Tributes paid to Swinton Insurance founder and business ‘pioneer’ Ken Scowcroft
Tributes have been paid to a ‘true pioneer’ of business, Ken Scowcroft, who has died aged 89.
Ken founded Swinton Insurance from the front room of his semi-detached house in the Salford town in 1957.
In his the first year, the car insurer sold around 100 policies to local people.
Today, the company has grown beyond recognition, undergone two multi-million pound takeover deals, bought a rival and established itself as the nation’s largest high street insurer.
Now located in the heart of Manchester city centre, Swinton has more than 3,000 staff across 200 locations and handles more than two million policies every year covering travel, home, pet, specialist and business insurance as well as motoring.
In 1981, Scowcroft’s son, Brian joined the business and worked in a number of different roles before being appointed joint chief executive in 1985.
The family sold the company to Sun Alliance in 1991 and it later changed hands to current owners MMA Holdings UK Plc.
Ken retired to the family estate on Bowness On Windermere and died on April 7 after a long illness.
Paying tribute to Gilles Normand, chief executive of Swinton Group, said: “Ken Scowcroft founded Swinton in 1957, and was a true pioneer of the insurance market, an original disruptor who enabled customers to compare prices and save money long before the internet arrived.
“We were extremely saddened to hear of his passing, and our condolences go to his wife Joyce, son Brian, daughters Janet and Karen and the rest of his family.
“It was a real pleasure to have met Ken at Swinton’s 60th birthday celebrations last year.
“He will be sadly missed.”
Salford’s Mayor Paul Dennett paid tribute on Twitter.
“Our condolences to Ken Scowcroft’s family – a truly impressive entrepreneur who built Swinton Insurance, a multi-million pound business from the front room of his semi-detached house in Swinton.”
Former client Sean Beech recalls Ken being his first client as a trainee auditor.
“Ken was a true gentleman,” he said.