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Insurance company founder awarded after 60 years at the top


Please find below a press release announcing that the Founder of SEIB Insurance Brokers, Barry Fehler, has after 60 years running his company, been presented with a lifetime achievement award.

The award was presented last week in front of an audience of over 150 people alongside the £50,000 + SEIB Charity awards 2022.

Please find links to images below, please credit Trevor Meeks. 

I hope you will be able to use this release and please do get in touch if you would like any further quotes, images, or further information.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.

With kind regards


Jenny Viner Communications 

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T - 07766 731164 


 Barry Fehler presentation image Barry Fehler group image

C:\Users\Asus\Desktop\K3588 SEIB Logo.jpgSEIB Insurance Brokers - Press Release

11th July 2022



SEIB's company founder, winning charities, leading equestrian establishments, family funeral directors and industry stalwarts celebrated at SEIB Insurance Brokers Awards


The fifth annual SEIB Insurance Brokers Awards took place at Eton College Dorney Lake, Berkshire on the 6th July. Guests and award finalists were treated to a champagne reception before taking their seats and enjoying a welcome speech from the Benefact Group Chairman David Henderson. The exciting and elusively named ‘Once in a Lifetime' award presentation followed and then the 150 guests enjoyed a delicious three course, luncheon in the striking boat house overlooking the venue of the rowing competition at the 2012 London Olympics.

SEIB would never have started, yet alone become the success story it is now without the winner of the first award of the day, the SEIB ‘Once in a Lifetime' Award. Barry Fehler was delighted to receive this surprise award following the recent announcement that he is stepping back in his duties at SEIB. A short video was played highlighting the pioneering way in which Barry has driven SEIB over the years, including personal messages from those Barry has worked with throughout his career. SEIB's new Chief Executive Officer, Suzy Middleton, Bipin Thaker and Chairman of Benefact Group David Henderson presented Barry with a bespoke trophy to recognise his achievements. He remains a non-executive director at SEIB.  

Barry Fehler said: "The award today was kept well hidden. I was caught out and lost for words. It was a relaxed afternoon that ran like clockwork. It was good to see such varied charities. It is promising for the future that no one was overlooked. The publicity for the smaller charities is wonderful. Hopefully they are now in a position to find out more about donations to small charities via the Movement for Good, and access it. People are getting the message about using the group for their insurance needs. At least if we make a return we can redistribute it again!

"The future of SEIB is bright, our business runs like a well-oiled machine. We will quietly grow acquiring more brokers with the same ethical standards. I went to Ecclesiastical - now the Benefact Group - when I decided to sell the business. They have provided a permanent home for both the business and the staff. At SEIB we have a great, stable team with no changes at the top which is very important. We have found with many companies there is a big tendency to go online for cheaper policies but at the end of the day the cover maybe restricted or there is no support when things go wrong. We find our customers appreciate the personal touch and to have a human being on the phone. We still have a receptionist in the office. By encouraging customers to speak to us we can tailor their cover. Equally, it is very important to have someone on the telephone on the claims side, if you place your business directly then you really are left to broker your own claim. Our obligation is always to the customer.

"I now plan to put my feet up! At home we have plenty of gardens and enough land to keep me out of mischief. There are still a few horses here. They are coloured cobs out in the field but they need looking after and the land needs to be topped and harrowed."

Following lunch, Benefact's Group Impact Director, Chris Pitt, gave a speech explaining just how the proceeds from businesses in the group are directed to good causes. This was aptly followed up by the presentation of the much-anticipated SEIB Charity Awards which granted precious funds totaling over £50,000 to 12 small and medium sized charities based across the UK.

Each finalist charity submitted a video detailing the work they do and how they bring a positive impact to those they help. The short videos, many of them very emotive were played to the awards guests. Following this, a draw was made for a guest to decide their favourite charity video. Barrow Farm Riding for the Disabled Centre was announced and they received a further £1,000 courtesy of the Benefact Group for the vital work they do. Equine wellbeing charity, World Horse Welfare took the top donation of £12,000 and the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund was the highest placed small charity receiving £11,000 to help fund the important work they do to support anyone injured in a horse related accident.

In the SEIB Yard of the Year Awards, in association with Horse & Hound, the skills, hard-work and talents found in leading equestrian establishments across the country were celebrated. Often referred to as the back-bone of the equestrian industry, the top Livery Yards, Riding Schools, competition venues and Riding for the Disabled (RDA) Centres were celebrated at the SEIB Awards. This is the first year the Yard of the Year Awards have run with the support of Horse & Hound.

The SEIB Star and Heroes Awards followed. Over the years, many loyal, hardworking and talented people have helped SEIB to become the success story that it is. Three special people were put forward to receive an award in this category at the 2022 SEIB Awards more about that later!

For the second year running, SEIB joined forces with the National Association of Funeral Directors (NAFD) for the final award of the day. The SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement Award recognises someone for whom excellence in the funeral industry has become their life work. Paul Wilcox, who began working full-time at the family business, Wilcox Limousines back in 1971, and retired just at the beginning of this year was the winner of the 2022 award. Paul was unable to attend the awards on the day and so a pre-recorded presentation of the award was played to guests. Paul's daughter and new managing director of Wilcox Limousines went up on stage to collect a duplicate of the award on behalf of her father.

SEIB's Chief Executive Officer, Suzy Middleton rounded off a busy afternoon with a speech thanking those that made the awards possible. Suzy summed up the day: "We had a lot to celebrate today both as a company and for those that have achieved so much in the industries within which we operate. It is fascinating to see in person the people from all walks of life that are touched by our awards. The diversity of the people and the animals benefiting from the work of the charities, the equestrian yards and funeral directors that we have celebrated today is fabulous to see. We are proud to be in a position to support and celebrate their non-stop hard work and determination. Congratulations to everyone that has received an award today."

Having presented awards galore and congratulated many worthy winners throughout the afternoon, Bipin Thaker, Chief Operating Officer at SEIB said: "It was wonderful to see such a range of charities, small businesses and individuals being recognised and rewarded for their achievements. The impact each of the winners has had on their industries is quite remarkable when looking at the bigger picture. We are delighted to be supporting small charities - several of whom are just setting out. Their gratitude for this support is simply humbling."

The SEIB Charity Awards

SEIB's Chief Executive Officer, Suzy Middleton, Chief Operations Officer, Bipin Thaker an Benefact Non-Executive Director, Rita Bajaaj presented a cheque for £12,000 and a commemorative plaque to Roly Owers for the highest placed charity, World Horse Welfare. A sum of £11,000 went to The Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund as the highest placed small charity (with a turnover of less than £100,000). Trustee of The Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund, David O'Donnell came up on stage to receive the cheque and plaque. Ten other charities reached the final voting stage of the SEIB Charity Awards and received a portion of a £29,000 from SEIB including £7,000 to the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, £6,000 to Animal Free Research UK and £5,000 to Barrow Farm Riding for the Disables centre. The final vote for the top 12 charities was limited to clients of SEIB.

Suzy Middleton said: "I am so very proud that at SEIB, with the support of our owners, Benefact Group, are in a position for our profits to go to good causes. It is so emotive to watch the short films that the finalist charities submit for our awards each year detailing the work they do. To be able to support and make even a small difference to the lives of those that these charities help is heart-warming. This year we have had the most diverse selection of charities yet as finalists in SEIB Giving."

The SEIB Charity Awards have strict entry criteria; only small and medium charities are eligible. Any money granted by SEIB can be used as the charity sees fit and to cover running costs for the charity but it must be in the UK. In previous years the grant had to be awarded for a specific project. SEIB introduced this flexibility into the awards to ensure that the money granted will really make a difference following the hard times of Covid and now the series financial crises that we all find ourselves in.

The general public nominated their favourite charities in the first stage of the decision-making process for the 2022 SEIB Charity Awards before SEIB clients went on to have the final vote for winners of   the £52,000. The Charities Trust provided SEIB with their help to carry out due diligence to ensure that each of the finalists met all criteria of the grant and are above board. SEIB works closely with the charitable sector and insures many charities and non-for-profit organisations, now enhanced through SEIB's ownership of leading independent ethical broker, WRS Insurance Brokers.

Barry Fehler continued "We are delighted that our customers have decided which of these very worthy causes should receive the grant. SEIB is so successful because we are totally customer focused and this is another way that our clients can have their say".

The other finalist charities were; Hope Rescue, SeeSaw, The Maggie Oliver Foundation, Ruils Independent Living, Been There, The Oli Hilsdon Foundation and The Candlelighters Trust.

Giving is embedded in the culture of SEIB. From supporting grass roots competition that gives opportunities to amateur riders that they could only otherwise dream about, right through to the company's unwavering loyalty to promoting nationwide equine welfare. Whilst SEIB is an independent broker, the company is owned by the Benefact Group.

The SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement Award

The SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement Award recognises someone for whom excellence in the funeral industry has become their life work. The winner of the 2022 award was Paul Wilcox of Wilcox Limousines in Wigan. Paul began working full-time at the family business back in 1971, and finally retired at the beginning of this year.

Paul was unable to attend the awards on the day and so a pre-recorded presentation was played to guests. Paul's daughter and new managing director of Wilcox Limousines, Jade Wilcox went up on stage to collect a duplicate of the trophy on her father's behalf. The award was presented by Bipin Thaker, Chief Operating Officer of SEIB, Mark Adams, second vice-president of the NAFD and Suzy Middleton Chief Executive Officer of SEIB.

Paul commented: "I'm jolly pleased and it's lovely to be recognised within my own sphere. The funeral industry and funeral vehicle coachbuilding has been my lifetime's work - over 50 years. I'm proud to be associated with the funeral industry and I've made a lot of good friends over the years. The mixture of cars and service is what we are about, trying to do the best we can for our clients, be that funeral or coachbuilding. I'm speechless!"

Barry Fehler said: "I have known the Wilcox family for nearly 40 years. I met the older generation, William and May Wilcox first. Paul and his brother Peter have made an enormous contribution and now we see the new generation take up the reins."

Suzy Middleton said: "The SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement award was set up to illuminate the career of those that live and breathe the funeral service industry. Paul is very highly regarded in the funeral profession and has played a pivotal role in in building his business." Jon Levett, Chief Executive of the NAFD echoed these thoughts: "When SEIB approached us with the idea for this award, I thought what a great idea. There are so many in the sector that have given a lifetime's service and we should mark those that have had a truly exceptional career within the industry. We have had quite a number of deserving nominations this year. Paul was up against a tough field and we all agreed that his nomination really stood out. On behalf of the NAFD, I am delighted Paul is this year's recipient."

Giving to others is embedded in the culture of SEIB. From supporting grass roots competition that gives opportunities to amateur riders that they could only otherwise dream about, right through to the company's unwavering loyalty to promoting nationwide equine welfare, giving to charity and supporting the funeral industry, SEIB are leading the way within the markets they operate. #SEIBHere2Help #SEIBAwards


Photo:  The Benefact Group Chair, David Henderson, SEIB Insurance Brokers CEO, Suzy Middleton and COO Bipin Thaker present Barry Fehler, Founder of SEIB with the Once in a Lifetime Award.

For further press information please contact Jenny Viner at or call 07766 731164.

Full results

The SEIB Awards 2022


The ‘Once in a Lifetime' Award

Barry Fehler, SEIB Founder


SEIB Giving

Oli Hilsdon Foundation and the Candlelighters Trust- £500 each.

Been There - £1,000 - Presented to - Tessa Peters and Rebecca Peters

Ruils Independent Living - £1,000 - Presented to - Cathy Maker and Carolyn Jones

The Maggie Oliver Foundation - £2,000 - Presented to - Maggie Oliver and Jennie Lucas

SeeSaw - £2,000 - Presented to - Judith Mulligan and Jane Elliott

Hope Rescue - £4,000 - Presented to - Emma Moore and Cheryl George

Barrow Farm RDA - £5,000 - Presented to - Anne Mitchell and Karen Lehner

Animal Free Research UK - £6,000 - Presented to - Carla Owen and Elise Flood

Mare & Foal Sanctuary - £7,000 - Presented to - Sarah Jane Williamson and Dawn Vincent

Highest placed small charity - The Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund - £11,000

Presented to - David O'Donnell and Claire O'Donnell

Highest placed charity - World Horse Welfare - £12,000

Presented to - Roly Owers


SEIB in association with Horse & Hound Yard of the Year Awards

SEIB in association with H&H - RDA Centre of the Year Award 2022

Highly Commended- Penniwells RDA Centre 

Presented to - Sarah Healing (Centre Manager) and Trix Summerfield (Chairman)

Winner - Erme Valley RDA Centre

Presented to - Peggy Douglas (Founder, Senior Coach and Managing Director) and Ginni Crawley (Director)


SEIB in association with H&H -DIY Livery Yard of the Year Award 2022

Highly Commended - Whincover Farm Livery Stables

Presented to - Mark Downing and Nicola Downing (Proprietors)

Winner - Mill Farm DIY Livery Yard

Presented to - Robert Banwell and Julia Banwell (Proprietors)


SEIB in association with H&H - Small Riding School of the Year Award 2022

Highly Commended - Stonelea Riding School

Presented to - Hannah Hudson (Owner, Founder and BHS Accredited Professional Coach) and Lyn Hudson

Winner - Country Treks Equestrian Centre

Presented to - Stephanie Eddies Davies (Owner and Founder) and Ashleigh James (Manager)


SEIB in association with H&H - Large Riding School of the Year Award 2022

Highly Commended - Summerfield Stables - Horses in the Community

Presented to - Georgina Urwin and Linda Stupart

Winner - Mount Mascal Stables

Presented to - Alison Window (Owner and Director) and Tim Rosen (Husband and Operations Manager)


SEIB in association with H&H - Full Livery Yard of the Year Award 2022

Highly Commended - OSH Dressage

Presented to - Kate Humphrey-Lear (Owner, Trainer and Rider) and Leanne Field (Yard Manager and Rider)

Winner - Corvedale Equestrian

Presented to - Mark Walters and Nicholas Lawson


SEIB in association with H&H - Competition Venue of the Year Award 2022

Highly Commended - Chard Equestrian Centre

Presented to - Jane Gregory (Owner and Manager) and Sarah Johnson (Deputy Manager)

Highly Commended - Netherton Equestrian Centre

Presented to - Joanna Wilkie and David Wilkie (Owners)

Winner - Colraine Equestrian Centre

Presented to - Michael Gadsdon (Owner) and Helena Ellery (General Manager)


SEIB Star awards

Presented by Suzy Middleton and Bipin Thaker

Andy Pavey - Jask Creative

Justeen Jones - Horse & Hound

Info for SR to read out:

SEIB Hero - Stephanie Ellis - SEIB Equestrian Services Manager


SEIB and NAFD Lifetime Achievement Award2022

Winner - Paul Wilcox - Wilcox Limousines


More information about SEIB Insurance Brokers:

  • Barry Fehler founded SEIB as a 17-year-old in 1963 whilst also holding down a city job. He created his own insurance for one of his very successful show horses, found a company to underwrite it, and everything began from there.
  • SEIB Insurance Brokers have been owned since 2008 by Ecclesiastical Insurance Office Plc. Both companies are ultimately owned by the Allchurches Trust and all profits are used for good causes.
  • SEIB Insurance Brokers are a national company that have insured charities for decades. Giving is embedded in the culture of SEIB and the company has always been committed to supporting good causes.
  • SEIB Insurance Brokers are general brokers but tend to specialise in various markets such as equine, funeral, private hire and charity.







Jenny Viner Communications |T: 07766 731163 |