin Mini De Luxe managed to fetch £40,250 at auction. But, unlike modern cars which almost always depreciate in value, it is crucial for classic vehicle owners to have insurance in place which takes into account their rising value as an asset. Thomas Carroll Private Clients provides the Classic Car Scheme, developed in close cooperation with specialist high value classic car insurers, Hagerty and Hiscox.

'Agreed Value' Alison Davies, Managing Director of Thomas Carroll Private Clients said: “It is crucial for classic car owners to have an insurance policy with 'agreed value' at its heart, and this is exactly what Hiscox have done. It provides absolute piece of mind that, in the event of a claim, there will be no argument about a total loss payout – the sum will not change, regardless of the car’s age or wear and tear sustained in the period of insurance. Many standard-market motor insurers do not include this benefit, and their clients are unaware of this absence. It is an important factor in helping clients to protect their prized motoring assets."

Better than a Bank? Classic cars have proved to be a shrewd investment since the collapse of the financial markets in 2008, with gold being the only asset to beat the increase in values in percentage terms. Fine wine, art and other tangible assets have performed admirably well, but not quite to the extent of classic cars! Increasing numbers of people are using classic cars to grow their savings. Steve Morse, Head of Motor at Hiscox, says “If you put your money in the right car, you could get a much better yield than investing in shares. There are very few of certain cars in good condition with low mileage on the clock. The rarity of these cars over-inflates the price, and the small group of collectors around the world seems to be willing to pay.” Alison Davies is Managing Director of Thomas Carroll Private Clients Email: t  029 2085 8637



Diamonds are

Forever in Wales



By Matthew Barroccu

Club Signature partner*, The Diamond Centre Wales provides a bespoke, family run jewellery design service in Talbot Green, based around this most precious of stones. Celebrating 30 years as registered diamond merchants and bespoke jewellery makers, The Diamond Centre is headed by Directors Kelvin and Sharon James, who lead a team of experts including daughters Siantal and Kara, designers Simon Evans and Kate Wren, and an entire team of goldsmiths. Sharon James said: “From everyday miracles to life-changing events, every moment has meaning. A unique piece of jewellery lets us carry those beautiful moments with us forever.” The first stage of the process is to meet a designer who will work with customers to produce a series of sketches to understand exactly what they have in mind. If customers have little idea of how they want their piece to look, they can browse through a portfolio of jewellery samples until they find inspiration, and can then work with their designer to make it unique to their wishes. “Many customers have a picture as clear as crystal in their minds, while others will need help exploring and refining their inspirations. Either way our dedication,

time and skill will make your dream a reality,” said Diamantaire Kelvin James. Next, artistry meets technology as Diamond Centre Wales employs computer-assisted design technology to construct a 3D virtual model enabling customers to explore variations and options with a click of the mouse. Intricate designs can be created in a matter of hours that might ordinarily take weeks for a master craftsman to design by hand. A wax replica of the piece is then built up layer by layer, allowing customters to see how it will look and feel when they wear it. Only once the design is perfect is it handed to the team of goldsmiths who craft the piece with techniques passed down through the generations from the finest precious metals and beautiful, ‘conflict-free,’ stones. For that added touch of glamour, customers can share a glass of Champagne in the new Diamond Lounge when they collect their prized possession. “The added bonus is that as registered diamond merchants, we can offer up to 40% better value than high street prices,” said Kelvin James. “Our obsession with diamonds is second only to that moment of pure joy when we present you with that dream piece of jewellery. Your extraordinary piece of bespoke jewellery requires one special ingredient – just you and your dream.” *See page 19 for details of the Club Signature Service. Matthew Barroccu is Marketing Manager of The Diamond Centre Wales Visit:




Thomas Carroll is now ranked

Best Companies

Shine out


in the

Sunday Times Best Companies to work for 2013



Places from 85th in 2012 By Gwenllian Davies

Thomas Carroll has grown to


In our eigth year of entering The Sunday Times Best Companies to work for survey, Thomas Carroll Group has successfully been ranked in the top 100 once again. With 111 employees Thomas Carroll is now ranked at 67th, up eighteen places in the 50-250 employee category, up from 85 in 2012. The Group has also re-gained the coveted 3 star status. Every year The Sunday Times seeks valuable information from the anonymous survey conducted by Best Companies of all our employees. The categories focus on Leadership, Wellbeing, Giving Something Back, Personal Growth, My Manager, My Company, My Team and Fair Deal. Highlights this year included 97% of TC people agreeing that ‘The leader of this organisation runs this organisation based on sound moral principles.’ 83% agreed with the statement: ‘I am happy with the pay and benefits I receive in this job,’ and 98% concurred with ‘I feel proud to work for this organisation.’


Skilful Success Thomas Carroll Group has been named the winner of the Skills and People Development category at the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Business Awards 2013. Supported by the University of Glamorgan, the awards celebrate excellence, innovation and the significant achievements of the business community in Wales. Graham Morgan, Director of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, said: “These awards will prove that it is still possible to succeed despite the current climate and recognise those making a difference in the Welsh business world.” Visit:

Thomas Carroll

EMPLOYEES The Group has also re-gained the coveted



of employees agreed with the statement

"I feel proud to work for this organisation"



In today’s increasingly regulated environment, the personal liabilities facing directors have increased dramatically. In reality, a director’s liability is potentially unlimited, even to the extent of a charge on their salary if assets such as their house, cars and savings do not meet the liabilities.

Under the Companies Act 2006, the personal legal responsibility for company directors are many and include involuntary, constructive or gross negligence, anti-discrimination regulations, including racial and age discrimination and unpaid taxes where the company has become insolvent.

Limited liability status provides significant protection to shareholders, but virtually nothing to officers of the company.

It does not stop there, as a director you are liable for corporate manslaughter and health & safety legislation, employment disputes, including wrongful, unfair or constructive dismissal, harassment and wrongful discipline. You can also carry the corporate can if the company is trading in the knowledge that the business is or will become insolvent. Even if allegations are unfounded, defence costs can be heavy. Other legal costs should not be underestimated. As a director or officer you may also be held personally liable for the actions or omissions of others.

Am I protected by ‘Limited Liability’? Unfortunately you are not, it is a persistent myth that a company having limited liability status protects directors and officers from personal liability.

In addition, there is no restriction on the size of company being sued. Arguably, smaller companies are more at risk as they tend not to have the infrastructure or resources either to prevent incidents or to keep up with changing legislation.

It is an unfortunate and persistent myth that a company having limited liability status protects directors and officers from personal liability.” Harsh Lessons Learned In one case, a construction company director was fined for safety breaches after his friend and employee was killed in a site accident when a wall in the grounds of a house collapsed on him as he was digging a trench. The director pleaded guilty to failing to ensure the safety of a person working for him and

two further charges of contravening health and safety regulations by not carrying out a risk assessment. He was fined £12,500 and so was the company. Both he and the company were ordered to pay prosecution costs of £3,000 each. He must find a total of £31,000 to meet the fines and costs. Had he had D&O cover, the director could have claimed the defence costs involved in the proceedings against him. Although the fine would not have been covered, the cost to defend the director was significant. This is just one example amongst many that we come across, where Directors and Officers insurance could have significantly reduced the financial costs of breaking corporate legal obligations. On this basis, it is highly advisable for all company directors to consult with their insurance broker to see if this important cover is in place. Gareth Cotty is Director of Thomas Carroll (Brokers) Ltd t 

029 2085 5240

Photograph: Alex Mills

You are personally liable to almost limitless financial penalties if you break your corporate legal obligations. In this light, Directors and Officers insurance might be the only option for you.



Stylish Start for Club Signature At a stylish event at Wales Millennium Centre, Robert Jones and Alison Davies have officially launched the Club Signature; the new lifestylebased personal insurance service from Thomas Carroll Private Clients. Alison Davies (right) Managing Director of Thomas Carroll Private Clients with Claire Humphries, Director

Lloyd Williams and Brynmor Williams at the Club Signature launch with Robert Jones.


Thomas Carroll


Club Signature is a new, complementary personal insurance service for Thomas Carroll clients whose financial position and lifestyle require high levels of individualised cover. For its first social event, clients and guests enjoyed a drink and canapé reception followed by a Six Nations round-up Q&A featuring Welsh rugby's Lloyd Williams, Rhys Williams and Robert Jones, Regional Director of Thomas Carroll in Swansea.

This is an entirely complementary service to qualifying clients and one which is unique in Wales and, I believe, within the UK insurance industry.” The Club Signature approach to a personalised insurance service covers a range of covers to suit clients’ lifestyles, including : General contents insurance, antiques and fine art, motor cars and buildings including farms and estates. It also covers holiday homes, personal effects, jewellery, yachts, boats and travel.

This was followed by an auction of Welsh contemporary art led by Welsh Members will receive a Club former Commonwealth Light Signature card which will give Heavyweight boxing them access to preferential champion, Nicky services offered by Club Piper, which raised This is an entirely Signature Partner over £3,000 for complementary companies and George Thomas organisations. This will Hospice Care. service to qualifying include restaurant and leisure discounts and Further glamour clients and one which jewellers, qualified in was provided by a providing valuations. raffle to win a is unique in Wales and, Diamond, I believe, within the UK Access to antique donated valuers, interior designers, for the insurance industry.” home security products charity, and advice and an affluent by Club homes estate agent are also Signature available as part of Club Signature. partner Diamond Centre Claire Humphries, Director of Thomas Wales (see page 15). Carroll Private Clients said: “As a Chartered insurance broker, we employ only the Alison Davies, Managing leading experts in their fields. Director of Thomas Carroll Private Clients said: “With We have access to many of the leading Club Signature we have insurance companies who specialise in insuring taken the relationship with individuals who have higher than average our clients to a higher financial assets. In addition, we have our own level, with the launch of product range providing added flexibility. our own Club, bringing them extra benefits. Clients with Club Signature membership can benefit from a choice of policies that Club Signature provides its members with: provide wider and more flexible cover unlike standard ‘off-the- shelf’ products.” A dedicated consultant Competitive premiums For information on Club Signature Club Signature Card with membership visit: partner services A personalised insurance audit One renewal date for multiple policies 24-hour priority claims response Complimentary magazine subscription

Photographs: Tim Dickeson

•• •• •• •• •• •• ••



When You are Your Brother’s Keeper Failure to report potentially high risk operations to your insurer can include invalidation of your insurance cover� Just because you are a landlord or property portfolio holder does not mean the business activities of your tenants are of no consequence to you. Failure to report potentially high-risk operations to your insurer can include invalidation of your insurance cover. By Michael Learoyd


A case in point is the growing recycling and waste processing industry, where good stewardship of your property assets and tenant risk management is crucial.

Thomas Carroll

The scale and severity of the losses and fire wastage in recent years has caused the insurance industry to regard recycling and waste operations as a fundamental high risk. The industry expansion, along with heavy day-to-day operational demands, often coincides with inadequate standards of fire risk management. This has resulted in many high-profile fire losses which has unveiled underinsurance in many cases. Insurance premium costs for material damage cover involving waste and recycling operations are rising by at least 300%. This makes the duty of a landlord as a policy holder to disclose accurate information to insurers on the operations even more important.


Waste and recycling operations are extremely varied. It can range from purely storage and sorting of materials, to complex mechanical processes to recover materials and change the composition of the end of life materials.

How your Insurer may view it There is little or no appetite among UK mainstream insurers to insure this type of risk. Insurers are often looking to limit their exposure by reducing cover and imposing a maximum sum insured. Many are imposing high excess levels with £25,000 not uncommon with minimum premiums around £10,000 for high risk operations.

The insurance industry operates on some fundamental principles and “utmost good faith”, with disclosure of material facts by the policyholder being a key principle. All insurance policies contain conditions and sometimes warranties which place requirements on the policyholder to disclose accurate information on their current situation. For a property owner or investor where a tenancy change involves an “increase in risk” by way of a waste and recycling operation taking up occupation of the property, this would very much constitute as “alteration of risk”.

This must be notified to the insurer through an insurance broker or advisor as soon as the landlord is aware of the change in tenancy. Beware, failure to notify the insurer could invalidate the insurance cover. Thomas Carroll (Brokers) Ltd specialises in the property sector and we are able to offer advice and guidance to property investors and owners around good stewardship of property assets and tenant risk management. Michael Learoyd is Head of Property, Thomas Carroll Property Risk Services t

029 2085 3750



Success at the Sharp End Wales leads the way in world darts By Peter Acton

Wales is a global leader in a sport second only to football in participation numbers. From pub to packed televised arena, darts is a worldwide media sensation and the biggest darts equipment manufacturer in the world is Welsh. Bridgend-based Nodor International is both the oldest and largest group of companies servicing the darts industry and has to date sold nearly 40 million dartboards to over 60 countries worldwide. It owns three of the World's flagship dart brands, Winmau, Nodor and Red Dragon Darts, with all three brands working across domestic and export markets. Wales has always been at the top of the sport since the first world champion Leighton Rees picked up the inaugural BDO world title in 1978, beating Englishman John Lowe. There have been two more Welsh World Champions since – Richie Burnett in 1995 and Mark Webster in 2008 – and both still play with Winmau Darts.


The company employs over 300 people, between its Bridgend Headquarters and production plant in Nairobi, Kenya. The best material for dartboard construction is sisal, and the best sisal in the world is grown in Kenya. A team from Wales is constantly on hand in Kenya, managing operations where some 150 tonnes of sisal is harvested each day to provide prime grade fibre for dartboard production. The Winmau Blade 4 dartboard has grown into an iconic dartboard. It’s the official dartboard of the BDO and used exclusively at The Lakeside World Championships. The Winmau name can be seen straddling the board’s double-top, and seen by millions of television viewers worldwide each year, as the World’s top players compete, with many using Winmau and Red Dragon darts. This year, Winmau’s 40th World Masters takes place between 10th and 13th October, making Winmau the longest serving darts sponsor at the oldest Major in the Darts World today. According to Simon Hall, Head of Marketing at Nodor International, the company is scoring highly across world markets. "2012 was a strong year for us, both in exports and UK sales. Darts is a low cost sport to start, is a skilful, yet extremely social game, and we’ve picked up in export markets through our investment in coverage to a worldwide television audience.”

Thomas Carroll

The company’s success in recent years has also been built on recognition that we make tournament standard premium products, accessible at prices that suit everyone. “Our success is based on our commitment to give darts players the absolute best darts products from brand names that have been synonymous with darts for decades.” “The darts market has changed unbelievably over the last five years. Whereas products from the Far East were widespread amongst chain store retailers, we’re now seeing a far more educated market that prefers to buy once, but buy right. People have really caught up with the fact that cheapest is not the best.”

If you play or watch darts we try to make it impossible not to be touched by one of our brands.” It was in 2002 that years of rivalry between the two leading dartboard manufacturers, Nodor and Winmau ended. The Welsh company successfully acquired the Winmau brand and has since taken it to greater heights with the development of its flagship ‘Blade’ dartboard – the stateof-the-art dartboard used exclusively in the BDO World Championships.


Taking Flight Simon Hall, Head of Marketing at Nodor International Photographs: Martin Ellard



The Bridgend connection began when John Bluck, a former production engineer at the Ford Motor Company and father of current owner Vince, was invited to play a game of darts. He became fascinated with the equipment used and the challenge of improving darts equipment through innovative engineering and mass production. “John’s contribution is key to our success story. He came from a cost reduction engineering background, producing the best quality product in relation to cost. When Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson hit the big time in the 1970s and viewing figures for Jim Bowen’s classic quiz show “Bullseye” regularly exceeded 17 million in the early 1980s; the company lead the way in darts manufacturing, pioneering the mass production of tungsten darts. Tungsten is two and a half times heavier than brass. The company’s ability to efficiently process this semiprecious metal gives the dart player an alloy with space age characteristics, improving accuracy, consistency and above all, the ability to closely group darts in critical high scoring zones.

All the leading players, including Ted Hankey, can often be found fine-tuning their precision engineered tungsten arrows with craftsmen in Bridgend" These same innovative engineering principles have subsequently been used to reduce production costs in tournament specification dartboards, which are sold under both the Nodor and Winmau brands worldwide. The company operates in a world of precision engineering down to the most minute level and absolute innovation. “Our products are quality tested at every stage in their manufacture. Each and every dart is checked and match-weighed and we guarantee that all three darts in a set weigh


Taking Stock: Simon Hall, Nodor International Head of Marketing (Right) with Ray Dickens, Director of Thomas Carroll.

Thomas Carroll has looked after the commercial insurance requirements of Nodor International for the past eleven years.

Ray Dickens, Director of Thomas Carroll said: “We can all be proud that Wales has in Nodor International a successful and growing company that is the World leader in its field. The company’s thirst for innovation and excellence in all it does is infectious and something we can all learn from. We are working closely with Nodor International as it builds on its reputation as the world number one in the darts world.”

the same to within 0.01gram. Our dartboards strictly comply with the highest technical specifications in the world, maintained by the BDO & World Darts Federation.

We sponsor the longest-standing darts Major, the Winmau World Masters which is broadcast to over 150 countries. We have successfully launched into online video through Winmau TV and Red Dragon Darts TV and we widely embrace all social media networks to maximise contact with our customers.

Today, many of the World’s top professional players play with Winmau darts – Simon Whitlock, Ted ‘The Count’ Hankey, Andy ‘The Viking’ Fordham, Bobby George, Richie Burnett, Mervyn King and Mark Webster. Maintaining a close relationship with the sport’s leading professional players is at the heart of the Bridgend Company’s philosophy and always has been.

Everything we do is backed by a strong visual presence whether that is at darts events, online or social media, and our message is simple, if you play or watch darts, we want you to experience one of our brands,” said Simon Hall.

All the leading players, including Ted Hankey, can often be found fine-tuning their precision engineered tungsten arrows with craftsmen in Bridgend.


“We love getting involved with players, fans and our customers at every opportunity,” says Simon Hall.

Follow: @winmau @reddragondarts

“We operate an open shop, we mix with our customers in the darts community and lots of valuable ideas for product development come back to us from the players themselves.”

Thomas Carroll

Protect your Family Tree With our Will Writing Service

Thomas Carroll Independent Financial Advisers Ltd can now offer a Will Writing Service to new and existing customers. We have made a special arrangement with Involegal to provide you with a legally binding and cost effective service. Do not leave your family assets and their future down to chance; make the right provision for your family and friends. Visit us online for more information on how to make a Will

Call Thomas Carroll today: Telephone:

029 2088 7733 Or email:

in association with:



Photographs: Martin Ellard

Is Your Business Ready?


Thomas Carroll


By Mark Eedy

The workplace pensions’ revolution has well and truly started in the UK, and if as an employer you are not playing your part, then you will face penalties imposed by the Pensions Regulator.

The award-winning Thomas Carroll IFA team is on hand to help ensure you meet your Auto-Enrolment obligations. All employers operating in the UK will have to automatically enrol eligible employees into a qualifying pension scheme between 1st October 2012 and 30th September 2017. Businesses will inevitably face additional cost and administration

Award-winners: The Thomas Carroll IFA management team, from left, Steve Francis, Louise Eedy, Peter White and Mark Eedy

burdens under the new pension regime. The good news is that there is time to plan and prepare, but time is running out. Staging dates for Auto-Enrolment will be spread over six years from 2012 with larger employers being affected first. All employers will receive a letter from the Pensions Regulator confirming their staging date.



Staging Dates

Our Latest IFA Award

Number of Employees

Staging Date

(on 5 th April 2012) 350 – 499

1st January 2014

250 – 349

1st February 2014

160 – 249

1st April 2014

90 – 159

1st May 2014

62 – 89

1st July 2014


1st August 2014


1st October 2014


1st November 2014


1st January 2015

54 – 57

1st March 2015

50 – 53

1st April 2015

49 and below

1st June 2015 to 1st April 2017

Analyse your workforce

Pension Scheme Governance

Every employer will have duties to perform but the duties will vary depending on the types of workers you employ.

You should hold regular Governance meetings to manage communications to your employees and ensure that it all continues to work.

You will need to automatically enrol ‘eligible jobholders’ into a pension scheme and make contributions subject to the minimum set by the government for qualifying schemes. Those workers who do not fall within this category will still have to be offered a pension scheme and in some cases you will have to pay into it.

Review your arrangements If you already offer some form of pension provision you will need to make sure that your existing scheme meets a minimum standard. If you do not have a pension scheme you will have to set one up. You can use an occupational pension scheme, a personal pension scheme or NEST as your auto-enrolment scheme.

If after your staging date you are found to be in breach of any of the auto-enrolment requirements penalties will be imposed by the Pensions Regulator. These penalties are based on your number of employees and the charge is a DAILY rate. The following table details the penalties:

Number of PAYE Employees


250 – 499

£5,000 per day

50 – 249

£2,500 per day

5 – 49

£500 per day


£50 per day

You may wish to use more than one scheme. For example, you may choose private pension provision for some of your employees but NEST for others.

These are just some of the issues facing finance directors and business owners. Planning ahead, well before the staging date, could help smooth any cost increases, avoiding last minute shocks.

Whatever you decide, it is important to ensure that your administration system can effectively manage the auto-enrolment process.

With the economic climate as it is, it is probably even more important to plan as early as possible.


Thomas Carroll

Thomas Carroll Independent Financial Advisers Ltd is proud to have received the inaugural ‘Chartered Financial Planners of the Year’ in 2009, followed by ‘Retirement Planning Firm of the Year’ award in 2010 and 2011. This year the team was awarded ‘Corporate Adviser Firm of the Year’ at the Bankhall awards in 2012. Established as part of the Thomas Carroll Group, the principle of independent advice is central to our culture.

Meeting workplace pension reform is one of the most challenging obligations faced by British business today.” Help at Hand We can conduct an independent audit of your existing workplace pension scheme to make sure it will comply with, or exceed, the new requirements. If you have no pension scheme yet, we can design and implement a scheme to meet your exact requirements. We can also help with arrangements such as salary exchange that can save you money and offset the impact that these new laws will have on your business Mark Eedy is Managing Director of Thomas Carroll Independent Financial Advisers Ltd Email: t 

029 2085 5245

Health and Safety Training Courses from Thomas Carroll Management Services Accident Reporting and Investigation Asbestos Awareness

Directing Safely

IOSH Working Safely

Employee Safety Awareness

Managing Contractors

CDM Awareness

Event Management

Confined Space Entry

Fire Warden

Conflict Management

Fire Safety Awareness

COSHH Awareness

Health and Safety Awareness for Line Managers

Manual Handling Awareness

Principles of Risk Assessment Representatives of Employee Safety Safe Use of Ladders

Developing Method Statements Display Screen Equipment Risk Assessment

Health and Safety Awareness for Trade Apprentices IOSH Managing Safely

Contact us today

Manual Handling Train-The-Trainer

Safe Use of Work Equipment

NEBOSH National General Certificate

Stress Management

Needlestick and Sharps Awareness

Stress Management for Managers

Office Safety

Working at Height

Managing Permits to Work

Working Alone Safely



029 2088 7733


Meet the

New Team in Town

Thomas Carroll Group Opens Haverfordwest Office Building on the Group’s long-standing client base in West Wales, Thomas Carroll has opened a new regional office based in the centre of Haverfordwest. Team Thomas Carroll, from left, Robert Jones, Martin Colley, Brynmor Williams, Simon Lawrence and Dafydd Jones

The new office at 17 Victoria Place, will provide a full range of Group services to private and public sector clients and individuals. Services provided to the local area include Chartered business and personal insurance, Chartered independent financial advice, as well as health & safety and employment law.


Thomas Carroll

Joining Thomas Carroll to run operations in Haverfordwest are two highly experienced and locally based insurance broking specialists, Simon Lawrence and Martin Colley, who have moved over from Antur Insurance. The team will be supported by Regional Director Robert Jones and Brynmor Williams, Group Director.


Further strengthening the team is the appointment of Dafydd Jones, ex-Scarlets and Wales Grand Slam winning rugby international, who will also operate out of the new regional office. Please see page 34 for more details on our new appointments. Announcing the development Robert Jones said: “This exciting move is part of our regional expansion, establishing offices employing locallybased specialists serving businesses and private individuals across the full range of Group services.

Our move into Haverfordwest has been inspired by the resounding success of our Swansea office which opened in 2009, likewise serving our growing client base in its surrounding region. We now look forward to Haverfordwest becoming an integral part of the business community serving our growing range of clients in West Wales directly from within the region.”

Thomas Carroll is proud that our portfolio of clients in West Wales includes: Milford Haven Port Authority, GD Harries & Sons Ltd, Princes Gate Spring Water, Riverlea, Unit Birwelco, Mustang Marine and Ledwood Engineering. Thomas Carroll West Wales Office 17 Victoria Place, Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire SA61 2JX t  01437 776 775





HSE Direct Billing Powers Grow The head of field operations at HSE has announced that it has issued over 1,400 invoices charging companies directly for its investigations since its new scheme was introduced in October last year By Kevin (The Price Scene Issue 2).

This is even more reason for companies to take a good look at their Health & Safety provisions. The HSE’s new cost recovery scheme ‘Fee For Intervention’ (FFI) allows it to recoup its costs from organisations contravening health & safety law, charging them fees of £124 per hour. Speaking at the IOSH Conference in the Spring, David Ashton of HSE reported that the first run of invoices, which was initiated in January, had so far seen 1,400 bills sent out to errant duty-holders, meaning, said Ashton, “the money is really coming in”. He said that material breaches found in up to a third of inspections since FFI came between a quarter and a third of inspections carried out by the HSE found a material breach of health and safety law, resulting in a fee for intervention on the duty-holders involved. But he was keen to emphasise that FFI is not only – or even mainly – about the money. David Ashton said: “From the cases we take and the information we publish, companies realise that they really don’t want to experience ‘the knock’ from the HSE, followed by a bill. I don’t want to call it a deterrent – I see it as more of a spur to good behaviour, and this is a definite advantage of the scheme”.

Briefly explaining how the scheme works, Mr Ashton said that for companies that comply with the law in all significant respects, the HSE’s advice is free, while those who don’t will be charged for its time to put things right. Other figures from the HSE on the inspections undertaken show a major focus on the construction sector, which reflects the HSE’s focus on this industry as a ‘high risk-high priority’ sector. The HSE said its approach is to focus inspection on priority sectors and target them on specific activities in other sectors where there is evidence of poor performance. “The relatively high numbers in construction reflect its high priority for HSE as a high-risk sector, which is why construction is a division in field operations division (FOD), whereas the other high-risk sectors are covered by our geographically based divisions.” Anyone receiving an FFI invoice has 21 days from receipt in which to query it should they believe they were not in material breach of the law or the time the fee is charged for is incorrect. If they remain unhappy after the HSE’s response they have 10 days in which to lodge a dispute. Kevin Price is Managing Director of Thomas Carroll Management Services Ltd t  029 2085 3732


Thomas Carroll

Lifestyle | Insurance | Wealth

Club Signature is the new complementary personal insurance service for Thomas Carroll clients whose financial position and lifestyle require high levels of individualised cover. Club Signature benefits include:

• • Your own dedicated consultant • • Competitive premiums • • Club Signature Card with partner services • • A personalised insurance audit

• • One renewal date for multiple policies • • 24-hour priority claims response • • Complimentary magazine subscription



Simon Lawrence and Martin Colley

Rising Stars Pictured at WMC

TC’s new Haverfordwest Duo

Sian England and Jo Watson have joined Thomas Carroll Brokers as new recruits in our Caerphilly and Swansea offices respectively. They are pictured here at Wales Millennium Centre, a client of Thomas Carroll. With over 25 years experience of insurance broking, Porth resident Sian, who joins us from Creative Risk Solutions, has been appointed Account Executive as a member of our Commercial Broking Team, headed by Rhys Thomas, Managing Director. Jo Watson joins as New Business Development Executive covering

Locally-based insurance broking specialists Simon Lawrence and Martin Colley have been appointed to establish Thomas Carroll’s new office in Haverfordwest (see page 30). Working with Regional Director Robert Jones and Group Director Brynmor Williams, Simon joins us in the position of Account Executive and Martin as Account Broker. They have moved over from Antur Insurance where they operated throughout West Wales. With 26 years experience in insurance broking in the region, Simon Lawrence has wide experience of the sector encompassing all aspects of commercial insurance. Martin Colley was a barrister's clerk in London for 28 years before re-locating to West Wales in 2007, where he worked with Simon in both Fishguard and Haverfordwest. Robert Jones, Regional Director said: “As we have proven in Swansea, it is incredibly important for us to appoint locally-based specialists for our new regional offices and Simon and Martin exemplify this. We are very excited to be working with them in building the success of our new Haverfordwest office”.


Welcome onboard: Sian England (left) and Jo Watson with Rhys Thomas, Group Managing Director of Thomas Carroll

Swansea and West Wales, reporting to Robert Jones, Regional Director of Thomas Carroll Swansea. With eight years’ private clients and commercial insurance broking, Jo, who lives near Ammanford, joins Thomas Carroll from Antur Insurance Services in Swansea.

Grand Slam Hero Joins Thomas Carroll Llanelli Scarlets and Wales Grand Slam rugby international Dafydd Jones, has joined Thomas Carroll. Working with Regional Director Robert Jones and Group Director Brynmor Williams, Dafydd was capped 42 times for Wales including the 2003 Rugby World Cup and played over 200 games for the Scarlets. He will operate throughout West Wales from our offices in Swansea and Haverfordwest. Since retiring from rugby in 2009 following a shoulder injury suffered against the New Zealand All Blacks, Dafydd entered the world of business. He has worked both for the Welsh fuel supply company Oil4Wales, and maintains close ties with his rugby region, attending

Thomas Carroll

business breakfasts with the Scarlets at their Parc y Scarlets home. Dafydd, who is married with two young children and lives in Carmarthen said: “I am really excited to be embarking on this new venture with Thomas Carroll and growing the Group’s client portfolio here in West Wales. I can’t wait to get involved in meeting Thomas Carroll clients throughout the region”. Brynmor Williams said: “We are pleased to welcome Dafydd to our West Wales team, he is very well known throughout the region and I have been impressed that he has quickly moved into a business career following his retirement from the game. I know that Dafydd will be a great asset to us”.


Photograph: Tim Dickeson

Fighting Fit for Hospice Run

TC Teammates: Newly Appointed Account Executive, Geza Hajgato, with Thomas Carroll Director, Brynmor Williams

Former Chelsea Man Signs for TC Thomas Carroll’s roll call of insurance specialists with a sporting pedigree has grown further with the appointment of Welsh Football League Player/Coach, Geza Hajgato as Account Executive to our Commercial insurance division Joining Welsh rugby greats Robert Jones and Brynmor Williams on our team, Geza is a former Chelsea and Cardiff City trainee who is also a multiple medal winner and former manager in the Welsh Football League. A creative midfielder, Geza was at Chelsea for four years and is a contemporary of and roomed with John Terry. He was on the books of Cardiff City for eighteen months. Geza left the full-time game in 2000 and concentrated on building a career in commercial insurance, building up experience and a considerable track record in motor trade, construction and general commercial insurance.

Married with two children, Geza joins us from Morgan Brokers where he operated throughout South Wales and the South West of England. Rhys Thomas said: “To meet our regional expansion across South Wales we are continuing our recruitment drive at both graduate and senior executive level. We welcome Sian, Jo and Geza to our team, their experience in the corporate market will further enhance our broking operations across the region.”

Fighting Fit: Nicky Piper of George Thomas Hospice Care with Claire Humphries of Thomas Carroll Nicky Piper, Cardiff-born former boxing champion, celebrated the 20th anniversary of his first international title win, by taking part in the Thomas Carroll Group George Thomas Hospice Care 5k Fun Run in Bute Park in March. Today the former Commonwealth Light Heavyweight Champion is head of fundraising at the hospice. He won the WBO Intercontinental Light Heavyweight title in 1993, beating Argentinean fighter, Miguel Angel Maldonado, in Manchester. Claire Humphries, Director of Thomas Carroll Group plc said: “We are pleased to be entering around 30 people from Thomas Carroll and to be the new title sponsors of this great event. We will be supporting the vital work of George Thomas Hospice Care throughout the year as one of our main charities".


Enjoy our

Group Approach With more specialists in Wales than any group in our sector, award winning Thomas Carroll takes care of it all for you, from insurance to health & safety and independent financial advice. Robert Jones, Regional Director, Swansea and West Wales

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