The Permanent Health Company made a niche for itself designing and marketing private medical insurance through independent financial advisers (IFAs). Mike Bentham founded the company with John Stafford in 1994, with backing from business angel Peter Dewe-Matthews. Bentham is no longer with the company. The Permanent Health Company says it has won IFA customers by providing simplified products and faster, more personal service than traditional insurance companies. Sales have risen 100% a year from £942,000 in 1998 to £7.6m in 2001, when the Hertfordshire company had 16 employees.
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