George Stubbs: Why Perth Works Well for Me
George Stubbs founder of GS Group
Established in Perth in 1991 by George Stubbs, GS Group is one of the United Kingdom’s largest insurance brokers with offices throughout Scotland.
Having lived in Perth and the wider region most of his life, George chose to lay the foundations of his business here because of his strong focus on community-based insurance and financial services provision. Despite the business growing to incorporate offices in Glasgow, Dundee and elsewhere, the company’s headquarters – and the majority of its staff – remain in Perth.
A keen golfer, George is also father to Gareth, Rachael and Emily. We sat down with him to find out what attracted him to setting up a business in Perth and what the area continues to offer in terms of personal and business growth.
Perth is also unique in that it has many lovely towns close by so there are great options when moving to the area and choosing somewhere to live.
What are your key products/services?
We offer insurance broking and financial services to both business and personal clients across the UK. From small family businesses to larger multinational companies, we aim to deliver robust insurance and risk management solutions. For our personal customers we provide a range of motor, home and travel insurance options.
What is the size of your workforce?
We have 40 staff based at our headquarters in Perth with the remaining 19 staff between our offices in Glasgow, Dundee, Falkirk and Aberdeen.
What do you see as the key benefits of being based in Perth and the wider region?
Perth has a proud tradition of insurance provision going back to when General Accident was founded in 1885. Ease of access continues to be a great advantage for Perth. We’re within 90 minutes of the major cities. I need to be in London regularly so it helps to be so close to the airports too.
How does your location impact on business networking opportunities?
As one of the largest independent insurance brokers in the UK and the largest in Perth and the wider region, our location allows us to build strong relationships within our community. We have an openness our clients appreciate – we moved our premises from the town centre to just outside in order to offer parking for our customers. It helps build relationships which in turn, help to build the business.
Our clients – and the community – are central to what we do. That’s why it’s important to put back into our community. We’ve done things for different charities over the years and every year our staff are given two days off to support community projects.
In what ways does your location afford opportunities for business development?
Our business is all about getting the right people – those who share the same ethos and values. Insurance isn’t something that’s necessarily desirable to buy – it’s the people our clients buy so it’s important we have access to quality staff.
We’ve worked hard to bring in and train bright, young people who show initiative and are approachable and passionate about delivering for our customers. This has resulted in consistent growth with the business doubling in size every five years, although ours has been mainly an organic growth not done through acquisitions.
What can businesses expect when considering a move to Perth?
The location is a key attraction and because of its size, it’s relatively easy to find out who to approach regarding planning decisions etc. There’s a good business community too. In the bigger cities it’s sometimes the case that they can’t see the world beyond that city. I feel that Perth is different in that respect – we are welcoming to newcomers.
Finally, do you have a favourite spot in Perth?
I’m a golfer so I enjoy the access we have to great golf courses. Tay Street is beautiful and I enjoy walking the North Inch too as there’s always something going on. When I was younger, I used to like walking along the riverside there and seeing all the houses on the other side of the water. It was very aspirational for me and I ended up owning one of those houses.