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More than 600 brokers, authorised representatives, underwriters and insurers came together to celebrate the industry’s finest at the inaugural Insurance Business Awards THE INDUSTRY’S elite gathered at the Westin Sydney on Friday, 4 May, for the first-ever Insurance Business Awards. Recognising those who are setting the standard in the sector, the awards celebrate the hard work and professionalism of individuals and companies across the insurance spectrum. The event was an opportunity to shine a light on how the industry gives back to the community and how it makes good on its promises when it comes claim time. The atmosphere was positively electric as the winners were announced. The awards recognised everyone from young guns who are already making their mark to the senior brokers and brokerages who have helped make the industry what it is today, as well as the authorised representatives who are now an integral part of the sector. Brokerages of all sizes – small and large, local and international – were acknowledged for their work in shaping Australia’s insurance community, as were the insurers and underwriters that continue to innovate and provide brokers with the best service to help their clients.

Based on rigorous judging by an independent panel of industry experts, 28 trophies were handed out, including six ‘highly commended’ accolades. These went to DUAL Australia for Most Effective Internet Presence – Underwriting Agency, James Pennetta of Vero for Insurer BDM of the Year, 20:20 Insurance Brokers for Best Customer Service from an Individual Office, Aimee Williams of Austbrokers Coast to Coast for Young Gun of the Year – Independent (1-19 Staff ), Centrewest Insurance Brokers for Brokerage of the Year (20+ Staff ), and DUAL Australia for Australian Underwriting Agency of the Year. Congratulations to all the winners and the finalists. Hundreds of applications were received for this year’s awards, so just making it as a finalist is a significant achievement. Insurance Business would like to thank all our judges, presenters and award sponsors for helping to make this a successful event for all the winners. Got your eye on a trophy? The countdown to 2019’s Insurance Business Awards begins now …

2018 INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS BY THE NUMBERS

600+ guests

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157

finalists

28

trophies

9

months to plan

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 BEST COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM – INSURER

BEST COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT PROGRAM – BROKER

QBE

ADROIT INSURANCE GROUP

Vero The QBE Foundation was launched in 2011 and, in a few short years, has already achieved much in the community. Its philosophy is to “help people overcome disadvantage, strengthen their abilities and live more independently, successfully and productively”. Each year it forms partnerships with a number of charities, working closely with them to help their cause. The company also provides staff with a day of volunteer leave each year. In receiving the award on behalf of QBE, Rebecca Engel, general manager of underwriting agencies said: “We are genuinely interested in serving our community. It’s not just about what we do every day in the office in terms of insurance, but actually delivering back to the community, and we see it as a very important part of what we do at QBE.”

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Andrew Locke, managing director at Adroit Insurance Group, said this award “holds a special place in our business’s heart”. While Adroit has previously won other business and broking awards, Locke detailed why this one stands out. “Community is one of the five value pillars of our business,” he said. “We’re primarily a regionally based insurance business in Victoria. Supporting local and supporting the communities where we work and live is huge for us, and we are dedicated to it. It’s a great thing for our team … [It’s nice recognition for] everything that we do, all the volunteering and fundraising we achieve.”

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MOST EFFECTIVE INTERNET PRESENCE – UNDERWRITING AGENCY

MOST EFFECTIVE INTERNET PRESENCE – GENERAL INSURER

MECON INSURANCE

VERO

The internet is a ubiquitous part of our lives now, and Glenn Ross, CEO of MECON Insurance, certainly recognises that. “In today’s market, it’s paramount that you have that strong [internet] presence,” Ross said. “Young brokers, young insurance professionals – that’s how they communicate. We realise that, and we’ve lifted our game.”

Sam Sanfilippo, national manager of international intermediaries and broker distribution at Vero, picked up the trophy on behalf of the team, saying it was a privilege to win. Last year, the company launched a simplified and enhanced online platform, VeroEdge, to make life easier for brokers. “I think social media is having a particularly strong and significant role in insurance, and to be recognised with this particular award … goes down well,” Sanfilippo said.

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 UNDERWRITING AGENCY CLAIMS TEAM OF THE YEAR

GENERAL INSURER CLAIMS TEAM OF THE YEAR

NTI

CHUBB

“Humbling” is how Alan Hasted, general manager of niche and affinity at NTI, described winning the trophy for Underwriting Agency Claims Team of the Year. “It means so much because it’s about our people and what they do every day,” he said. According to Hasted, NTI sets itself apart by assigning each claim to one person, who handles it from start to finish. “Our claims people, they stand in our customers’ shoes and try to get people back on the road to earn money again,” he said.

According to James Flaskett, head of claims at Chubb, there’s no secret ingredient to providing good customer service at claims time. “It’s doing all the little things right all the time,” he said. “It’s having an engaged team, a motivated claims team, recognising what is important and delivering service excellence to our customers. That’s when the rubber hits the road. That’s the promise. At the end of the day, that’s what [customers] are buying: that promise to pay. It’s always remembering that.”

UNDERWRITING AGENCY BDM OF THE YEAR

Matt Almond, national underwriting manager at High Street Underwriting, followed up his appearance on the Insurance Business Young Guns list with a trophy for Underwriting Agency BDM of the Year. “It’s a very exciting opportunity,” he said. “At High Street Underwriting, we are a bit different. We’re trying to get into the tech side, so we have a full IT team developing online bespoke services for brokers. That makes my life [as BDM] quite easy.”

MATT ALMOND HIGH STREET UNDERWRITING

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THE K2 AWARD FOR GENERAL INSURER BDM OF THE YEAR

BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE FROM AN INDIVIDUAL OFFICE

REBECCA GUMM

TRADE RISK

CGU

Rebecca Gumm, business relationship manager at CGU, says “getting to know people and making things personal” is what sets her apart as a BDM. After 17 years in the industry, she said, she is excited, honoured and humbled to receive the award for General Insurer BDM of the Year and to get to share it with her colleagues. AWARD SPONSOR

YOUNG GUN OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT (1–19 STAFF)

JONATHAN ROSS AVISO WA

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Trade Risk might not be one of the ‘big guys’, but it is no stranger to success. It was named a Top 10 Brokerage by Insurance Business back in 2015, and managing director Shane Moore has been crowned an Insurance Business Elite Broker twice (in 2016 and 2017). Still, he was “pretty surprised” to take home a trophy. “We are all about customer service – it’s what we do,” Moore said. “Having an awesome online presence and awesome people – you just can’t beat that.”

An account executive at Aviso WA, Jonathan Ross says he “fell into insurance” after studying architecture. But after nearly five years in the industry, his dedication to insurance shines through. “I really have a passion for [the industry],” Ross said. “I think it is a great industry to be a part of, and we are great advocates of it.”

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 THE XL CATLIN AWARD FOR YOUNG GUN OF THE YEAR – INTERNATIONAL

YOUNG GUN OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT (20+ STAFF)

DANIEL QUINTIN

ADAM WARE

GALLAGHER

BJS INSURANCE BROKERS GIPPSLAND

Gallagher’s Daniel Quintin with Bonnie Chow of XL Catlin In a hotly contested category, Gallagher branch manager Daniel Quintin came out tops. The secret to his success? “Talking to clients – getting to know their business, how they will survive an insurable event, and just doing the right thing.” Quintin acknowledged that “adapting to the hardening market” will be a challenge, “[but] good dialogue and good relationships count for a lot – and hard work. A bit of common sense also goes a long way.”

AWARD SPONSOR

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Adam Ware, partner at BJS Insurance Brokers Gippsland, is no stranger to the awards scene after snapping up the NIBA Warren Tickle Memorial Award for Young Professional Broker of the Year in 2017. To other young professionals, Ware’s advice is, “Just be genuine. Be yourself and back yourself as well.”

Vero

BROKER OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT (1–19 STAFF)

KATE FAIRLEY SIMPLEX INSURANCE SOLUTIONS

Senior insurance broker and branch manager Kate Fairley is no stranger to recognition, having been named an Insurance Business Elite Broker, Young Gun and a member of the Hot List. “When I was 24, I started my own advocacy business, educating consumers about insurance and brokers about how they can educate the public,” she said. “I’m really enjoying being back in broking.”

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BROKER OF THE YEAR – INDEPENDENT (20+ STAFF)

BROKER OF THE YEAR – INTERNATIONAL

MARIA PARRY

RUSSELL BOUCHER

AUSTCOVER

GALLAGHER

“I’m lucky to work in a very fantastic industry,” said Maria Parry, CEO of Austcover, when accepting her award. “It’s a people industry based on relationships. We work very hard for the greater good of the customer. It’s nice to see that hard work come through.”

After 47 years in the industry Russell Boucher believes there are two things that set a good broker apart. “One, you have to build relationships, build trust in people. Relationships mean everything,” he said. “Two is your work ethic. You’ve got to have the fire in the belly. You have to want to help people … Without insurance, the world doesn’t go around.”

BROKER OF THE YEAR – AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE

SIMON FELDMAN SOUND INSURANCE

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Simon Feldman, owner and director of Sound Insurance, said he was content being a finalist for Broker of the Year – Authorised Representative. “To win is very exciting,” he said. “I’m feeling humbled.” Sound Insurance has slowly climbed Insurance Business’ Top 10 Brokerages rankings moving from eighth in 2016 to sixth in 2017. And now, Feldman has won a trophy at the Insurance Business Awards. “I just try to provide good professional service, do the right thing … [and] look after our clients,” Feldman said.

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 THE SURA AWARD FOR BROKER OF THE YEAR – SPECIALIST

RACHEAL TUMELTY GALLAGHER

Denver van Gramberg of SURA with Gallagher’s Racheal Tumelty Dedicating her win to her team, Racheal Tumelty, head of credit, surety and political risk at Gallagher, emphasised that winning awards is not about one individual. “We’re a team – that is how we have achieved the award.” Tumelty noted that senior brokers have a responsibility to mentor the next generation of brokers: “The more we as managers can get the younger ones out to meetings to meet underwriters, clients – that’s the best on-the-job learning you can ever achieve.”

AWARD SPONSOR

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SPECIALIST BROKERAGE OF THE YEAR

AUTHORISED REPRESENTATIVE NETWORK OF THE YEAR

BAC INSURANCE BROKERS

INSURANCE ADVISERNET AUSTRALIA

Strata specialist brokerage BAC Insurance Brokers burst onto the scene at the awards gala to win the trophy for Specialist Brokerage of the Year. Account director Jason Proudlock attributed the success to his staff. “If you surround yourself with amazing staff, it makes you look good,” he said. “That’s what we’ve done. This goes to our staff out there.” Starting out as a small family business in 1973, the brokerage now boasts more than 40 insurance professionals. “It’s a tough journey to get the right people on board,” Proudlock said. “We hire for attitude [and] we teach skill, and that prevails in the end.”

Shaun Standfield, managing director of Insurance Advisernet Australia, dedicated his network’s win to its authorised representatives. “They do a tremendous job every day for our clients, and that is what it’s all about,” he said. “We are here to support the ARs across our network, and we are so proud of what they do every day [delivering] – advice you can trust for our clients.” What makes Insurance Advisernet Australia stand out, Standfield added, is the fact that “we really team well together, to make sure we look after each other, which is really important, but we also front the market as a collegiate group, which really makes a difference in the marketplace”.

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 BROKERAGE OF THE YEAR (1–5 STAFF)

CPR INSURANCE SERVICES

THE LLOYD’S AWARD FOR BROKERAGE OF THE YEAR (6–20 STAFF)

AUSTBROKERS COAST TO COAST

Chris Mackinnon of Lloyd’s with Nigel King from Austbrokers Coast to Coast

According to director Robert Cooper, a customer-first mentality is what led CPR Insurance Services to win Brokerage of the Year (1–5 Staff). “It’s a great honour,” Cooper said when accepting the trophy. Cooper started his brokerage in his late 40s, after a career trajectory that began in the Lumley mail room. He’s come a long way – he was recently named an Insurance Business Elite Broker for the second year in a row. His advice to other brokerages? “Customers are number one … good customer service and continuing to build on your skills and knowledge.”

Vero

The winning streak continues for Austbrokers Coast to Coast, which won the Australian Insurance Industry Award for Small Broking Company of the Year in 2017 and its principal Dale Hansen was also named an Insurance Business Elite Broker more than a few times, following a swag of awards from 2016. Nigel King, director of finance and corporate affairs, was quick to congratulate the other finalists in the category. “I think the secret is very much customer service,” he said. “We drive a different model – it is very much about service rather than price. We concentrate on that greatly, and that is probably one of the reasons why we win some of these awards.” AWARD SPONSOR

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THE JAVLN AWARD FOR BROKERAGE OF THE YEAR (20+ STAFF)

McLARDY McSHANE GROUP

Don McLardy, Meg Long and Mike McShane of McLardy McShane Group with JAVLN’s Dale Smith Victorian regional brokerage McLardy McShane Group has had some time out of the limelight but has made a big comeback, winning the inaugural Brokerage of the Year (20+ staff ) trophy. “It’s a testament to all the hard work the team has put in,” said director Mike McShane. “It was a good field of finalists.” McLardy McShane came in seventh in Insurance Business’ Top 10 Brokerages back in 2014. The key, McShane added, is good staff. “We are big on getting the right culture in our business. We look after our staff and our clients. Once you get good people in your business, the rest of it flows.” AWARD SPONSOR

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 THE GALLAGHER BASSETT AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL BROKERAGE OF THE YEAR

AON

AUSTRALIAN UNDERWRITING AGENCY OF THE YEAR

NTI

Gallagher Bassett’s Peter Tomkins with James Baum of Aon Picking up the award for Aon was new CEO James Baum, who dedicated it to the staff. “It’s a great achievement for the people who work so hard to make these things happen,” he said. “It’s a fantastic company and exciting [for me] to be asked to lead it. We have a great culture – it’s all about our people.”

Vero It’s been a big year for niche underwriting agency NTI. In early 2017, it revealed a new identity and a new marine offering. But that hasn’t changed its DNA as a “specialist, expert, innovator and service differentiator”, according to Alan Hasted, general manager for niche and affinity. “We’ve had so much growth over the last 12 months,” Hasted said. “It’s about having a team of experts and showing that every day.”

AWARD SPONSOR

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THE BLAKE OLIVER CONSULTING AWARD FOR AUSTRALIAN GENERAL INSURER OF THE YEAR

CGU

ADAM WARE

CGU’s Damien Gallagher with Daniel Marsh of Blake Oliver Consulting

Adam Ware of BJS Insurance Brokers Gippsland with London Australia Underwriting’s Steve Walker

According to Damien Gallagher, executive manager of business underwriting at CGU, this award is a testament to the hard work of the staff. “From our perspective, it is our people,” he said. “It’s how we support our customers and our partners. Our people are our difference, and that’s how we win awards.”

Winning the premier Young Gun award of the night was Adam Ware of BJS Insurance Brokers Gippsland, who called it “very surprising and very humbling”. But he says it shows how much opportunity there is in insurance. “It’s great for young people who can make a full career in the industry,” Ware said. “There are opportunities galore – we just need to advertise them better so we can get young players into the industry.”

AWARD SPONSOR

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THE LONDON AUSTRALIA UNDERWRITING AWARD FOR AUSTRALIAN YOUNG GUN OF THE YEAR BJS INSURANCE BROKERS GIPPSLAND

AWARD SPONSOR

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INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARDS WINNERS 2O18 THE INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARD FOR AUSTRALIAN BROKER OF THE YEAR

MARIA PARRY AUSTCOVER Austcover’s Maria Parry says she’s had a “very plain” insurance career, but 30 years in the industry have stood her well. Parry’s trajectory from an office junior to CEO in the same company is testament to the opportunities available in insurance. Parry said she had a great mentor in business partner David Ingram, managing director of Austcover, adding that mentoring is important in this industry. “We spend a lot of time at the moment mentoring our staff and ensuring a formal system is in place so that we can all grow and develop,” she said.

AWARD SPONSOR

THE INSURANCE BUSINESS AWARD FOR AUSTRALIAN BROKERAGE OF THE YEAR

AON Two wins made this year’s awards a good start for new Aon CEO James Baum. Upon winning the ultimate broking award, Baum said: “I think the fact [is], as an organisation, we really represent businesses from smallest to largest – we are the only broker that does that on scale.” Indeed, he told Insurance Business when he first stepped into the top job: “Our clients have never been more reliant on having someone in their corner and being a trusted adviser”, and a broker’s role has “never been more important”. AWARD SPONSOR

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Insurance Business Awards 2018  

The magazine for Australia’s insurance broking and advice community.

Insurance Business Awards 2018  

The magazine for Australia’s insurance broking and advice community.