Newcastle-based insurance broker Lycetts has bolstered its rural division by appointing experienced farm manager Charles Orpwood as a rural account executive.

Charles, who has a degree in Rural Land Management from the Royal Agricultural College (RAU), will be advising Lycetts’ Northern clients on rural insurance matters, including estates, farm and household.

Before joining Lycetts, Charles worked as a letting manager at London-based estate agent Dexters, where he gained ARLA letting and property management qualifications.

Two years ago, Charles returned to his family’s sheep, beef and arable enterprise in Northumberland, where he further honed his skills in rural management.

“Lycetts and its people have a deep connection with the countryside through the services it provides and its support of rural events and awards, which resonated with me, given my agricultural background,” said Charles.

“With the number of farms and estates diversifying ever-increasing, driven by new technology, communication and a change in demographic, farming now involves a more diverse group of people and business opportunities, so managing risk and filling gaps in knowledge is imperative.

“Having grown up on a farm and handled the daily operations of a significant enterprise for a number of years now, I have gained great insight and first-hand experience of the challenges farmers face, holding me in good stead to provide the expertise to advise on the most appropriate actions and insurance options.”

Though Charles will primarily be tasked with supporting the company’s rural division, he will also advise on commercial policies, drawing on his previous experience as a lettings agent.

“I understand the importance of giving the right advice and building relationships,” said Charles.

“Businesses are having to adapt continually to survive and stay ahead of the curve, particularly in the current climate, where home working trends, business relocations and start-ups are ever more prevalent.

“For those seeking advice, it is imperative that advisers have a good understanding of the market and the potential obstacles, and I am confident I can fill this role, whilst upholding the professional service that Lycetts’ clients are accustomed to.”

Charles had ties with and experience of Lycetts before joining the team.  His twin brother, point-to-point jockey Nick Orpwood, is sponsored by the broker, which also provides insurance to the equine sector.

Lycetts’ jockey sponsorship portfolio forms part of its long-term support of the racing industry.

“During the time that Lycetts has sponsored Nick, he has won the Northern Area Championship four times and represented Great Britain against Ireland twice,” said Charles.

“It is a great partnership and underlines Lycetts commitment to the rural and equine communities.

“My family also have a long history with Lycetts on a professional level, through advising and brokering our insurance.  Back in 2001, we came into dangerous contact with Foot and Mouth, which resulted in loss of livestock.  Luckily, we had disease insurance cover, obtained through Lycetts, and we were given great support, which helped us to overcome and move forward as a business.

“My first-hand experience of Lycetts professionalism and expertise was another factor in why I wanted to work for Lycetts – and I am delighted to be joining the team.”

Neil McGuire, director at Lycetts, said: “With Charles’ experience and understanding of the agricultural industry, we are confident that he will be an asset to the Lycetts rural division and help us to deliver on our core objective to provide the highest standard of professional and personable service.”