The Insurance Institute of Bolton was formed in 1963 after many years as a local Committee of its mother Institute of Manchester. The first local President was Bill Bowen, local manager of the Prudential Assurance Company Ltd, with Bob Smith (Royal Insurance) as the first Secretary. Early meetings were held in the rooms of the local Liberal Party in Fold Street, Bolton. At inception, membership support for the new institute came from offices in Bolton and Bury but soon there came support from offices in Leigh and Wigan and in time, membership rose from the inaugural 100 to over 200.
In the early days, the bulk of the membership came from the offices of local insurers Royal, Provincial and Prudential all of whom had full branch offices in the towns, but soon representation from other insurers such as General Accident, Road Transport & General, Sun Alliance, Eagle Star, Commercial Union and Legal & General, all of whom had local offices in Bolton, Bury and Wigan, came to play an ever increasing part in the growth of the local Institute. In addition to the insurers, the support of local insurance brokerages in the 3 towns should not be overlooked because, as the larger insurers consolidated and moved offices to the larger commercial centres of Manchester and Liverpool, it is as a result of the dedication and determination of these smaller firms, along with support from an ever increasing number of loss adjusting/assessing firms that the Insurance Institute of Bolton managed to survive during this period of insurer consolidation.
Following the merger of the Personal Finance Society into the Chartered Insurance Institute, the local membership doubled to in excess of 400 and, along with this and the advent of corporate chartered status, the growth of local major insurers Broker Direct and, more specifically, Axa, has provided a welcoming increase in the level of support from these organisations to such an extent that our current membership is approaching 1,000. The majority of the L&D and Council meetings are held at AXA's offices.