Insurance Business 5.01

Page 1 Issue 5.1



Unlocking the benefits of data for brokers



One broker and insurer’s successful collaboration

ANZIIF and NIBA chiefs talk better broker education

HOT LIST OFC and spine_subbed.indd 1

The movers and shakers of the insurance industry

9/02/2016 11:40:59 AM

OFC and spine_SUBBED.indd 4 000_IFC-01.indd 40

19/02/2015 3:37:28 9/02/2016 11:24:56 AMPM

OFC an

:37:28 PM

OFC and spine_SUBBED.indd 5 000_IFC-01.indd 41

19/02/201511:25:09 3:37:46 9/02/2016 AMPM


CONNECT WITH US Got a story, suggestion or just want to find out some more information?

CONTENTS Insurance-Business-Australia

UPFRONT 06 Statistics

The cost of 2015’s natural disasters

08 Hot topic




Two analysts talk the current UK market and what’s ahead

Promoting diversity in insurance

10 Opinion

Cyber threat and the opportunities created by emerging technologies

14 News analysis

Insurer uses drones to assess properties damaged in Victorian fires

18 Intelligence

ACE completes Chubb acquisition and Berkshire Hathaway launches new policies

FEATURES 17 A reframed forum

What can brokers expect from the upcoming ICA Annual Forum? COVER STORY


Prue Willsford and Dallas Booth discuss the new ANZIIF and NIBA education partnership FEATURES


DEPLOYING DATA AND ANALYTICS How one insurance network is using data to make life easier for brokers and clients

43 Keeping customers on side

New technology assisting insurers to move forward in line with customer needs

46 Broadening the approach in broking

The opportunities for PI brokers in 2016

48 Changing policies and perceptions

Mental illness and income protection

50 Funding, collaborating and educating

Elantis Premium Funding’s transformation from Lumley Finance

54 Heading west




Profiling the movers and shakers of general insurance


Leading law firm with growing insurance practice expands to Perth



BROKER PROFILE Bunmi Ajayi works with Ansvar to assist family day care providers

PEOPLE 56 Favourite things

Steadfast Underwriting Agencies’ Simon Lightbody



02-03_Contents_subbed.indd 2

9/02/2016 11:26:37 AM

02-03_Contents_subbed.indd 3

9/02/2016 11:26:31 AM



Out with the old and in with the new!


nother year is well and truly underway, and a plethora of challenges and opportunities lie ahead. Towards the end of 2015, the industry was apprised of the partnership formed by its two chief education providers. It’s a partnership by which those parties intend to facilitate higher education for industry newcomers, and over the coming months, ANZIIF and NIBA students will become the first to undertake the new Skills Units, which the leaders of both entities have described as being unlike anything we’ve seen previously in insurance. I sat down with Prue Willsford and Dallas Booth to discuss the partnership and learn more about the genesis of the new content. I’m happy to be able to share highlights of that conversation in our first issue for 2016. Of course, the roll-out of ANZIIF’s new education units is one of many developments on which the industry will keep a close eye in the year ahead. The release of the Northern Australia Insurance Premium Taskforce’s recommendations will fuel considerable discussion in the months to come. Consolidation remains

“The roll-out of ANZIIF’s new education units is one of many developments on which the industry will keep a close eye in the year ahead” a frequent topic of conversation, and it will be fascinating to see what further transactions are in the pipeline. And the emerging risk landscape will shine a light on new opportunities that will be available to the industry in the years to come. Our annual ‘Hot List’ names key industry players likely to attract the attention of the wider industry in 2016. Elsewhere, two London-based insurance analysts discuss what can be expected in the world’s original insurance market in the time ahead. Back at home, an Australian insurance giant recently became the first in the country to use drone technology to assess bushfire claims. IAG’s Ben Bessell talks about the benefits the organisation and its customers have reaped as a result of that decision. Like the world around us, Insurance Business continues to evolve, and from our next issue, you’ll notice some changes. We’re adopting these changes as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we deliver the content you want to read. I hope you enjoy this issue and I look forward to continuing to deliver throughout the year your insurance publication of choice.

Tim Garratt, editor

EDITORIAL Editor Tim Garratt News Editor Jordan Lynn Production Editors Moira Daniels Hayley Barnett

CONTRIBUTORS Suki Basi Warren Hutcheon Dipak Sahoo


SALES & MARKETING General Manager Peter Smith Commercial Development Manager Sophie Knight Marketing & Communications Manager Lisa Narroway

CORPORATE Chief Executive Officer Mike Shipley Chief Operating Officer George Walmsley

Design Manager Daniel Williams

Managing Director Justin Kennedy

Designer Joenel Salvador

Chief Information Officer Colin Chan

Traffic Coordinator Lou Gonzales

Human Resources Manager Julia Bookallil




Key Media Regional head office, Level 10, 1–9 Chandos St, St Leonards, NSW 2065, Australia tel: +61 2 8437 4700 • fax: +61 2 9439 4599 Offices in Sydney, Auckland, Denver, Toronto, Manila

Insurance Business is part of an international family of B2B publications and websites for the insurance industry INSURANCE BUSINESS AMERICA T +1 720 316 0151


INSURANCE BUSINESS NZ T +61 2 8437 47OO Copyright is reserved throughout. No part of this publication can be reproduced in whole or part without the express permission of the editor. Contributions are invited, but copies of work should be kept, as Insurance Business magazine can accept no responsibility for loss.


04-05_Eds letter_subbed.indd 4

9/02/2016 11:27:08 AM

04-05_Eds letter_subbed.indd 5

9/02/2016 11:27:16 AM



2015’s NATURAL DISASTERS IN REVIEW The costs related to natural disasters may have dipped over the past 12 months, but complacency shouldn’t set in for the industry NATURAL DISASTERS across Australia and the rest of the world grabbed headlines throughout 2015. With earthquakes in Nepal and Afghanistan taking thousands of lives, and storms and cyclones costing billions of dollars across Australia, it’s hard to believe that 2015 was a down year for disaster damage. Impact Forecasting, the catastrophe model development team at Aon Benfield, recently released their Annual Global Climate and

61, 922


Total number of wildfires that burned in the United States in 2015

















0 320

Global economic losses Global insured losses

360bn 270bn


$465 bn





Global losses from natural disasters were down 30% on the 15-year average of $175 billion

Both insured losses and overall economic losses continue to trend downwards following extreme highs in 2011, but the gap between both figures remains a reminder of the value of insurance and the global opportunities that exist



Total economic losses caused by natural disasters globally


The total number of disasters across the globe hit 300 for the first time since 2010. Australia saw its fair share of natural disasters, as global numbers climbed from five-year lows in 2014



Approximate total number of fatalities across the globe from extreme weather events


Catastrophe Report, which showed that insured losses from natural disasters in 2015 were down 31% on historical averages, but this must not lead to complacency. The number of disasters across the world rose as 300 separate events hit over the calendar year. A huge gap still remains between economic loss and insured loss, showing that the industry still has a long way to go when it comes to protecting the world from these nightmare scenarios.


$262 bn $205 bn $217 bn $132 bn $73 bn

$51 bn




$134 bn

$123 bn

$50 bn


$40 bn

$35 bn



All figures in this graph are in US dollars

06-07_Stats_subbed 2.indd 6

9/02/2016 11:28:02 AM

THE YEAR IN DISASTERS While it may have been a down year for natural disasters in terms of economic losses overall, several disasters still tore through global communities, including some major events across the Asia-Pacific region.

October 2 – 4 Tropical cyclone CHINA, PHILIPPINES

December 26 – 30 Severe weather UNITED STATES



February 16 – 22 Winter weather UNITED STATES

August 2 – 9 Tropical cyclone CHINA, TAIWAN



October 1 – 11 Flooding UNITED STATES

November – December Flooding INDIA, SRI LANKA


Year-long forest fire INDONESIA


May 23 – 28 Severe weather UNITED STATES

December 22 – 31 Flooding UNITED KINGDOM


US$16.1bn April 25 & May 12 Earthquakes NEPAL



Source: Impact Forecasting 2015 Annual Global Climate and Catastrophe Report

MORE OF THE SAME AHEAD? The turn of the year has already cost Australian insurers more than $500m. Could the start of 2016 continue to be as damaging to insurers as the beginning of 2015?

$170m, 1,991 claims Pinery bushfire, South Australia

$86m, 482 claims

$57m, 616 claims

Great Ocean Road bushfires, Victoria

Yarloop bushfire, WA

$202m, 4,282 claims Sydney tornado

Source: Insurance Council of Australia

2015: A BAD START TO THE YEAR Australia suffered a terrible start to the year as, over the first four months, disasters caused billions of dollars in economic losses

$50m +

$78m +

$650m +

$76m +

$925m +

$500m +

$400m +

WILDFIRES 02/01/2015 – 08/01/2015

CYCLONE LAM (QLD/NT) 20/02/2015


CYCLONE OLWYN (WA) 13/03/2015 – 15/03/2015

SEVERE WEATHER (NSW) 19/04/2015 – 22/04/2015


FLOODING (QLD, NSW) 30/04/2015

06-07_Stats_subbed 2.indd 7


9/02/2016 11:28:10 AM



Does the industry need to do more to promote and encourage diversity?

Industry professionals share their perspective

Erin Lee


Victoria Mackenzie-Andrew

Tim Considine

Senior Treaty Underwriter Gen Re

Executive general manager, Human Resources Suncorp Commercial Insurance

Managing director Austbrokers Countrywide

As an industry we have done a lot of work to achieve equality on the work side of the work/life balance equation. We know that women can do the same jobs as men, we know that women can manage people, drive results and improve bottom lines just as well as men. At the lower levels of corporate structures the numbers of female employees show how far we have come. I think next we need to focus on equality on the life side of work/life balance. Encouraging more men…to comfortably and visibly make use of flexible work and leave privileges so they can be more engaged in their outside of work responsibilities will help to normalise this practice for everyone. It would help to remove the stigma around prioritising often unavoidable family responsibilities currently faced mainly by women. By shifting the somewhat negative “working mother” label to a more positive “working parent” one…we could address issues such as talent retention and increase the pool of potential female senior leaders.

The industry has placed a strong emphasis on encouraging a diverse workforce in recent years and there have been many positives. However, there is still plenty that can be done to ensure we are drawing from the widest talent pool possible. Diversity is critical to building high-performing teams. Diversity creates a broader range of thoughts and perspectives, which enables organisations to remain agile and better respond to the changing needs of customers. This leads to better business outcomes. Gender diversity is a critical component of any broader workplace diversity strategy. Research tells us that gender-balanced leadership teams outperform the market and are more innovative, more engaged, better at managing risk, and experience higher customer service ratings. However, workforce diversity involves much more than gender. A diverse workforce welcomes and accommodates the needs of people of various ages, cultures, lifestyles and working preferences…Building a culture that values differences and supports inclusiveness enables our people to perform at their best.

The easy answer…is ‘of course’, and perhaps an even better question is ‘how do we go about it?’ When we’re talking about diversity, I think it’s more than gender, race or age – it’s also diversity of experience, background, personality and thought. We know diversity improves our business results, so to continue to grow and be successful, we need to entice a wide range of high potential employees to consider insurance as a career opportunity, and, more importantly, work to keep them here. There are things we can do at every career stage to support diversity in the workplace, such as ensuring a wide variety of talent is included to interview for open positions. We can provide mentoring opportunities and career paths to high potential employees. Employers shouldn’t be afraid of investing in and developing people – if they get stronger, we as an industry get stronger. In my view, insurance offers genuinely rewarding careers, and we shouldn’t shy away from fostering development and progression.

08-09_Hot Topic_subbed.indd 8

9/02/2016 11:29:01 AM

08-09_Hot Topic_subbed.indd 9

9/02/2016 11:29:08 AM




FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER STALKS INSURERS’ BLUE-CHIP CLIENTS Suki Basi, managing director of Russell Group, a UK-based risk management software company, discusses the growing cyber threat THE UBIQUITY of wireless connections between objects appears to be a digital utopia in the here and now. Thermostats think, manipulate and manage a multiplicity of domestic devices, streaming real-time operational data to their makers. ‘Intelligent’, interlinked machines and heavy industrial tools render work more efficient and ‘learn’ as they operate. Vehicles automatically download the latest software iterations from their manufacturers to boost performance and preempt mechanical problems before they even occur – all the while registering precisely where they are. Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And yet, in this brave new world planes can now be hacked, as can oil tankers and offshore rigs. Financial institutions and entertainment companies can see their data compromised and shared beyond their customer base because every smart, connected device may be a point of network access, a target of hackers, or a launch pad for cyberattacks. The paradox is that in such a world our machines, constructions and products are autonomous, yet connected at the same time. It is a strange concept to grasp, yet grasp it we must if we wish to maximise the opportunity and minimise the inevitable risks. UK-based data analytics pioneer Russell Group is primarily focused on this risk aspect and how it potentially impacts on its underwriting clients – and their clients. As a business it has


been at the forefront of a debate asking the question, ‘How does the connected nature of risk today cut across traditional vertical industrial structures such as aerospace, shipping, offshore energy and, increasingly, financial services?’ Woefully, modelling industry-agnostic cyber risks is at a nascent stage of development. Not one of the leading commercial risk model players currently offers a model to diagnose – let alone prognosticate – cyber risks. Recent cyber hacks that have inflicted significant operational and reputational damage

We think cyber risk sets will be available in the future that will adequately reflect the nature of historical events and could be licensed independently of any software model needed to run them. All companies large and small need to carefully assess their security and how it affects multiple functions, with IT continuing to play a key role in implementing best practices for data and network security. That is all very well, but it still does not address a key concern for (re)insurers, which is the supply chain risk and the wider aggregate exposure. An organisation or individual can protect their own interests to a certain extent, but their ability to conduct a security audit on all their suppliers and partners is a different matter entirely. This is a theme that Russell Group has been exploring with increasing regularity in conversations with speciality (re)insurers in the last 18 months. Enterprise-connected risk solutions can help address the absence of a workable standardised cyber risk model. In a cyber environment in which PwC estimates that annual gross written premiums are set to increase from around $2.5bn today to $7.5bn by the end of the decade, we are going to need a workable model soon. We have become used to the idea of an earthquake or windstorm causing large financial

“Cyber connectivity is an existential threat to insurers’ balance sheets and those of their clients” on targets such as Target and Sony are concentrating insurance minds on the security risks in this connected world. All functions and, from an underwriting point of view, potentially all speciality insurance classes need to be reassessed for vulnerabilities heralded by the Internet of Things. We at Russell Group see cyber as an enterprise risk and hence in the same arena as political risk, and supply chain and trade credit risk. Our risk management software and other solutions are designed to serve such risk. Typically, speciality classes operate within a ‘risk silo’, while cyber and other enterprise risks are cross-silo or crossclass.

losses and human misery, so it takes time to adjust to the idea that a human typing on a laptop or the loss of an unencrypted memory stick might cause the same level of threat. The reality, however, is that cyber connectivity is an existential threat to insurers’ balance sheets and those of their clients. It is surely time for insurers, the government and risk managers to address the issue collectively – before it is too late.

Suki Basi is the managing and founder director of Russell Group Ltd. He’s had project experience in a number of insurance and reinsurance lines, including aviation, space and offshore energy.

10-13_Opinion_subbed.indd 10

9/02/2016 11:29:43 AM

10-13_Opinion_subbed.indd 11

9/02/2016 11:29:49 AM




EVOLVING TECHNOLOGIES AND INSURANCE IN 2016 Dipak Sahoo outlines the benefits new and emerging technologies can offer insurance According to Capgemini’s latest World Insurance Report, general insurers in Australia experienced some of the best results in the world in 2014, by lowering claims and improving profit margins in comparison to global counterparts. 2014 saw the claims ratio decline by 17.6%, a drop attributed to fewer natural perils and better operating efficiency due to increased focus on technology transformation. However, the report also reveals that Aussie insurers suffered the highest decline in customer satisfaction at 7.3%, pushing Australia to eighth position from sixth. Claims servicing, in particular, was one area that experienced the highest decline in this category. This steep decline tells us that although insurers are investing heavily in technology, the impact of their investments is not immediately obvious to customers. Claims servicing, a key area in which Australian insurers are falling down, requires insurers to strike a fine balance between customer-centricity and loss reduction. There are a few key ways this can be achieved, from managing claims payouts well by improving the initial claims decision-making process, to reducing the instances of claims by using preventative methods. The adoption of innovative new technologies can help insurers strike this fine balance and better manage the claims process while improving customer engagement. Telematics/connected cars could change the way insurers engage with customers through the provision of each driver’s driving data. The efficient use of collected data creates opportunities for increased positive engagement with customers and also incentivises good driving behaviour. Eventually, these models will result in reduced premiums for good drivers and also allow insurers to offer an improved claims experience. ‘Pay as you drive’ insurance models will


advance a number of business functions, including increased profitability through better risk pricing and a more efficient claims process due to automation of the FNOL process and the reconstruction of accidents and damaging events. It is predicted that, by 2025, half of all US homes will be Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled, with integrated monitoring and control solutions, providing further opportunities for insurers to improve their home and contents offerings. Home insurance companies are increasingly incentivising customers to install connected devices into their properties to warn of potential danger, such as short-circuiting, plumbing issues or home invasion. These integrated technologies can aid insurers in monitoring customer properties remotely and will allow them to react immediately in the case of an incident. Wearable devices are increasingly used by insurers to monitor customer health conditions

efficiency and safely obtain loss information at the site of an accident. Australian insurers, for example, could use drone technology to increase the safety of claim adjusters or risk engineers in collecting information from inaccessible or dangerous areas after a loss event or catastrophe, eg roof damage inspection after hailstorms, or to prevent fraud during underwriting or claims involving large or inaccessible areas such as agricultural farms. Through the use of natural language processing technology, insurers can analyse huge amounts of unstructured data collected from connected devices, process voice instructions and implement intelligent text mining, all without human intervention, while improving efficiencies in the following areas: • Act on customer conversations in emails, surveys, online chat and community forums as well as social media. • The analyser can automatically search for potentially fraudulent activity in the claims process. • Insurance analysts can easily tap into case notes and claims to understand the root cause of the loss, avoiding unjustified costs and expenses. The list of potential innovations in the insurance industry is long and constantly

“The list of potential innovations in the insurance industry is long and constantly evolving” and fitness levels. The natural extension of everyday wearable usage is primarily seen in the life and health insurance sectors, where data can be collected in real time to predict risk events and allow proactive intervention by the insurer or customer. ‘Nearables’ have started to infiltrate the market and are already being used by insurers to track items and implement task automation based on proximity. For example, travel insurance companies have started working with airline operators, using nearables on a traveller’s checked-in baggage to prevent loss of baggage and reduce the instance of insurance claims. As drone technology advances, insurers are leveraging this technology to increase operating

evolving. We can only speculate about the true impact of innovations, such as driverless cars, that could completely transform the traditional insurance business model. The potential of these trends becoming mainstream will depend on factors such as perceived value, resistance from customers, and regulation around privacy. Irrespective of the long-term outcome, there is enough evidence to suggest the Australian insurance industry is in for some exciting changes in 2016. Dipak Sahoo is the director and industry practice lead for insurance at Capgemini in Australia and New Zealand. Capgemini is a leading provider of consulting, technology and outsourcing services worldwide.

10-13_Opinion_subbed.indd 12

9/02/2016 11:29:58 AM

10-13_Opinion_subbed.indd 13

9/02/2016 11:30:07 AM



INSURANCE DRONES HAVE LIFT OFF In an Australian first, IAG recently used drones to assess bushfire-caused property damage. How significant are the benefits and what is the future for commercial drone use in and outside insurance? BUSHFIRES ARE an unfortunate reality in Australia and, so far this summer, blazes along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road have been among the most destructive. In the towns of Wye River and Separation Creek, 116 homes were destroyed on Christmas Day. Fires around the roadway weren’t completely contained until January 21. According to the Insurance Council of Australia, those fires have resulted in more than $86m of insured losses from 482 claims, including 185 residential building claims (current as of January 21). But the recent Victorian fires also represent a significant event for the insurance industry because, for the first time in Australia, an insurer used drones to examine damage caused by the bushfires, in efforts to expedite the assessment process for customer claims. “What we’ve been able to do for our assessors and customers is safely access properties by aerial imagery, and ascertain what the extent of the damage has been, but also validate and verify with our customers the status of their properties,” says Ben Bessell, chief executive of IAG’s


Australian Business Division. “Those outcomes … I think have made a positive contribution to a pretty ordinary situation.” Not only did the ability to obtain aerial imagery via use of drones facilitate the review of property damage from a safe location, but it also eliminated risks associated with persons physically accessing the site, including asbestos, fallen power lines and land slips. “It actually speeds up the process of property loss identification in a way that doesn’t put our staff or the customer in danger of potentially accessing sites that may not [be] ready to be [accessed],” Bessell says. Claims for CGU, WFI and Coles Insurance were assessed using the drone technology, which use was made possible through IAG’s property repair partner. Properties were inspected before authorities had granted physical access and the processing of customer claims was able to begin immediately. Speaking to Insurance Business, Bessell says IAG has been contemplating the use of drones to conduct bushfire damage inspections for the past 12 months. “The rapid rise of drone

technology and a number of businesses facilitating the utilisation of commercial drones … [have] enabled us to bring all of our ideas together with a partner and actually use it for commercial purposes.”

Handle with care Bessell stresses that using this technology assists in speeding up the process of assisting customers at a time when they’re ready to be helped. “We don’t want to force customers into a position where we’re pushing them down a particular path where they may feel uncomfortable. “But where the customer’s ready to engage with us, this has really enabled us to more readily provide them with details as to the extent of their loss and then also assess the extent of their damage.” Throughout the process, Bessell says IAG

14-16_New Analysis_subbed.indd 14

9/02/2016 11:30:41 AM

leader, I think we have an obligation to utilise technology in a way that others may not. “We’re providing what we believe is a really good rapid response to our customers following a bad event, such as a fire, and it provides a safe alternative to site inspection and a much quicker turnaround. I think the early adoption of technology is something that’s really important to us. “We’ve certainly got some great feedback from our customers and our partners, which is a great sign.” Now that IAG has actual experience using drones in bushfires, is it looking at other potential applications of the technology? “We think there are great opportunities here for working with communities and our insured customers following storms, floods or other natural disasters, but also assisting with pre-loss mitigation,” Bessell says. “As an example, sometimes it’s difficult to physically assess the property and its surroundings from the ground, and that might be in the context of understanding what the risks are that we’re insuring. “We’ve started to discuss those sorts of opportunities with the partners that we’re using in this space. I think there are also opportunities for us to consider how we might even partner with some of the other bodies that would be involved in these sorts of events … for example, the CFA from a fire perspective.” worked with the Country Fire Authority (CFA). “You don’t want to interfere with or hinder firefighting efforts, whether it’s from the ground or above. We’ve certainly been conscious of that and, in the case of the Great Ocean Road and Wye River fires, we’ve worked closely with the CFA to ensure that what we were doing wasn’t going to hinder their efforts.” Privacy concerns are frequently cited when discussion of drone use arises, and Bessell says IAG has been “very conscious” of privacy in using

the technology. “We need to make sure that imagery is used appropriately and that we have consent from the customers, and also that we’re very much conscious of our obligations as we go through and capture imagery.” So does Bessell believe IAG’s utilisation of drones has given the insurance giant an edge over its competitors, as far as the claims handling process is concerned? “Ultimately, that’d be a view determined by our customers,” he answers. “But, as a market

“As a market leader, I think we have an obligation to utilise technology in a way that others may not” Ben Bessell, IAG

The technology Jeff Eager is commercial director of UAS International, a company specialising in the regulation, certification, training, safety and commercial adaptations of drones. He says that, in recent times, increased commercial use of drones (more correctly referred to in the commercial space as ‘Remotely Piloted Aerial Systems’ or ‘RPAS’) owes to a number of factors, including rapid advancements in smart device technology. He adds: “Sophisticated military technology is cascading down into the commercial world, as larger Defence contracts are harder to secure and costs come down in terms of the technology. The players in those spaces are looking for broader revenue streams, so they’re meeting large leisure manufacturers in the middle. On the insurance industry, Eager says:

14-16_New Analysis_subbed.indd 15


9/02/2016 11:30:49 AM


NEWS ANALYSIS “A number of insurers have been evaluating how they might best utilise the RPAS technology to lower field costs, reduce risk to team members, respond faster to their customers with improved service levels, and gain what can be greatly improved levels of incident claim data, remembering that this is potentially in real time, live streaming back to base now being possible. “They can provide very short-range, highdefinition footage, photos and other data following any unfortunate events – whether it’s bushfires, storms, floods or earthquakes. They can provide a source of data and intelligence on any damaged asset, from residential houses to major buildings and warehouses or other property.” He says, today, RPAS are being used across a wide range of industries. “Anything that’s considered dull, dirty or dangerous is a good candidate for RPAS use,” he says. On the subject of growing use, Eager says: “Perhaps the best indicator is the number of Commercial Unmanned Operator Certificates (UOC’s) that are being issued in Australia.” Little over a year ago, there were only about 100 commercial operators. Today, Eager says that number has swelled to around 350, with a further 250 having lodged applications. “People are emerging into this space from all quadrants, whether it’s out of the aviation industry or out of people’s garages, thinking that they can do real estate and weddings,” says Eager. “There are a whole bunch of new players.”

A new frontier So where can drone (or RPAS) technology go from here? What will become possible in the near future? “The more you understand the technology’s capability, the more you understand the sky really is the limit,” Eager says. “In the insurance industry, for instance, it’s technically possible right now for a drone to be sent to a site or an accident location after someone has lodged a claim. In the future, I see that likely via some form of app, which sends their details – maybe the claim details and a GPS location – to the insurance company’s central base, and theoretically, a drone could


“The more you understand the technology’s capability, the more you understand the sky really is the limit” Jeff Eager, UAS International be launched to fly out to inspect that site, record or relay live footage or photographs of a damaged house, boat or a car. “[RPAS could] even hover over a vehicle accident for locational information or a disaster area to have real live information, and even, through that drone, talk to a person whilst a remote assessor is conducting the inspection… It may not be too long before we see that sort of thing.” Eager mentions discussion around RPAS conducting deliveries – something Amazon and Google have been considering for some time. “Australia Post has announced that they want to do trials this year. So we believe that that will happen,” he says. “It’s just a matter of where – more likely to be in isolated areas or remote and regional areas.” “In other industries, we’re seeing everything from counting fruit on trees, to tracking dugongs and even tracking of Malaria-ridden monkeys in Africa by the heat in their heads.” And then there are ambulance drones,

which Eager says are being used in parts of Europe. “They can actually fly out and talk someone through how to apply a defibrillator and save someone’s life. In built up areas particularly, these things can get through where other ambulances and medical aids can’t get through. The ambulance drone is one to watch out for.” The corresponding need that will emerge for policies to respond to risks created by drone use is another matter entirely. There’s no denying the opportunities for insurance providers that will also arise on this front. While the technology continues to advance to a point where it will perform functions completely beyond the realm of our imaginations, IAG will continue to look at the customer and societal benefits it can potentially offer via drone technology. “I think this is just another example of us tapping into tools that are at our disposal,” Bessell says. “We’re very keen to ensure we rebuild or contribute to safer and stronger communities.”

14-16_New Analysis_subbed.indd 16

9/02/2016 11:30:56 AM



A REFRAMED FORUM The Insurance Council of Australia’s Annual Forum is happening soon. What can brokers expect from this year’s event? WHAT’S ON the horizon for Australia’s $115bn general insurance sector? What issues will likely dominate the agenda in the year to come? On March 4, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) will be holding its Annual Forum at Sydney’s Hilton Hotel, in order to give local insurance professionals a clearer picture of what’s ahead. Formerly known as the Regulatory Update, a name change was necessary given the event’s broadened focus, according to Campbell Fuller, ICA general manager, communications and media relations. “It covers a much wider range of topics than simply regulation,” Fuller tells Insurance Business. “The complexity of the industry keeps growing, and the industry has more issues that it needs to understand than probably ever before. “By broadening the focus of the forum, we can bring to the attention of the industry, and associated professionals, some of the key matters that the Insurance Council thinks will be making their presence known through 2016 and onwards.” In what will be her first time speaking to the sector, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer has been confirmed as keynote speaker for the event. Given the raft of issues on which the Federal Government is currently engaged with the insurance industry, the contents of O’Dwyer’s ICA address are likely to be of substantial interest

to the general insurance community. “I think a number of those issues are going to come to the floor through not only the plenaries, but also the various breakout sessions,” Fuller says. “We have Peter Kell, who’s going to talk about the way ASIC deals with the insurance industry, and what ASIC’s outlook is. We’re also going to have a similar perspective from Geoff Summerhayes from APRA.”

by the current ICA president, Andy Cornish.” Time will also be devoted to talk about the ongoing challenge of recruitment in insurance. “There’s a lot of competition for high calibre candidates in the financial services sector, so the last session of the day is going to focus on those challenges,” Fuller says. “How does the industry, for instance, recruit high calibre candidates? How do we retain the talented staff that we need? How do we ensure staff we recruit are equipped to meet the challenges of the changing economy and, also, reflect the diversity of the customer base of the insurers?” Journalist Catherine Fox will be a key participant in that session. “She’s been a workplace journalist and commentator for several decades,” Fuller says. “I think that she’ll be able to bring some very strong perspectives to the discussion.” On the importance of brokers staying across the issues tabled at the ICA’s Annual Forum, Fuller says: “I think it’s smart for brokers to get a really strong understanding of where the general insurers are heading because, in many instances, the issues that confront the insurance companies themselves, and also the service providers, flow through very quickly to the brokers and affect the way that the brokers do their business. “That’s not just in terms of the products that they write, but how those products can be better

“The complexity of the industry keeps growing, and the industry has more issues that it needs to understand than probably ever before” A session devoted to the sharing economy is also on the agenda, and among the speakers will be Victor Dominello, New South Wales Minister for Innovation and Better Regulation. One session will centre on conversation around the National Injury Insurance Scheme. “That’s going to be exploring the implications for the general insurance sector,” says Fuller. “We have the CEO of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, David Bowen, appearing there alongside several other specialists. “There’s a session on climate change – what does managing the risk of climate change mean for general insurance. That’s going to be chaired

sold to customers, and how brokers can adjust their own business models for the changes that are happening right across the financial services sector.” NIBA members who attend the event have the opportunity to earn CPD points. Networking is another benefit of attendance. “It’s a very strong opportunity for brokers to network with a wide range of industry professionals beforehand [and] during the event itself. Also, after the event, there’s networking drinks, and it’s all part of the registration fee.” For more information, visit the event website at

17_ICA_subbed.indd 17


9/02/2016 11:31:21 AM







ACE Ltd announced completion of the acquisition on January 14. ACE paid approximately $29.5bn (A$42.03bn) in the aggregate in cash and stock

Altius Group

CIM Group

CIM Group provides integrated rehab and disability employment services. AUB Group acquired 60% of Altius in January 2015

Arthur J Gallagher

Strathearn Insurance Group

Terms of the transaction were not disclosed

AUB Group (through its 80% –owned entity AUB Group NZ Ltd)

Runacres and Associates (NZ)

Transaction means AUB Group now directly represents NZ$200m (A$186.52m) in GWP in NZ

CBL Corporation

Professional Fee Protection (PFP)

CBL acquired 92% of PFP at a purchase price of £7.5m (A$15.19m), including £2.3m (A$4.66m) of net assets in business

Insurance House

Assurity Pty Ltd

Settlement occurred on 18 December 2015

Insurance House

Lansure Regional Insurance Brokers

Agreement was made on 18 January 2016

PSC Insurance Group

Australian Reliance and Reliance Partners

PSC has entered conditional agreements to acquire two businesses at a price of $31.57m. Completion expected by end of February 2016


Vero has updated its standard public liability policy to extend to businesses utilising drones to help carry out their primary operations. It’s the first standard commercial public liability policy on the market to include drone cover. The policy doesn’t apply to businesses whose primary function is the operation of drones. The policy update specifies that businesses must have a valid Civil Aviation Safety Authority Operators and Controllers Certificate if one is required for their drone. All drones must be operated in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Regulations and must not cause any breach of privacy.


PSC Insurance has entered a conditional agreement to acquire the Australian Reliance corporate insurance broking business and Reliance Partners insurance adviser franchise network. Under the deal, announced on 15 January, PSC will pay an unadjusted purchase price of $31.57m, which includes payment for a book of loans from Franchise Partners and Australian Reliance. In a statement, PSC said the acquisition provides a material step up in GWP “which helps in its dealings with insurers both in Australia and the UK through the PSC UK business”. On completion, PSC’s John Dwyer will become CEO and Dougald Elmer CFO of the Reliance Group.



New Australian travel insurer, World2Cover, has introduced three products that cater to budgetconscious travellers. The products – Basic Cover, Essentials Cover and Domestic Cover – are a response to growing market demand for cost-effective protection within the local market. The products are backed by Tokio Marine. Claudio Saita, COO and executive director at Tokio Marine, said figures showing 13.7m Australians intend to travel in the next 12 months pointed to the “strong need for comprehensive travel insurance options.”

18-19_Intelligence_subbed.indd 18

9/02/2016 12:48:55 PM


Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has announced four new executive and professional lines policies for the Australian market. Those polices are executive First Directors & Officers Liability, Professional First Financial Planners Professional Indemnity, Professional First Asset Manager Liability, and Professional First Civil Liability. Cameron McLisky, head of executive and professional lines, Australasia told Insurance Business that BHSI intends to become a leading primary insurer in E&P lines. “To do so we need to provide flexible, innovative products backed by the best people. “This is the first of what we hope will be many such announcements to the market.”


Brooklyn Underwriting has launched its newest coverage, announcing it will now be offering accident and health protection. That announcement was made in late December. Brooklyn is providing both individual and group personal accident and sickness cover, which can be tailored to meet an insured’s needs regardless of the type of work that the insured person undertakes. Brooklyn says its tailored policy wording offers market-leading coverage while offering flexibility to customise words and provide additional coverage.


In November, the insurer announced several enhancements to Zurich fleet insurance. Policy wording enhancements announced included new for old replacement for some vehicles if written off in the first three years. Additionally, enhancements announced pertained to Zurich’s electronic broking system. Those included pre-populated fields for easier use of the system and to avoid rekeying of information. On the claims front, there was an approved repairer network announced, extending to over 200 repairers across Australia, and the ability to lodge claims by phone.





Jurgen Rammesmayer

Elantis Premium Funding

Arthur J Gallagher

Chief operating office

Sarah Lyons


Arthur J Gallagher

Managing director – commercial broking

Sami Jaghbir


Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Senior underwriting manager, executive and professional lines – Brisbane

Richard Johnson

Catlin Australia

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance

Senior underwriting manager, executive and professional lines – Melbourne

Allan Smith



National manager key partners

Bruce McAleese



State sales manager, WA

Gary Marshall


Pen Underwriting

General manager

Jason Hammond



General manager, Broker distribution

Geoff Cutting



National operations manager, Intermediary distribution

Peter Klemt



General manager, business development, Intermediary distribution

Rajbir Singh Nanra



Chief executive officer, general insurance – Australia and NZ


Rajbir Singh Nanra is Zurich’s new CEO of general insurance for Australia and New Zealand. In September, Nanra began acting as interim CEO, and was appointed to the role on a permanent basis in January. Previously, he was Zurich’s local CFO for general insurance. Stuart A. Spencer, the company’s CEO of general insurance for Asia Pacific, said in a statement: “I’m confident that [Nanra’s] experience, enthusiasm and leadership will continue to advance our business in Australia and New Zealand, one of Zurich’s most vital and strategic markets in Asia Pacific.”


International brokerage, Arthur J Gallagher, announced in December that Jurgen Rammesmayer was to become COO of the organisation’s Australian broker business. Until the end of last year, Rammesmayer was CEO of Elantis Premium Funding. Nick Cunningham, head of distribution, is Elantis’ acting CEO pending the appointment of a permanent successor. Andrew Godden, AJG Australia’s chief executive, described Rammesmayer as a “high calibre leader” in a statement and added: “His international background and financial services experience will be a tremendous addition to help us drive growth further as we enter 2016.”

18-19_Intelligence_subbed.indd 19


9/02/2016 11:31:56 AM




Prue Willsford and Dallas Booth explain why they believe the new ANZIIF and NIBA partnership represents the best way forward for broker education

IT WAS a watershed moment on 18 November of last year when the industry’s two main education providers announced a partnership agreement had been made, in their endeavours to facilitate the higher standards of broker education. The agreement, which took effect immediately, saw the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) become the National Insurance Brokers Association’s (NIBA’s) preferred supplier of broker education. NIBA College has provided qualifications and CPD programs for brokers since 1995 but will cease to exist on 1 September 2016. NIBA retains its member services and lobbying and representation responsibilities, while ANZIIF will focus on education, membership and community projects. The discussions that eventually led to the agreement began a year ago, according to NIBA’s CEO, Dallas Booth. “We started a process here with the NIBA Board of Directors to do a very serious review of our goals, objectives and priorities,” he tells Insurance Business. “We did a lot of workshopping around the board table, a lot of internal analysis ourselves as to what we were really here for, and we had to re-establish our own goals. “There was a question … as to what’s the most cost-effective mechanism for delivery of the education and training commitment,”


Booth says. “We did a lot of consultation with industry leaders, and a couple of times we went to the whole membership to say, ‘What do you think should be the goals [and] priorities of NIBA as an organisation?’ We got a pretty strong response … that members and industry leaders couldn’t see the rationale for two industryowned training bodies. “Secondly, when [employers’] staff asked

NIBA describe as “a major reform of industry education”. The Skills Units are FNS15compliant and the two bodies say the content aims to address industry changes and reflect the needs of both brokers and business.

The new content The new units will enable brokers to focus on one specific skills area and build their proficiency in that area over a four- to

“The way we’ve designed our education is about having an incredibly high-quality, engaging learning pathway supported by really innovative assessment strategies… Our education is quite different to anything else I’ve experienced” them, ‘Do I do ANZIIF or NIBA College?’, they didn’t really have a clear answer.” At that point, Booth says the conversation with ANZIIF began. “That led to a whole bunch of detailed discussions about what each party was wanting to achieve, and the ultimate outcome was a collaborative arrangement.” The announcement of that arrangement was timed to coincide with the launch of the new ANZIIF Skills Units, which ANZIIF and

six-week period, as opposed to studying a broader area and completing a unit over a number of months. “This is a really sophisticated industry with a sophisticated set of clients,” says Prue Willsford, ANZIIF’s CEO. “The kinds of people that are required to work in this industry have to be curious, they have to be adaptable, and they have to be broadband thinkers who are able to apply knowledge

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 20

9/02/2016 12:39:54 PM

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 21


9/02/2016 11:32:36 AM



effectively in a range of circumstances. We’re really looking to build capability for the industry.” Willsford’s nearly three-decade career has included roles at the higher end of financial services, and five years as deputy chancellor of Victoria University. “I’ve been lucky enough to see how education transforms people’s lives – for myself, my family [and] the 55,000 students that go through VU every year,” Willsford says. “For me, working for an organisation that has the potential to impact so many people – not just the people we’re training but all of their clients – is really purposeful.” Discussing the context around the evolution of the new Skills Units, Willsford says: “In that massive education revolution that’s occurring across the globe, there’s a big difference between knowing things and being able to do things. What we’re really interested in is not just great content but the pedagogy by which that is taught, because we think that great education in this environment is all about the moments of truth, where an individual is adding value to a client. “The way we’ve designed our education is about having an incredibly high-quality, engaging learning pathway supported by really innovative assessment strategies. Those assessment strategies are all about decision-making, because great decisionmaking demonstrates the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to be successful as a professional. “Our education is quite different to anything else I’ve experienced… We’re taking quite a different approach to supporting the industry and how it grows.” Talking about the new units, Booth says: “There’s a whole new approach to the delivery of this stuff in an e-learning environment that is totally different to anything that’s happened either from ANZIIF or from NIBA College in the past, and that’s the exciting bit… It’s the way in which [ANZIIF] is using the very best


of e-learning to deliver this stuff that’s going to be really brilliant.” Booth points to the benefits of allowing students to study content in bite-sized chunks. “I think that’s really smart because people often want to learn, but they don’t necessarily want to learn the whole thing. “A lot of employers, particularly the bigger brokers, have got staff with relatively narrow functions and responsibilities. They can just do units of study relevant to that.

“We’re seeking – and we’re being given – close involvement in the nature and content of [ANZIIF’s] courses and the quality of the course content and delivery. That’s very much part of the collaboration” “The content that we’ve seen so far from some of the courses … is just excellent. I’m actually quite excited about it.” Willsford says ANZIIF’s conversation with industry, ultimately leading to the creation of the Skills Units, began around 18 months ago. On the genesis of the new content, she tells Insurance Business: “One of the real changes with the ANZIIF Skills Units is that we’ve engaged heavily with the industry – and using broking as an example – to understand the career path that a broker is likely to take, including saying, ‘If someone comes in and they start off as an assistant broker, what does

that look like? How long do they stay in that role? What are the skills that they need? How do you know that they’re ready to move on? How do you prepare them for that next phase?’ “A real career journey conversation is what we’ve been having with industry. That then gives you a career path for an individual, and that career path is supported by knowledge, skills and competencies at each level. When you look at that career path, there is a loose linkage to a Certificate 3, a Certificate 4, a Diploma of Insurance Broking, [etc]. But it’s not a tight linkage. “What the learner actually wants, and what the industry wants, is skills that are appropriate at the career level, and getting a ticket is a nice thing to have as a demonstration of that, but far more important is the capability to do that role today. “Our Skills Units can be linked together to give people a ticket, if that’s what they need or want – and I do think that credentialing in that way is still important. But more important is that I know I have the skills, knowledge and behaviours which equal capability to do my job today.” Willsford says ANZIIF hopes the new approach will give industry professionals greater clarity around skills and competencies required in order to take the next steps in their careers, and will also assist in making insurance more appealing to jobseekers. “When we’re wanting to attract people to our industry, they can see a structured investment that will enable them to grow, and that’s a critical part of people wanting to join our industry,” she explains. “[This approach] supports the work we’re doing around careers in insurance. But for those who’ve already joined us, they can actually manage their own career paths themselves in a way that they probably could have before but they had to apply a lot of thought to it. We’re just trying to make it easy for them to understand how they can progress in their careers.”

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 22

9/02/2016 11:32:40 AM

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 23


9/02/2016 11:32:49 AM



Consultation and collaboration An obvious question that arises is around the level of industry feedback ANZIIF has received about its Skills Units, and the overall tenor of those responses. “We’ve had feedback as we’ve developed the program,” Willsford says. “Once we had modules to actually demonstrate to people, we’ve been – with great pleasure – demonstrating them and providing key people with access. “The reality is, if you’re going to be an industry education provider, you actually have to do that with industry.” According to Willsford, to date, more than 500 people have been engaged in the review process. “Our board has seen them, our faculties have seen them, the NIBA Education Committee has seen them, most of the NIBA

College may be unconvinced that the new agreement is the right next move for the industry in trying to maximise the quality of broker education, and Willsford is cognisant of that. So, how would she respond to any scepticism? “It wasn’t something that was done lightly,” she says. “And a really strong part of that was about NIBA testing our thinking about education, and they were clearly impressed by our commitment to high-quality education and the education revolution we’re undertaking. “Secondly … we both have absolute commitment to growing the capability and professionalism of the broking industry. That’s our shared purpose. But where we’ve landed is that we both focus on our core strengths,

“We both have absolute commitment to growing the capability and professionalism of the broking industry… Where we’ve landed is that we both focus on our core strengths but to the benefit of that shared purpose” Board [of Directors] has seen them … but importantly, some of our key clients have also reviewed them.” She says reaction to the Skills Units has been “fantastic”. “You do these things and you know in your heart that they’re good, but you still have to wait to get that resonance back from the industry, and that resonance has been very, very strong.” “We’re now taking it out to learning and development managers and talking about how we can integrate that offering with existing training within the companies, and again, that’s a very positive conversation.” Of course, staunch supporters of NIBA


but to the benefit of that shared purpose. They focus on lobbying, standard setting, and what good looks like from that side. We focus on the absolute excellence in terms of the education product and the quality of that. “You’ve got a fantastic industry association in NIBA. There are lots of smart, committed people who have been part of that journey for a long time, who took a good, hard look at who they are and who we are, and how we can work best together.” Willsford offers to demonstrate the new Skills Units to any interested persons. “I’d be delighted to personally show them what we’re doing. If someone wants to have a look,

who wants to understand it personally, give me a call.” Booth stresses that NIBA’s commitment to quality broker education and training remains. “We are promoting ANZIIF as a preferred supplier for broker training,” he says. “In response to that, we’re seeking – and we’re being given – close involvement in the nature and content of their courses and the quality of the course content and delivery. That’s very much part of the collaboration. It’s not a hands-off thing. It’s actually a very close working relationship.” Booth says collaboration will involve formal meetings four times a year, and NIBA will

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 24

9/02/2016 11:32:56 AM

retain its Board Education Committee. “The previous committee was there to guide and assist NIBA College. In the future, it will be there to inform the board and myself about the education and training needs of brokers. We will inform ourselves, through the board committee [and] through our own ongoing links to members, what the education and training needs are from a business point of view. “Finally, the whole framework will be formally reviewed every two years. So it’s a very close collaboration and it’s intended to be. “The other thing is that industry representation is still our role, but when we’re

talking to government about education and training of brokers, we’ll take ANZIIF with us or will make sure that they’re very much part of that whole process.”

Setting standards Booth and Willsford are acutely aware of the debate that’s emerged around broker competencies and training, including calls for Innovation & Business Skills Australia (IBSA) to approve an overhaul of the broker education framework. Both leaders say they’re enthused by the interest in continued conversation around a subject of crucial importance.

“We welcome that debate,” Booth says. “We encourage everybody, whether they’re RTOs, broking firms [or] learning and development managers … to put their views forward into the mix, as to what should be the competencies and knowledge and skills of brokers. Similarly, Willsford says: “It’s great to see people engaging about what great looks like, and understanding that there’s a real depth of knowledge and skill required to build the capability. “The conversations occurring about the lack of product knowledge … I think that’s a common cry. People always want more product knowledge, and that’s fantastic.”

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 25


9/02/2016 11:33:03 AM



Willsford highlights the autonomy RTOs have in making decisions to broaden their own content to reflect industry requirements. “ANZIIF has always gone well above and beyond the basic requirements for knowledge in our diplomas,” she says. “We have always recognised that there’s a huge amount of underpinning knowledge required to be good, and this is, again, where there’s a real difference between building capability and getting a ticket. “Any RTO is welcome, at any time, through either elective subjects or through how they construct the underpinning knowledge, to ensure that their education is above the minimum standard. It’s something that ANZIIF has always done.” Weighing in on the issue of product knowledge versus competencies and skills, Booth says: “To be a good broker, you’ve got to know the products… Product knowledge is really important, but a whole bunch of other competencies and skills are also critically important for the person to do the job properly. It’s not just knowing what an ISR policy wording is. It’s far more complex than that. “I think it’s interesting how, regardless of what’s changed in commerce and the economy, for over 200 years the fundamentals of insurance haven’t changed. You’ve still got an insurance policy based on a contract operating under the doctrine of utmost good faith with underwriters, intermediaries and clients… But lots of things have changed on the surface, in terms of how business is done and what sort of things you’re insuring and what risks are happening out there… “So it’s absolutely vital that brokers have the skills and competencies to be able to cope with the world that we’ve


got today, and with the world of constant change and threat of digital disruption, and offerings from direct and other places… It’s a whole combination of things, and we encourage everybody who’s got a view to put forward, to actually put it forward.” Booth tells Insurance Business that, when IBSA did its major review of the content of broker training in 2014, RTOs were invited to make submissions. “NIBA did what it always does, and has done for the past 20 years, and widely consults with its members on a regular basis about what are the training needs of people coming into the business,” he says, and adds that NIBA then made its submission. “There was a totally open opportunity for anybody who wanted to, to put a submission into that process,” he says. “The only other submission … went in from ANZIIF.” Booth also responds to the suggestion of conflict arising from the fact that Linda Evans – effectively the head of NIBA College – also serves as deputy chair of IBSA. “NIBA does not and has never directed Linda. Linda is in that role in her personal capacity because of her own personal knowledge and experience in education and training in the financial services sector. NIBA has never directed her, and she plays her role as a person of incredibly high integrity and professionalism in that whole process. “In any event, once NIBA put a submission in, they [IBSA] went out to the world and said, ‘What do you think about this?’ The views of NIBA were tested through those channels anyway, so it’s not as if everything is happening behind close doors. It’s actually far from it.” Booth says it’s NIBA’s intention to undertake research in collaboration with ANZIIF, within the next six months, on how the broker world will look in five

THE ANZIIF AND NIBA PARTNERSHIP: THE ESSENTIALS Since 18 November 2015, ANZIIF has been NIBA’s preferred supplier of education, training and CPD courses

NIBA is no longer taking enrolments into its broker qualifications, traineeships or CPD programs run through NIBA College. Since 18 November 2015, new students have only been able to enrol in ANZIIF’s programs

NIBA will provide education to its current students until 1 September 2016. From this date, remaining NIBA students will transition to ANZIIF’s education programs. A transition pathway will ensure the least amount of disruption for current students in their studies

No material change to ANZIIF members or students results from the partnership. ANZIIF students enrolled in insurance broking courses are continuing their studies as usual

NIBA continues to award QPIB professional status to brokers who satisfy the QPIB criteria

NIBA continues to focus on lobbying, member services, professional standards and representation of its corporate and individual members, and providing networking opportunities and events for the intermediated insurance community NIBA will closely collaborate with ANZIIF as to the nature and content of ANZIIF’s courses and the quality of course content and delivery

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 26

9/02/2016 11:33:10 AM

years’ time. “We want to do some really solid research about that. “I’m absolutely convinced in my own mind that … [in] financial services and well beyond … the successful employee of the future is one who’s very well skilled and trained, and that’s the only way you’re going to cope with what’s going on around you. But what should be the skills and knowledge to get you to that point?”

The future Continuing to discuss times ahead, Booth says NIBA will concentrate on its core reason for being – representation and government relations – and on meeting its obligations to current NIBA College students. “They will all get their diplomas or qualifications, and because it’s done under the vocational training framework, they will all stand. They’re all properly accredited.” Under the agreement, NIBA will continue to award Qualified Practising Insurance Broker (QPIB) status to brokers who meet the criteria. Booth also says time will be spent in the first half of 2016 examining how NIBA can best achieve its core objectives as the world

changes. “We’ve got to make sure that we’re … doing the things that we really should be doing in the best way possible,” he says. “As we go through and complete our year of transition, we then re-establish NIBA for its next period of life... We’ll be doing our transition, we’ ll be completing our commitment to current students, we’ll be doing a massive legislative and policy process with Canberra, and we’ll also be having a pretty good look at what NIBA should look like in 2017 and beyond.” At ANZIIF, there’s no shortage of ongoing activity surrounding the launch of the Skills Units. “We have a number of units on the shelf ready to go, but we’re continuing to build that out,” Willsford says. “We’ll be building pretty continuously, I’d say, for the next 18 months. “We’ll have our broking units ready to go with the new ASQA [Australian Skills Quality Authority] training package that’s due in March.” “We’re also doing work in claims and underwriting, and we will continue to build out a variety of Skills Units. They will cover general insurance as well as broking. Lots of people go from broking to underwriting, or underwriting to broking, and you need to be

able to recognise that career path and [allow students to] pick up the skills [they] need, not go and climb another two-year mountain just to get a ticket.” As part of its work to ensure its broker education remains reflective of the profession’s requirements, ANZIIF will be using learnings from an upcoming project to be undertaken by its People and Talent Development Advisory Council, which will focus on understanding the employee of tomorrow. “We have a specific project that’s about the future of our employee force that ANZIIF can then respond to by providing the kind of learning that’s required,” Willsford says. “We’ll continue to monitor things like our student satisfaction, student engagement and, obviously, feedback from the industry – the companies themselves that are usually paying for the education. For us, it’s [about] continuing to engage in different ways across all sectors and at all levels to make sure that what we produce is reflective of what’s required. “It’s not about compliance. It’s about capability. It’s not about a ticket. It’s about capability. And that’s the journey that I think we all need to go on to ensure that brokers remain relevant over the next decade.”

20-27_Big Interview_subbed.indd 27


9/02/2016 11:33:17 AM



2016 28

Who are the movers and shakers of the insurance industry?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 28

9/02/2016 12:43:36 PM

WELCOME TO the third annual Insurance Business Hot List. It’s never easy compiling this list, given the abundance of remarkable ongoing work undertaken across the industry. Many names are included because of the prominent organisations they lead, whose movements are a constant source of interest to the industry. Others have been at the centre of major activities in recent times or are expected to be central to significant events yet to come. Some readers will firmly agree with the inclusion of particular personalities, while others may shake their heads in disbelief at the omission of an individual they believe wields substantial influence in the industry. If someone on your mind fits that bill, feel free to comment at

SAMPATH SOYSA President YOUNG INSURANCE PROFESSIONALS (YIPS) AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND Sampath Soysa heads the Melbourne office of national law firm Gilchrist Connell, and has over 14 years’ experience in legal practice. But Soysa is also keenly interested in the insurance industry and, in 2011, founded the Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs) Australia & New Zealand. His YIPs network remains dedicated to the development and retention of young professionals in insurance, both here and across the Tasman. Since 2014, YIPs’ membership numbers have grown a staggering 64% to around 5,400 young professionals across the two countries. Keep an eye firmly focused on Soysa and his YIPs network’s activities in 2016. They arguably deserve a place at the table for any industry discussion as to how the industry can make insurance a more alluring career path for talented young jobseekers.


MARK MILLINER COO (incoming) IAG Big news broke last year on October 27 when it was announced that Mark Milliner would be leaving Suncorp to join IAG. Milliner’s resignation came after a twodecade tenure with the Group, during which time he held a number of senior roles, the most recent being CEO of personal insurance. In 2014, under Milliner’s leadership, personal insurance was Suncorp’s biggest division by revenue, earning $4.6bn in premiums. Many expected he’d be appointed Group CEO upon Patrick Snowball’s departure. Milliner’s move is seen as a major coup for IAG. He’s set to begin in the new role midyear, and there’ll be keen interest in observing what he’s able to achieve in partnership with new boss, Peter Harmer.

Last year was a significant time for Dallas Booth and NIBA. Booth was one of seven industry members selected for a reference panel assembled to support the Federal Government’s Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce, examining the region’s insurance affordability crisis. Additionally, lobbying by NIBA’s Board is said to have ensured government concerns about professionalism and ethics in the financial services sector in Australia have not extended to general insurance brokers. One particular highlight came just before Christmas, when the Assistant Treasurer delivered the news that general insurance brokers would be completely exempted from new legislative requirements designed to lift educational and ethical standards for financial advisers. NIBA’s momentous education deal with ANZIIF affords the association the opportunity to place heightened focus on its member representation activities. How will that heightened focus deliver greater outcomes to the broking community in 2016 and beyond?

DAVID PORTEOUS Director BROOKLYN UNDERWRITING David Porteous and his Brooklyn Underwriting team chalked up some impressive achievements in 2015. In August, the agency was named ‘Underwriting Agency of the Year’ for the fourth consecutive year at the Australian Insurance Industry Awards – no minor victory in anyone’s books! Beyond its successes on the underwriting front, the agency launched Brooklyn University, an online learning community for insurance professionals that facilitates participation in a range of subjects, which earn participants CPD points upon completion. The focus of its education is interactive, sharp, to-the-point material that’s accessible to everyone, regardless of geography. The response to Brooklyn University has been so strong it’s even surprised Porteous and his team. He told Insurance Business last year his team is committed to being a part of the broker education piece as long as the agency is around. With new and more complex content in the works, what educational offerings will Porteous and Brooklyn take to market in 2016 to assist brokers in their ongoing learning?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 29


9/02/2016 11:34:06 AM


THE HOT LIST CHRIS COLAHAN President, Australasia BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY SPECIALTY INSURANCE (BHSI) The arrival of Warren Buffett’s BHSI in Australia was highly anticipated for some time. When the company received its Australian insurance licence in April 2015, all eyes were on its new operations and local leadership team, led by Chris Colahan. Colahan may be one of the younger executive leaders in general insurance in Australia, but he’s already chalked up over a decade of experience with RSA Insurance in several senior leadership roles throughout Asia, most recently as its regional chief executive, based in Singapore. BHSI’s global president and CEO Peter Eastwood shared his own high opinion of Colahan with Insurance Business last year, describing him as “an exceptionally talented individual”. In just 10 months, under Colahan’s leadership, BHSI has expanded its presence in Australasia to four offices, and its range of product lines continues to grow. And as Colahan has told Insurance Business himself, this is only the beginning!


PRUE WILLSFORD CEO ANZIIF ANZIIF has just experienced one of the biggest years in its 132-year history, owing to the partnership agreement that saw The Institute become NIBA’s preferred supplier of broker education. The November announcement was timed with the launch of the ANZIIF Skills Units, which were described in a joint ANZIIF-NIBA statement as ‘a major reform of industry education’ and ‘designed to meet changes in the industry and to reflect the needs of brokers and business now and into the future’. A passionate educator, there’s no question Prue Willsford and her ANZIIF team will be the focus of significant industry attention in 2016. Broker education remains a hot topic of conversation, and it appears significant debate about the framework may still be to come. Regardless, the industry will be looking to ANZIIF, through its new Skills Units, to deliver content that best equips brokers with the knowledge imperative to survive in the world of today and beyond.


He has been described by one industry peer as “an emerging innovative leader”. Heath Amber has accumulated two decades’ insurance experience and has been Millennium’s MD for three years. He was also the Underwriting Agencies Council’s chairman for two years before stepping aside in December 2015. In 2014, UAC opened

membership to New Zealand agencies, and now represents 106 agencies in Australia and across the Tasman. Last year, it launched the Strategic Plan 2020, which includes an intention to expand its presence in Asia-Pac. The Council presented to Lloyd’s Singapore service companies last July on the benefits of UAC membership, and Amber himself took the opportunity to meet with parties across the region to raise awareness of the UAC brand. When he stepped aside as chair, Amber said he foreshadowed opportunities ahead for Millennium that would ‘consume much time and input’. The question now is what precisely is ahead for Amber and Millennium in 2016.

DONNA WALKER Executive GM, broker business, Australian business IAG Donna Walker is one of the highest profile female leaders in the industry in Australia. Her impressive career has included 17 years with CGU and three years lecturing at the University of Melbourne’s Centre for Actuarial Studies. Currently, Walker chairs IAG’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Group which, among its key aims, focuses on how to increase the number of women working in senior leadership roles across the organisation. Walker is a firm believer that diversity of thought in companies can not only lead to better decision-making, but stronger businesses. Last year, IAG’s endeavours to foster a more inclusive workplace were recognised when it took home ‘Women’s employer of the year’ at the Australian Insurance Industry Awards. Walker is precisely the kind of leader the industry should look to for thought leadership in its efforts to create truly diverse and inclusive workplaces.

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 30

9/02/2016 11:34:18 AM

EVAN G. GREENBERG Chairman and CEO CHUBB LTD/CHUBB GROUP No M&A activity in the insurance industry attracted more attention in 2015 than the mammoth deal announced on 1 July under which Swiss giant, ACE Ltd, acquired The Chubb Corporation. On completion of the transaction on 14 January, it was announced that ACE had paid approximately US$29.5bn (A$41.99bn) in cash and stock, making it the biggest ever acquisition for the insurance industry in the US. The combined entity is now to be known by the Chubb name and, according to a statement, is the world’s largest publicly-traded property and casualty insurer, operates in 54 countries and territories including Australia, and has US$150bn (A$213.55bn) in assets and achieved US$37bn (A$52.68bn) in GWP in 2014. It’s expected ACE and Chubb in Australia will commence operations together on 31 March. With its new size and scale, what can the new Chubb achieve? Will Greenberg and his leadership team (including John French as head of Australia and New Zealand) work to substantially increase the organisation’s local profile and market share?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 31


9/02/2016 11:34:22 AM


THE HOT LIST KELLY O’DWYER Federal Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer

ALEX SCANDURRA CEO STONE & CHALK If there is one subject that currently secures its fair share of insurance headlines, it’s the notion of disruption. In August, Stone & Chalk, a new centre devoted to that concept, opened in Sydney. It’s an independent, not-for-profit facility capable of housing over 200 financial services-focused tech start-ups. Today, Fintech is one of the fastest growing segments of the financial services industry. In 2014, worldwide investment in Fintech ventures totalled $12.21bn. How will the start-ups of Sydney’s new Fintech hub fare in their quest to create disruptive technologies for insurance and the wider financial services sector? And how successfully will established industry players investing in Stone & Chalk be able to collaborate with its start-up businesses? Insurance Business will be keeping a close watch on Stone & Chalk, as well as its leader, CEO Alex Scandurra – a former captain and squadron commander in a reserve armoured reconnaissance unit of the Australian Army.


Following the installation of the Turnbull Government, Kelly O’Dwyer was promoted to cabinet as Minister for Small Business and Assistant Treasurer. A former National Australia Bank executive, O’Dwyer has served as Federal member for Higgins in Victoria since 2009. She’s now part of what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described as “a 21st Century Government”. Will O’Dwyer prove in times ahead she’s the minister the insurance industry of the 21st century wants and needs? She’s already impressed with news that general insurance brokers are to be exempted from requirements imposed by new legislation aimed at raising standards of education and ethics for financial advisers. Next up, how will O’Dwyer and the Turnbull Government respond to the recommendations of the Northern Australia Insurance Premiums Taskforce’s final report?

BOB JANE Founder BOB JANE T-MARTS Bob Jane has long been a household name in Australia, first as a race car driver and later on as the man behind tyre retail chain, Bob Jane T-Marts. Now, at the age of 85, Jane has partnered with smash repair businessman, Tony Murdaca, to establish Bob Jane Integrity Insurance, an announcement that made national headlines back in September. The plan announced included an intention to list on the Australian Stock Exchange, and to initially focus on motor vehicle coverage. In speaking about these plans to media outlets, there could be no denying Jane’s confidence. It’s not only hoped that the venture will succeed, but that it will shake up the insurance industry. How receptive will consumers be to the new entrant? How much of a threat will Jane present to existing players in the motor vehicle space? Time will tell.

PETER HANCOCK President and CEO AIG In October, activist investor Carl Icahn published an open letter to global CEO Peter Hancock, arguing that AIG should be split into three separate companies to enhance shareholder value. Hancock subsequently found himself under increasing pressure from investors to shrink the insurer and boost its returns. AIG recently announced several strategic actions, organisational changes and operating improvements it said would create “a leaner, more profitable and focused insurer”. As part of that plan, AIG’s Board of Directors committed to returning at least US$25bn of capital to shareholders over the next two years. Additionally, AIG’s operating model would be reorganised into separate business units to enhance transparency and accountability. The insurer also announced targeted expense reductions of US$1.6bn within two years. Will shareholders support AIG’s alternative plan or concur with an undeterred Icahn?

ROBIN JOHNSON Country head, Australia XL CATLIN The first significant insurance M&A story of 2015 was Dublin-based XL Group’s acquisition of the Catlin Group for US$4.1bn (A$5.84bn). When completion of that acquisition was announced on 1 May, XL Group CEO Mike McGavick said: “We are a larger, stronger, more capable firm, with a leading presence in the global specialty insurance and reinsurance markets.” He added that, more importantly, the new organisation is now in “an incredible position to better assist clients in solving the world’s most complex risks”. Robin Johnson, formerly of AIG Singapore, is the Australian head of the new XL Catlin. What growth plans do he and his Australian team have for 2016 and beyond?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 32

9/02/2016 11:34:26 AM

PETER HARMER Managing director and CEO IAG The announcement that Peter Harmer would succeed Mike Wilkins at IAG came as no surprise. With 35 years’ experience under his belt, Harmer is greatly respected across the industry as a forward-thinker, fully attuned to the challenges presented by new and emerging technologies. He’s also highly regarded for his people leadership skills, one former direct report describing him to Insurance Business as “an extraordinary human being”. Harmer joined IAG in 2010 and has undertaken several roles, most recently chief executive of its new Labs Division, charged with driving digital and innovation across the group. Only three weeks after becoming IAG’s number one man, Harmer announced substantial changes to the business structure and leadership team, which he says will help build the company for the future. Throughout 2016, it should be fascinating to watch Harmer and IAG to witness the roll-out of changes and innovations geared at furthering that aim. IAG’s already started the year with an Australian-first, using drones to assess customer claims for property damage that resulted from bushfires along Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. How will Harmer and IAG next blaze the trail?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 33


9/02/2016 11:34:35 AM


THE HOT LIST TIM PLANT CEO, Australian and New Zealand operations QBE Last August, Tim Plant took the reins of QBE’s Australian and New Zealand operations, bringing more than 20 years’ international insurance and reinsurance experience. 2015 was a good year for Australia’s largest global insurer. In February, group CEO John Neal announced profits for 2014 totalling $742m, a staggering $1bn turnaround from a $254m loss in 2013. Its underwriting profit was $547m, representing 60% growth on the result of the year before. The Group’s interim results for 2015 were also strong, and a Moody’s report on the Group published in December predicted QBE will see stronger profitability in 2016 and 2017 because of cost savings and the repositioning of its business. As an employer, QBE picked up two local accolades at the 2015 Australian HR Awards, including Employer of Choice for companies with over 1,000 employees and Best Workplace Diversity and Inclusion Program. What’s ahead for QBE’s local arm this year under Plant’s leadership?

INGA BEALE CEO LLOYD’S OF LONDON Highly accomplished and genuinely inspiring, Inga Beale is Lloyd’s first female CEO in its 328-year history. She began her career 34 years ago as a junior underwriter, and has spent most of that time seizing every opportunity that has come her way, even those she says have scared her. Today, Beale spends considerable time speaking to the benefits of diversity – gender and otherwise. She’s determined to ensure Lloyd’s fosters an inclusive working environment where people feel comfortable, in her words, bringing “their whole selves to work”. Last year, Lloyd’s held the inaugural Dive In Festival, a four-day celebration of the benefits of diversity for the insurance industry. Its success has meant dates have already been locked in for a second festival in 2016. Beale’s passion and determination to change the face of the London insurance market, from white male-dominated to one that’s rich in diversity, will hopefully command the attention of insurance businesses worldwide, which will then follow suit with their own diversity initiatives.

CHRIS MACKINNON General representative in Australia LLOYD’S OF LONDON His first 12 months as Lloyd’s Australian chief have been hectic. But 2016 is likely to be even bigger for Chris Mackinnon and the local office of the world’s oldest specialty insurance market. In lateMarch, Lloyd’s will be co-locating with Talbot Underwriting, Argenta and Ironshore Australia in new premises, which will feature a trading floor environment designed for face-to-face meetings between brokers and Lloyd’s syndicate underwriters. Mackinnon says the move to new premises will also facilitate more thought leadership presentations and seminars around work that Lloyd’s is undertaking, those events to be housed in Lloyd’s very own town hall space. Following the opening of the premises and observing how well the Lloyd’s community in Australia embraces the new environment will be interesting. It’s a concept that’s worked well in London for over 300 years and, more recently, has been well-received by the Lloyd’s community in Singapore. Will Lloyd’s soon find its new Australian premises similarly well-utilised?


PETER CHAMBERLAIN Director ALLINSURE Canberra-based allinsure took out the top spot in Insurance Business’ Top 10 Brokerages of 2015, a credit to the business’ work in recent times under the leadership of founder and director, Peter Chamberlain. Chamberlain prides his team on striving for a collaborative environment where team members feel excited about coming to work and about continuing to grow both the business and themselves. On top of an impressive year of growth in new clients and revenue, allinsure has invested significantly in the local community, care of two major sporting sponsorships and support for several local charities and organisations. It’s also been involved in establishing the Brave Foundation to tackle men’s mental health, as well as the Chamberlain Foundation to provide support for mental health, education and disadvantaged families. Not only are Chamberlain and his team worth watching because of their success in achieving growth in tough times, but also because of their meaningful efforts to assist the wider community.

CRAIG PATTERSON Managing director AUSTAGENCIES In announcing AUB Group’s FY2015 results, Mark Searles said its underwriting agencies arm experienced a 29% increase in revenue, and its profit contribution before tax was 35%. AUB Group’s agency strategy involves building specialist underwriting businesses that become top-three players, if not market leaders, in chosen segments. Longitude Insurance and New Surety are two of the success stories so far in the execution of that strategy. There’s certainly innovative work being undertaken at Austagencies under Craig Patterson’s leadership. What’s in the pipeline for the year to come?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 34

9/02/2016 11:34:38 AM

STEFAN FELDMANN Managing director, Australia, HDI GLOBAL SE Regional head, ASEAN and Australasia, HDI GLOBAL SE In recent times, the profile of Hannover-headquartered industrial insurer HDI Global SE, Australia has risen. The company has built a leadership team that includes impressive talent from both the local and international markets, and opened its second Australian office in Melbourne in 2015 and just recently its third in Brisbane. HDI Global SE is now looking to increase its footprint across Southeast Asia, and its efforts to do so will be led by Stefan Feldmann. The company’s managing director in Australia, Feldmann is now also HDI’s regional head for both the Australasian and ASEAN regions. That appointment was a key piece of a new organisational structure announced in November, aimed at strengthening HDI’s position throughout both regions. Feldmann has described Southeast Asia as one of the most important strategic and economic regions in the world. Will competitors keep a close eye on HDI Global SE over the next year, in order to better understand the opportunities they themselves could explore in the ASEAN region?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 35


9/02/2016 11:34:42 AM


THE HOT LIST BEN BESSELL Chief executive, Australian Business IAG Ben Bessell has led CGU for almost a year now, and it’s been a time when the market leader has received no shortage of industry recognition. The award hat trick CGU pulled off last year was especially impressive, given it occurred during the integration of the acquired Lumley business into CGU. Bessell told Insurance Business in November he and his team will work hard to continue meeting brokers’ high expectations of CGU. But those accolades aren’t Bessell and CGU’s only significant successes in recent times. They’ve achieved something we don’t see occur too often. They’ve succeeded in painting insurance in a positive light in the minds of the general public. The announcement in December that CGU would provide financing to allow the 23-year-old Tropfest Film Festival to continue represented a remarkable contribution by an insurer to the Australian community. Allowing Tropfest to see its 2016 festival through ensures the world’s largest short film festival – an event that attracts substantial international attention – will remain on Sydney’s event calendar, allowing the ongoing participation of both filmmakers and tourists.

MICHAEL CAMERON Managing director and Group CEO SUNCORP Michael Cameron succeeded Patrick Snowball as Suncorp Group CEO on 1 October 2015. He has over 30 years’ experience in business and finance, and for the past six years, he’s been the CEO and managing director of property investment company, GPT Group. Since April 2012, Cameron’s also been a non-executive director of Suncorp. Group Chairman Ziggy Switkowski said in a statement that Cameron was ideally placed to lead the Group through its next phase of growth, highlighting his direct involvement in setting and overseeing the Group’s strategy. “Michael is now ready to lead the organisation into the future while maintaining stability and keeping the momentum going,” Switkowski said. Cameron himself said he relished the opportunity to maximise market opportunities and deliver even greater value to customers and shareholders. He’s also endorsed the Group’s ‘One Company. Many brands’ business model. Cameron’s new role – and what it will mean for one of Australia’s largest general insurers – certainly makes him one to watch.

ROBERT KELLY Managing director and CEO STEADFAST No Hot List for general insurance in Australia could be complete without Robert Kelly. He’s spent close to two decades leading Steadfast and remains one of the industry’s most respected and influential leaders. At its AGM in November, Kelly announced that Steadfast was on track to make its FY2016 targets. He affirmed the ongoing importance of acquisition opportunities to its growth strategy, but also stressed the importance of organic growth. He described Steadfast as now having a “meaningful presence” in Asia. Kelly says Steadfast will focus on developing a broker network in the region and exploring “the portability of our underwriting agencies and reinsurance broker into the Asian markets”. And if its movements in Asia aren’t enough, there’s also the impact Steadfast is making in the local market care of Steadfast Direct, its competitor to direct insurers. What Kelly continues to accomplish with Steadfast will likely keep the Group in the industry’s headlines. 36

MIKE HOOTON CEO CALIBRE INSURANCE November 5, 2015 marked the launch of a new player in the market in the form of Calibre Insurance, a subsidiary of Munich Re. Its products are underwritten by Great Lakes Australia. Calibre will focus on the intermediated market in Australia, providing business package, industrial special risks, general liability and specialty liability products to a wide range of SME businesses. The company has arisen out of Munich Re’s acquisition last year of Calliden Insurance Ltd. Mike Hooton was part of the establishment team that created Calliden Group Ltd. He spent over a decade in a variety of positions with the Group until its sale in December 2014. Look out for Hooton and Calibre in 2016 to see just how much of an impact they make in the market.

RAJBIR SINGH NANRA CEO, general insurance, Australia and New Zealand ZURICH Rajbir Singh Nanra became full-time CEO in January. Bringing over 25 years’ experience in insurance and finance across the Asia Pacific, Nanra was previously CFO of Zurich’s general insurance business in Australia and New Zealand. He takes the top job at a challenging time for Zurich globally. In January, the Group said it expected aggregate losses of approximately US$275m (A$391.55bn) for 2015. In early December, global CEO Martin Senn decided to step down by mutual agreement with its Board of Directors (his replacement, Mario Greco, was recently announced). In Australia, it’s been reported that a restructure has affected many roles, in order to improve operational efficiency to support Zurich’s local strategy and growth plans. What’s ahead for Zurich? Under Nanra’s leadership, will the Australian business succeed in increasing its market share in the commercial insurance sector?

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 36

9/02/2016 11:34:48 AM

PROFESSOR ALLAN MANNING Managing director LMI GROUP Allan Manning is a leader to whom the industry should always be keen to listen. He’s the founder of the LMI Group, which provides loss management, risk assessment and technical advice to the business and insurance communities. He’s chalked up over four decades’ experience in insurance, including lecturing at three Victorian universities on insurance and delivering over 1,200 seminars. Manning has authored over a dozen books on insurance topics and continues to update his blog ( Those who attended last year’s Steadfast Convention will likely agree that a standout highlight of the event was his presentation, ‘Is advice or price the best value proposition for tomorrow’s broker?’ – a call to brokers to change their conversations with clients, in order to reinforce their indispensability. More recently, on 18 January, it was announced his LMI Group would partner with The Financial Services School (led by Val Phinn) with the aim of providing high quality technical insurance education. Manning continues to be a great advocate of the industry and the important work it achieves. His wealth of knowledge, experience and thought leadership makes his a voice that should always be heard.

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 37


9/02/2016 11:34:55 AM



MARK SEARLES Managing director and CEO AUB GROUP

CEO DUAL ASIA PACIFIC DUAL Australia is today the largest independent underwriting agency in the country. Last year, in Insurance Business’ inaugural ‘Brokers on Underwriting Agencies’ survey, DUAL emerged gold medal winners for their directors’ and officers’ liability, management liability and professional indemnity products, attesting to impressive work by Damien Coates and his team. Not only does Coates now run DUAL’s operations for the Asia Pacific, but he’s a keen adventurer who recently turned his attention to a significant charitable endeavour. Coates embarked on a 3,500km bike ride from Adelaide to Darwin, raising money for The Black Dog Institute. The ride ultimately raised nearly $10,000! Insurance Business looks forward to seeing what Coates achieves next not only in insurance, but in aid of the wider community.

JOHN ILES Director SPECIALIST UNDERWRITING AGENCIES (SUA) It was significant news for the industry last year when AXIS Specialty Australia (ASA) was placed into run-off. In November, it was announced that ASA had made an arrangement for SUA to facilitate renewal terms for ASA policyholders, which would be offered in professional indemnity, directors’ and officers’ liability, multimedia liability and information technology liability. John Iles told Insurance Business the deal represents “a very exciting opportunity” for SUA. Iles has been director of SUA for 16 years and is a former UAC chairman. SUA focuses entirely on the Australian broker market and says it prides itself on proactively responding to the industry’s ever-changing demands. Brokers and their clients can look forward to Iles and his SUA team working to ensure the ASA client base is looked after, at least, to the standard to which they’d previously become accustomed. 38

On the eve of the organisation’s 30th anniversary, Mark Searles’ leadership of the recently re-named AUB Group received the strongest endorsement it could, with the announcement of the extension of his contract for a further three years. AUB Group’s retiring director and chairman, Richard Longes, said that Searles had done “an excellent job in leading the company through difficult insurance market conditions, while diversifying operations into New Zealand, Risk Services and achieving increased growth in the underwriting agency business.” For Searles and AUB, the near future isn’t about Asia. It’s about becoming a total risk solutions provider. The latest outward evidence of execution of its diversification strategy came recently when the group’s equity partner, Altius Group, acquired the Queensland-based CIM Group. AUB Group’s presence across the Tasman also continues to grow. In December, it acquired Runacres and Associates, one of the country’s largest brokers, meaning the group now represents a total of NZ$550m (A$515.89bn) of GWP and is the third largest broking entity in NZ. Precisely what will be Searles’ and AUB Group’s next move?

ROB WHELAN Executive director and CEO THE INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA (ICA) Rob Whelan and the ICA were vocal on many industry issues throughout 2015. The ICA continued to push for the abolition of what it describes as “inefficient insurance taxes”, including stamp duties, and reinforced its position on the industry’s role in natural disaster preparedness and mitigation. Additionally, it’s pushed for product disclosure statements worded in a manner that puts greater focus on an insured’s ability to understand their policies. In October, the ICA announced it had submitted a proposal to the Northern Queensland Insurance Premiums Taskforce for short-term targeted Federal Government subsidies to improve the cyclone resilience of older homes in North Queensland. It claimed the proposal represented the “most effective, low-cost and sustainable way of protecting communities while also reducing insurance premiums”. Instead of opting for a mutual or reinsurance pool arrangement, will implementation of the ICA’s proposal be pursued in response to taskforce recommendations?

LAMBROS LAMBROU CEO, Australia AON RISK SOLUTIONS Lambros Lambrou has just entered his third year as CEO of Aon Risk Solutions Australia. Last year, he spoke to Insurance Business emphasising the importance of the industry focusing on its relevance to customers by delivering broader and more responsive solutions, and seizing opportunities brought about by emerging risks. Leading by example, in January, Aon announced the launch of One Underwriting, its third party distribution business (replacing Freeman McMurrick) comprising 15 specialist underwriters. At the time of announcement, Lambrou said it was part of Aon’s new managing general agency strategy in Australia, and that it’s the business’ goal to manage $250m in premium by the end of 2018. It will also leverage Aon’s investment in data and analytics (a spend that comes in at around the US$350m per year mark) in its endeavours to ensure product offerings are ahead of the curve. What Lambrou and Aon’s Australian arm have in store for the year ahead certainly appears to be worth keeping an eye on!

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 38

9/02/2016 11:35:02 AM



Chief executive, Australia ARTHUR J GALLAGHER


Arthur J Gallagher is the world’s fourth largest insurance broking and risk management company, which has had a presence in Australia for over three decades. Across Australia and New Zealand, AJG employs over 2,500 staff. 2015 was especially busy for Andrew Godden and Arthur J Gallagher’s Australian team because of the integration of OAMPS Insurance Brokers, Blue Broking and Blue Insolvency, Parmia Insurance and Instrat Insurance Brokers into the business. In 2016, Arthur J Gallagher in Australia is looking to grow. Godden, speaking to Insurance Business late in 2015, indicated the company would be one to watch in the year ahead. He also said that, despite the fact of AJG having been in Australia for some time, it was fair to say they’re now only just getting started. In Godden’s words, “I believe we’ll really start to punch above our weight in the coming year”. As the year progresses, just how significant a level of growth will AJG’s Australian business achieve?

ANTHONY DAY CEO, commercial insurance SUNCORP In 2016, Anthony Day and his team are focusing on the customer experience, examining consumers’ changing buying habits and how those can be best addressed. How will the insights gained from that focus be translated into action, benefitting brokers and their clients? Much of the focus on Suncorp this year will be on new Group CEO, Michael Cameron, but Day and his commercial insurance team will still attract considerable attention, in their efforts to assist the Group to fulfil its commitment to meet or beat an underlying ITR of 12%. Day is also the newest appointment to the ICA’s Board of Directors, and his three decades of industry experience should make him an enormously valuable contributor to Board discussions. Keep an eye out in March when Day and Suncorp’s Vero brand will launch the 2016 SME Insurance Index Report, which canvasses the attitudes of business owners towards brokers and insurance generally. It represents valuable reading for brokers targeting the SME segment.

MICHAEL GOTTLIEB Managing director MEGA CAPITAL and BIZCOVER A former management consultant, Gottlieb entered insurance in late 2001, co-founding brokerage Mega Capital, which aims to be regarded as the best specialist insurance broker in Australia. It’s a brokerage that strives to offer the best customer service it conceivably can, and its ongoing growth evidences the ever-increasing number of happy customers. For the past four years, Mega Capital has secured a Top 2 ranking in Insurance Business’ Top 10 Brokerages list, including two especially impressive first place finishes. The business model employed is different because it’s the aim of Gottlieb and his team to ensure they cater not just for those wanting and willing to pay for advice, but also those who are not. The BizCover arm of the business offers a service to small business owners, allowing them to compare and buy insurance online with ease. Gottlieb is a forward-thinker, with thought-provoking insights regarding the industry and its future. When he shares those insights, it’s generally a good idea to pay attention!

Lyndon Turner has more than two decades of experience in insurance. Since 2011, Lyndon Turner has also been on the Underwriting Agencies Council Board, and was appointed chairman in December 2015. At that time, Heath Amber spoke of the UAC’s currently strong position. So, under Turner’s leadership, what strategic moves will UAC make in its efforts to build on that strength? Its Strategic Plan 2020 encompasses Asia-Pac expansion plans. Early steps have already been taken in efforts to pursue that goal, but how will UAC now convince insurance businesses throughout the region of the benefits of membership? Will it succeed in persuading leaders in the region that what it’s achieved for members in the Australian context means adoption of the model will be in their interests? Time will tell, but it will certainly be worth staying abreast of what Turner and the Board achieve – in and outside of Asia – in the year ahead.

NIRAN PEIRIS Managing director ALLIANZ AUSTRALIA The German giant Allianz continues to be one of the most recognisable brands in the community, owing significantly to its successful long-time ‘AhhhAllianz’ advertising campaign, of which few Australians would remain unaware. Niran Peiris has now been in the top job for three years, and it seems to be a case of continued smooth sailing. Last March, Allianz Australia announced a record $4.058bn in GWP, which represented more than five years of continuous and sustainable growth for the organisation. On the employment front, alongside Suncorp, Allianz Australia continues to lead the way in the promotion of gender diversity in the workplace. For both of the past two years, it’s received an Employer of Choice for Gender Equality citation from the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, recognising the significant progress it’s made on this front.

28-39_Hot List_subbed.indd 39


9/02/2016 11:35:10 AM



BRIGHT LIGHTS IN THE BIG CITY KPMG’s Gary Reader and Phil Smart talk to Insurance Business and provide an update on the current UK insurance market ON 1 JANUARY 2016, a new EU-wide insurance regulatory regime came into effect. Many local industry professionals will already be familiar with Solvency II, which has been introduced in all 28 EU member states, including the UK. It’s been rolled out with a view to modernising insurance industry standards and improving insurance companies’ risk management techniques. The primary aspect of Solvency II is the requirements for the level of capital that EU insurance companies must hold, in order to reduce their risk of insolvency. Phil Smart, partner and UK head of insurance and investment management at KPMG, tells Insurance Business that Solvency II has ensured regulation has remained a key challenge for the UK insurance industry for each of the past few years. “It’s taken up a huge amount of management time, resources and hard cash basically to get ready for implementation,” Smart says.


He also reports that a widely predicted impact of Solvency II has become a reality. “Companies in the market [are] taking a good, hard look at their capital positions and really assessing whether, in a Solvency II world, they are viable as a standalone entity. What that is therefore driving is quite a lot of market consolidation. “We’ve seen that across the London market, but actually more widely as well, where I think companies are taking advantage of the new regime to reassess their business models and their standalone viability.” Gary Reader, KPMG’s global head of insurance, agrees with Smart. He also talks about the ongoing interest of capital from outside the UK in the UK commercial market. “[We] expect that trend to continue,” he says. Smart says the general feeling is that the excess of capital currently in the market will likely see the persistence of soft market conditions

FAST FACT Over half of motor insurance (52%) and a fifth of property insurance (24%) is purchased directly by consumers in the UK, including sales via price comparison websites throughout 2016. “I think there are certain areas which show signs of rates potentially turning around, but they’re isolated pockets rather than an overall trend,” he adds. He highlights the lack of major catastrophes in the UK in recent times. “It’s getting to the point now where you say, ‘What scale of loss would be needed to actually buck this trend?’” So, when there is a major loss, how will the alternative capital that has entered the market in recent years respond? “My gut feeling is that a

40-43_UK market update_subbed.indd 40

9/02/2016 11:35:37 AM

large proportion of it will be sticky capital and will remain in the market,” Smart opines. “But it will be interesting just to see the reaction, because this is a very different earnings profile to any other industry, and some of those investors won’t necessarily be used to that.”

Fintech In Australia right now, fintech is burgeoning. But in the UK, it’s already developed into an important industry. London is home to Level39, arguably now the biggest fintech hub in the world. Meanwhile, the area dubbed Silicon Roundabout is densely packed with tech start-up companies. Technology has impacted on the UK insurance industry to a far greater extent than we’ve seen in our own market. “The consumer space [has] been so impacted by the aggregators,” Reader says. “I think the exciting thing about fintech in the UK in insurance is how it will impact the

“The industry will radically change in the next five to 10 years… I really do believe that” Gary Reader, KPMG commercial speciality end of the market,” he adds. But can human knowledge and expertise, which has traditionally been so crucial in transacting large commercial business, actually be replaced by technology? “My personal view is that a lot of it can be,” Reader responds. Smart agrees, but also says: “I think the reality is that it’s going to take a real cultural change to accept that. The Lloyd’s [of] London market is a very traditional market, and there is a degree of almost self-built mystery being built up around the expertise connected with it. “But … there’s no reason why elements of that

can’t be automated.” Reader mentions technology’s potentially increasing role in risk mitigation. “There’s a very big theme [globally] of moving away from protection to prevention, and leveraging things like telematics or the connected home concepts. How can the industry leverage fintech and digital developments to prevent claims, rather than just focus on paying them out a bit faster?” It’s widely accepted that, when it comes to technology in the financial services sector, insurance has always lagged behind the banks. But is that possibly about to change?

40-43_UK market update_subbed.indd 41


9/02/2016 11:35:44 AM


UK MARKET UPDATE “I think companies are taking advantage of the new [Solvency II] regime to reassess their business models and their stand-alone viability” Phil Smart, KPMG “I was actually in the [United] States last week at … one of the universities over there,” Reader tells Insurance Business. “They reckon that Silicon Valley in the US has literally this year taken off, in terms of thinking and focus on insurance fintech. “Prior to that, it really was ‘How do we disrupt the banking sector?’, and that part of the world is turning to insurance now, and the expectation is a massive acceleration in focus and ideas and disruption coming out that really will change the insurance sector. “To date, the use of technology in insurance has been all about doing what you do currently a bit faster and a bit more efficiently. It’s not been about upending and transforming business models, which I think is where this has to – and will – go in due course. “I think the industry will radically change in the next five to 10 years from the one we have now because of all of this. I really do believe that.”

The risk landscape Talking new and emerging risks, it quickly becomes obvious that the same word that dominates conversations around Australia is as frequently mentioned by our UK colleagues – cyber. “It’s a very challenging one because of questions around what is the extent of coverage – where does it start and stop,” Smart says. “I think a lot of the cyber products which are out there at the moment are actually very limited in the cover that they’re providing, and as you’re starting to see cyber incidents emerge, I think the inadequacies of that cover are potentially going to be exposed.” Asked how strong take-up of cyber product has been in the UK, Smart says: “It’s relatively limited at the moment. We’re not seeing widespread take-up of cover, but I think that’s probably reflecting the fact that we’ve had limited losses to date.”


Both Smart and Reader agree that any legislation introduced in the UK requiring disclosure of data breaches will drive up the appetite for coverage.

Forward thinking Turning the conversation to times ahead, Smart expects the market post-Solvency II implementation to experience further consolidation. Discussing technology, he says: “I think we’re going to see insurers investing in the technology space, but we won’t necessarily see the outcomes of that, in terms of new models, new products [and] new distribution models. I think that’s going to follow beyond 2016. “I think we’re going to see continued revision to business models… There is going to be continued product innovation.” Reader thinks an anticipated greater focus by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority on the conduct side of regulation may present a growing challenge this year. “There’s been much more of a focus on the prudential side of regulation with Solvency II, but the noises are coming out that that may change going forward,” he says. “I think that’s why it’s really important that insurers do focus on the customer needs and building trust with customers,” Smart says. “That’s all connected.” Reader agrees that the regulator will be a further catalyst for heightened focus from businesses on customer-centricity. On the subject of challenges for the UK’s general insurance brokers specifically, Smart says: “They’re seeing their traditional sources of revenue being squeezed… In the personal space … it’s virtually entirely gone to either the aggregator model or the direct model in the UK, unless you’re at the very specialist end. You’ve got MGAs [managing general agents] getting into the picture



The UK is the third-largest insurance and long-term savings industry in the world


UK insurers contribute £29bn to UK GDP


There are 334,000 people employed by the insurance industry in the UK, of which 114,300 are directly employed by insurance companies and 219,700 in auxiliary services to insurance and pension funding, such as broking


The UK insurance and long-term savings industry generates almost a quarter of total EU premium income Source: Association of British Insurers, UK Insurance and Long-Term Savings Key Facts 2015

as well now… So you have potentially consolidation in that sector as well.” Reader adds, “As more becomes available online, there’s going to be, I think, more and more challenges for the brokers around what is their role in all of this, and basically, why are they getting paid the commissions they’re getting paid. So you can see pressure on their revenue streams as well.” On opportunities for brokers, Reader says: “They are the recipients and owners of a lot of data. I think it’s getting their heads around what it is they can do with their data… They obviously get access to so many programs that are out there in the market. Using that knowledge for the benefit of the industry, and therefore for the benefit of them[selves], might be a way of replacing some of the income which, I think, just has to be lost as there is greater and greater digitisation and technological advances associated with the business they currently broker. “I don’t think it’s going to happen in 2016. These things are going to take some considerable time, but you can see that as a trend, I think.”

40-43_UK market update_subbed.indd 42

9/02/2016 11:35:50 AM




A software company leader talks to Insurance Business about using technology to ensure customers don’t look elsewhere for their insurance needs COMPANIES ACROSS the spectrum of industries constantly declare having embraced the concept of customer-centricity. But how many businesses have adopted a culture that truly places the customer at the centre of everything they do? Engaging customers in ongoing dialogue about their needs is widely advocated as a measure necessary to thrive in the increasingly competitive insurance industry. “Insurance companies need to capture customer needs and wants, and be able to quickly change and customise their offerings to those customers, to ensure that they’re always meeting the customer’s needs, and therefore not giving the customer the reason to look online and change [providers],” says Bill McMurray, managing director, AsiaPacific and Japan, for Qualtrics. “If you can be such a good provider to your customers that you’re meeting their needs and they don’t have a need to go out and do that,

or they don’t believe they’re going to save enough money to make it worthwhile, then you can hold your customer base.” Qualtrics is a US-headquartered software-as-a-service company. Its platform assists organisations to run voice-of-thecustomer programs and track customer engagement. It began operating in Australia just over a year ago, but McMurray tells Insurance Business it’s quickly growing. “We’re growing more rapidly than any part of Qualtrics globally has ever grown before,” he says. In the past, sophisticated programs relating to the customer experience have been restricted to the top end of town because of their enormous cost, but McMurray says today’s programs are more cost effective options for small companies, and the technology has also become more user-friendly. “Small organisations … can now … gather

“Insurance companies need to capture customer needs and wants, and be able to quickly change and customise their offerings to those customers” Bill McMurray, Qualtrics

the feedback they want from their customers and compete with the big boys because it’s not as costly as it used to be. And in fact, they now have an advantage because they’ve got the same degree of capability, but they’re way more agile than some of the bigger companies…” And how much of a difference can utilising customer data realistically make to an organisation? “It’s hard to quantify, but I think it makes a huge difference,” McMurray says. He emphasises the ability of customer insights to eliminate guess work and assist in ensuring money spent on development costs is, in fact, money well spent. “If … you’re using these sorts of sophisticated technologies … which will allow you to get real-time feedback from customers … and if you’re agile and can be pivoting to provide those sorts of products and capabilities your customers are looking for, all of your development work is going down the path of meeting what customers’ needs are and, in some ways, you’re leading the market because you’re aware of what the customers are moving their desires to and you’re addressing those things ahead of time.” But if you’re going to go to the effort and expense of collecting customer insights, it’s imperative to act on their feedback. McMurray explains: “It’s really important that when you collect this data, you have the appropriate system in place that allows you to analyse that data and extract the insights from it, understand exactly who’s unhappy and why they’re unhappy, and then you have to have a closed loop action plan system that says, ‘This is what we’re going to do about it to make sure that issue gets resolved’. “If you collect feedback from a customer that is negative, and then you don’t do anything about it, you’ve just done double the damage.” So how long can companies afford to wait before embracing this kind of technology? “It depends on your strategy,” McMurray says. “If you want to use this as a competitive advantage, my advice is you need to go now. “We’re doing a lot of work with insurance companies already … I can tell you that the insurance industry is doing a lot right now…”

43_Customer Data_subbed.indd 43


9/02/2016 11:36:10 AM



DEPLOYING DATA AND ANALYTICS An Australian insurance network recently decided to put its data to good use. Insurance Business finds out what the decision means for the business’ brokers and their clients

IN 2016, insurance businesses in Australia continue to gain a better understanding of the power of data and the sizeable benefits its effective utilisation can deliver to an organisation. But the question is how many of those businesses are taking steps to exploit that data. How many brokers, insurers and underwriting agencies are enhancing their data and analytics capabilities? Insurance Advisernet (IA) has taken initial steps to employ the power of data and analytics to differentiate itself from its competitors. It’s begun to utilise Microsoft Power Business Intelligence (BI), a cloudbased suite of data visualisation tools, and developed a platform that incorporates those tools. IA is a widely recognised name in the local industry. Today, the broker oversees 140 insurance practices and provides support and performance reporting to customers Australia-wide. Over the past year, the business has been working on this project to unleash the potential of using data and analytics in its operations. So, why did IA decide to embark on this project? “We looked around and it was quite clear that this was a trend in some of the more forward-thinking industries,” says Steve


Dymond, general manager, business and information systems at IA. “We knew it was going to be important for us in the future. “We’ve got a lot of really good data, and we knew that it was an asset.” While it’s still early days, Dymond tells Insurance Business IA is already starting to see benefits and is well aware of what it can expect to see going forward. “We’re going to use that data to be able to help give better advice to our customers. I think that’s the key thing for us,” he says. “We’re going to be able to tell which customers are going to need more advice or more cover, depending on where they are and what they have,” Dymond explains. “That data’s going to be able to point out exactly who it is that’s going to need better advice.” Not only will clients reap considerable

“There’s very little point in finding out at the end of the month that something went wrong three weeks ago. This stuff is real time. It’s live. It helps our brokers run their businesses better” Steve Dymond, Insurance Advisernet

44-45_Data & Analytics_subbed.indd 44

9/02/2016 11:36:33 AM

rewards from the move, but brokers and other employees too can expect to benefit significantly from the use of data and analytics. “What used to take a long time is now taking us minutes – to be able to identify opportunities and weaknesses in our books and flag in our book what we should be looking at. “Best practice is a big deal for us. We have very high standards, and the Microsoft Power

BI technology we’ve put in place can tell when there’s something that needs to be looked at straight away.” As Dymond emphasises, gone are the days of needing to rely on monthly reports. “There’s very little point in finding out at the end of the month that something went wrong three weeks ago. This stuff is real time. It’s live. It helps our brokers run their businesses better.” Dymond says the business made a decision

to invest in a platform that was going to work for the long term. “I think that was important in gaining value from it,” he says. “You don’t want to get to the end of three years of a cycle and find that you need to replace your analytics platform.” Just how much benefit will the changes implemented be able to deliver to IA, its brokers and clients? “It’s hard to put a number on it,” Dymond says. “What I would say is that I think there will be parts of our business that will actually rely entirely on this data and analytics to survive, let alone just be aided by it.” A natural concern of any business considering the implementation of this kind of technology is cost. Discussing expense, Dymond says: “It’s not a cheap exercise… There’s a considerable time investment that’s required to get the business to a point that you can gain a lot of value from your data.” However, he also stresses that the cost is substantially less than has been the case in days gone by. He adds: “It depends on how far you want to go, and how robust you want to make it, and how long-term you want to think, to be honest.” Does Dymond think the changes IA has implemented represent the way of the future for successful brokerages? “I certainly do,” he answers. “I think that it’s just one of the cogs in a successful business’ strategy, but the opportunity cost of ignoring this area in your business is massive. I think that you’ll get left behind quite quickly, and that the business will suffer from not embracing this type of strategy.” Contemplating the future, Dymond says: “I think data and analytics is more about looking forward. People think data is about reporting, which is always a retrospective look at life. “But I think that we’ve gone beyond that, and that the types of technology we’re starting to use are helping us to predict the future. I think the future – and what we’re [IA] going to be working towards – is how that technology is going to help us predict what’s going to happen in the next 12 months, either around us or inside our business.”

44-45_Data & Analytics_subbed.indd 45


9/02/2016 11:36:43 AM



BROADENING THE APPROACH IN BROKING The global PI market remains intensively competitive. One underwriting chief discusses market trends and shares his thoughts on where opportunities lie for brokers

In association with

THE GROWING consensus is that soft market conditions in general insurance, which have prevailed now for a significant time, show no signs of abating in 2016. It’s therefore hardly surprising to hear Alan Whittle, managing director of High Street Underwriting, expects a similarly challenging year for the professional indemnity space. While pockets of hardened business may surface, the bigger picture seems to indicate a market that will continue feeling the full force of intense competition. Whittle talks about the consolidation of major international insurers in recent times. “XL and Catlin [have] joined together, ACE and Chubb

contracts containing a requirement for engaged professionals to carry appropriate PI insurance. Additionally, professionals are finding themselves expected to agree to more onerous terms. Another major market trend Whittle refers to is the questionable expansion of PI insurance policies to certain industries. “Non-professionals [are] being asked to carry PI cover. It tends to get inserted into contracts and there’s not a lot of pushback from insureds in that space,” he tells Insurance Business. As to the genesis of that trend, he says, “Perhaps 10 years ago, in a harder market cycle, more traditional underwriting took place and the market would push back on writing risks with limited or


have joined together, and I think we’ll probably see further of those [transactions] through the course of the next 12 to 18 months,” he says. “They’re all big players and that will tighten up some of the capacity … but whether that will be enough to really shift rates in the most vanilla, easier-to-write classes is certainly unlikely, but may well have an impact on some of the harderto-write business.” Anecdotal evidence says professionals today have a heightened awareness of their obligations and their ability to be sued for negligence in the performance of their services. Across Australia – and across many insurance markets – there’s an increasing push towards professional services

46-47-Professional Indemnity_subbed.indd 46

9/02/2016 12:26:17 PM

no professional activity exposure. “Contract terms often will include five or six different classes of insurance that they require their supplier of a service to perform, and as long as one person in the market will write that type of cover, then that’s available in the market and therefore the employer’s unlikely to get pushback [about] carrying those types of covers.”

Know your client, know the products In that context, and in a world more litigious than it’s ever been, it’s essential PI brokers are on their game. “[PI brokers] need to be mindful of what their policies are actually covering more than ever,” says Whittle. “As we become a more advanced commercial society, contracts become more intensive, the law and regulation changes more rapidly, [and] that impacts on a client’s exposures. “We’re not signing up to the same contract terms and conditions that we were 20 years ago, or even five years ago…” Whittle emphasises the importance of steering clients away from fixating on price, and in focusing their own efforts too significantly on searching for the lowest-priced policy. “It’s going to come back to bite you when you realise you’ve got an extremely narrow wording, and that’s why it cost $200,” he says. “More attention needs to be focused on actual products.”

In increasing the focus on products, Whittle says it’s important for brokers to widen their awareness of the varied offerings available, in order to effectively match products with the unique needs of their clients. “If you’re using the same capacity all the time, it’s likely that your competitor’s looking to the same capacity all the time. So you’re getting the same products,” he says. “You should be looking at more diverse products. Who’s doing something different?” While competition in the market is fierce, Whittle says new opportunities are there for brokers interested and aggressive enough to go out and pursue them. But it’s not a case of looking where they’ve always looked. “Nowadays, business is hard to find, especially the traditional stuff.” The key, he says, is adopting a holistic approach to existing clients’ insurance needs and working to put together full packages for those clients. “The key absolutely is brokers understanding their clients… [and] being able to cross-sell all those extra covers. “There’s a lot of hype around cyber liability. But what we actually find is a lot of brokers don’t really understand what it is, how it impacts on clients, and how they need to recognise an exposure to a client and plug that gap in exposure. “When they’re looking at the holistic needs of their clients, it’s not just their third party liability needs from a PI perspective or a public liability or combined general liabilities perspective, but the first party exposures that go with that. “There’s a whole gambit of covers that really need to come together.” And while securing the right coverage represents the key purpose of the broker-client relationship, PI brokers can separate themselves from their competitors in heightening their focus on the quality and comprehensiveness of the service they provide. That elevated service could be characterised by involvement in clients’ risk management plans. “There’s clear added value for the broker in offering those services to their clients to the extent that, when a risk is presented to insurers, having robust risk management procedures in place will certainly assist in getting … more favourable terms [or] broader terms,” Whittle says. He suggests that when, at some point, there

HIGH STREET UNDERWRITING AGENCY Small enough to care yet big enough to get it right. High Street’s operations began in 2001 by husband and wife team Alan and Jan Whittle. The agency has grown significantly since that time and now employs some of the brightest underwriters in the market. Although Alan and Jan are still at the helm of the business, our physical market presence now includes Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. Our product range has also undergone significant growth and refinement. Our underwriters can offer very competitive rates, combined with broad policy wordings in the areas of public liability, professional indemnity and contractors plant & equipment. High Street is a Lloyd’s Coverholder and has a close working relationship with our London brokerage, who has been placing international business into the Lloyd’s market for over 100 years. This relationship allows us to find a home for some of the more obscure risks in the market. We are also able to act quickly in setting up schemes and new products, should our brokers approach us with opportunities. We are very proud to be independently owned and operated, which means your interests are not compromised. High Street has no affiliations or alliances with any broker group, so you can rest assured that you are getting a fair go. We believe in building strong relationships with our supporting brokers. Let us help you to help your clients. is some hardening in the market, brokers extending their services to involvement in assisting clients with risk management may find themselves and their clients better off than those not engaged in discussions with their clients of those measures. “Those businesses … trying to put those processes in place after the event, once the market has moved, may well be in a much weaker position or even struggle to get terms,” he says. “It’s challenging for brokers to understand their clients’ needs, but also inform and engage and give the client good advice when perhaps they’re … not even interested in risk management. But it should be something that they are looking to push harder and … as the market cycle moves to become, hopefully, slightly harder, those that are in engaged in that at an early stage are going to be in a much better position.”

46-47-Professional Indemnity_subbed.indd 47


9/02/2016 11:37:24 AM



CHANGING POLICIES AND PERCEPTIONS Has the way in which the income protection sector views mental illness changed in recent years? IN AUSTRALIA, one in five adults is affected by some kind of mental illness each year. Around 45% of the population will experience a mental disorder at some time in their lives. The most common forms of mental illness are anxiety, depression and substance abuse disorder. A number of mental illness sufferers will, in fact, be afflicted with more than one condition. For many years, the insurance industry in Australia has been accused of lacking an understanding of the complexities of mental health and of having a tendency to lump sufferers into ‘high risk’ insurance categories, without considering the individual circumstances of those affected. In 2002, beyondblue and Mental Health Australia began working together with the ultimate goal of improving access to insurance for mental illness sufferers. In 2011, they released a report, entitled ‘Mental Health, Discrimination and Insurance: A Survey of Consumer Experiences’, which found that many persons affected by mental illness had encountered difficulties qualifying for insurance cover and lodging successful claims, particularly in relation to income protection and life insurance. More specifically, of those surveyed, 67% found it difficult to obtain life and income protection insurance, and 45% said that their application for income protection insurance was declined because of mental illness. The report concluded that the insurance industry, on the whole, relied on ‘broad and often stigmatised assumptions’ concerning mental illness. In 2016, awareness of mental illness and its


potentially debilitating impact is higher than ever before. More support services exist and a higher number of those impacted seek treatment. So has the relationship between mental illness and the insurance industry – and, in particular, the income protection sector – evolved, and is the industry responding to these challenges? David Hulme and Jae Mauala of Windsor

In association with

Income Protection (WIP) agree that recognition of mental illness in the sector has certainly increased. “There’s greater awareness of mental illness now,” Hulme says. “In the past, mental illness … was generally excluded from coverage, due to all the uncertainties about [mental health] conditions. “Most of the policies are starting to include it.”

48-49_Income Protection_subbed.indd 48

9/02/2016 11:37:53 AM

Hulme believes there’s a misconception about the way insurers, including WIP, treat mental illness claims. He tells Insurance Business that not only does WIP offer policies that allow claims for mental illness, but that its team is also focusing on facilitating more holistic solutions for policyholders. He explains: “WIP made it one of our priorities to ensure our claimants have appropriate treatment and support.” “Our goal is more return to work [and] return to normality.” Hulme says the insurer is also working with SuperFriend, a foundation that works with industry superannuation funds, group life insurers and the mental health sector, and

provides a range of workplace programs for those organisations, including mental health and wellbeing training. That training aims to help the organisations better serve their members and clients. Hulme says that SuperFriend has conducted training for WIP staff. “By the beginning of next year, we’re hoping to be working with an online [and] phone counselling service to provide mental health support,” he says. Discussing the forthcoming counselling service relationship, Mauala adds, “We don’t get information about what [claimants] speak about. It’s just a service that we’ve got to try and help the claimants, as much as possible, to return to

“WIP made it one of our priorities to ensure our claimants have appropriate treatment and support” David Hulme, Windsor Income Protection WINDSOR INCOME PROTECTION Windsor Income Protection is an Australian owned and based underwriting agency that targets the group income protection market sector, specialising in income protection insurance, superannuation funds, employers and unions. The clear strengths of our organisation include product innovation (four-time winner of best insurance within superannuation), and our robust claims set-up where the onus is on servicing the member via claims management principles rather than claims servicing, pro-active communication channels and utilising technology via alerting members via SMS of claim payments. Windsor Income Protection, through its consultative approach, has achieved major innovation for the market and more importantly our clients via: Coverage for all insured persons – no occupations or employment categories excluded, including parttime and casual workers Ease of fulfilment – removal of the requirements for medical underwriting

Development of entry-level Income Protection products for corporates and enterprise agreement employment contracts Retail product and purchasing platform for associations and large groups Benefit levels above industry standard: up to 100% of salary + a superannuation benefit up to $100k per month maximum benefit Flexible periods – waiting periods as short as 14 days, benefit periods of 1-5 years Loyalty benefits – based on years of cover Our focus is to provide a positive customer experience via: A sustainable tailored product solution for our clients Claims authority and expertise, utilising technology to improve communication and therefore the claimants’ experience Trusted Account and Relationship management 24/7 access to claims status for claimants

a normal life.” She emphasises the importance of reaching out to the insurer as early as possible when affected by a condition to maximise what can be done to assist the claimant. “The earlier we get the claim, the more things we can put in place to try and help the claimants and support them through their condition. “These days, most insurance companies, and definitely WIP, are looking at trying to be proactive with helping [claimants] out and getting them to be able to return to [normal] life.” If looking for an income protection policy that covers claims for mental illness, it’s crucial – as it is when contemplating any insurance policy – to ensure those conditions are covered prior to purchase. Hulme stresses the importance of reading the product disclosure statement to ascertain the inclusion or exclusion of mental illnesses. For those suffering a pre-existing mental illness, it’s also essential to check the policy clauses carefully. Mauala says, “If somebody has had a condition prior to applying for some type of income protection insurance, that condition could be excluded. It’s one of the parts of the policy that they really should be looking into.” Other advice commonly recommended to consumers seeking income protection that includes mental illness coverage is to ensure they have a clear understanding of how a specific insurer has defined the team ‘mental health’. What that definition encompasses can vary from insurer to insurer. And, of course, brokers have the potential to play a crucial role here. Where consumers have lingering doubts as to the appropriate policy to meet their needs, the informed advice of an expert can alleviate those concerns. As mental health continues to impact the lives of more Australians each year, hopefully the insurance industry’s response and understanding will also continue increasing. “We’re trying to do whatever we can to help them, and as much as we can, we will,” Mauala says. “As long as they’re following all treatment and advice, then from our point of view, they have a claim no different to those who have a fracture or cancer.”

48-49_Income Protection_subbed.indd 49


9/02/2016 11:38:02 AM



FUNDING, COLLABORATING AND EDUCATING Elantis Premium Funding began its transformation from Lumley Finance 18 months ago. Acting CEO Nicholas Cunningham discusses the company’s progress

In association with

spending more dollars more wisely because there’s a cost savings there. ‘We’ve banked some savings, and now we can broaden what the risk coverage is.’” He says greater challenges have arisen in respect of lower loan bands. “We’re finding cash is becoming a more ‘go to’ option. And the reason around that is, I think, at the end of the day, the client’s thinking, ‘My premium was $5,000 last year. It’s now down to $3,000. I can now afford to pay this upfront, as opposed to fund it’.” Contemplating the future direction of the market, Cunningham opines: “I believe more clients are going to look towards funding in the future because I think they’re going to look towards cashflow solutions. We’re going to find more businesses are probably going to come under pressure around cashflow.”

Taking opportunities SOFT MARKET conditions continued to challenge the insurance industry in 2015, and premium funders certainly felt the pinch. Figures from the Insurance Premium Financiers of Australia (IPFA) showed that, in FY2014, $4.996bn in insurance premiums were funded. But in FY2015, the figure decreased to around the $4.5bn mark. “Price competition is fierce and margins are razor thin,” says Nicholas Cunningham, acting CEO of Elantis Premium Funding. “While we’re growing our loan book, it’s coming at the detriment of the fact that margins are lower. It’s almost a race to the bottom on the price point.” But Cunningham says that, for Elantis, 2015 was a good year overall. “Numbers-wise, we’re up 5.6 per cent on last year,” he tells Insurance Business. “We’re quite buoyant around that result.” Previously known as Lumley Finance, until Wesfarmers sold the business to Arthur J Gallagher in 2014, Elantis has gone through times that Cunningham describes as “very disruptive”. But he says those times have also allowed the organisation to prepare well for the future. “We’ve come out of this being efficient, lean, really well skilled, and have our practices and processes down pat.” Speaking further on the successes of 2015, Cunningham says: “One of the things that’s helped us is we’ve been more competitive in


the larger loan space, and we’re starting to find that we’re winning some opportunity against markets that were always difficult, being the banks and cash.” Cunningham says, in the past, it was difficult to compete against banks already providing credit in some form to a broker’s client. But through effective partnerships with brokers, he says things are changing. “What’s been really refreshing over the past 12 months is brokers are thinking, ‘If I lose this to the bank, I get nothing. If I look at the fact that I can actually reduce my margin or earn, I can pick up something as opposed to getting nothing’. It allows us to then be really competitive. “The softening market and the availability of cheaper capital have allowed us to actually grow in the larger loan market band and probably be more competitive.” Cunningham also highlights another benefit for funders, brokers and their clients, which has presented in the tougher climate. “Brokers that are very good at the advice piece are picking up more premium, based on being able to look at

Of course, that means more opportunities not just for funders, but brokers too, and Cunningham has some sage advice for brokers about their funding conversations with clients. He recommends brokers discuss the option of premium funding with all of their clients. “We find the brokers who are 100% of the time offering funding have a much higher conversion rate, as opposed to the ones who pre-empt what the client might think,” he explains. “Over the past 12 months, we’ve found more brokers are going down that path. Interestingly, I was chatting to a broker a couple of months back, and I said to him, ‘What changed your mind?’ He said, ‘I had to become acutely aware that businesses evolve all the time. While, 12 months ago, they may have had the cash to pay for the premium, I can’t assume they will in the next 12 months because, while I understand what’s happening from an insurance perspective, and I know the business reasonably well, what I don’t know is their cash forecast, etc.’” Cunningham also cites potential benefits for brokers in having those funding conversations

“I believe more clients are going to look towards funding in the future...” Nicholas Cunningham, Elantis Premium Funding

50-51_Premium Funding_subbed.indd 50

9/02/2016 12:23:11 PM

ELANTIS PREMIUM FUNDING Whatever business you are in, it all comes down to one thing: People. It’s about trust and building rewarding relationships.

early in the insurance renewal cycle. “If a broker is introducing the conversation around funding very early in the piece, the success rate increases,” he says. “It’s basic 101 sales – ‘I’m going to be working with you around your insurance. I want to let you know that we have a great option to look at funding that premium, and there are some significant benefits to you. You’re a business owner and you don’t want to tie your capital up in an insurance premium. We can give you a cashflow solution around that’.”

Schooling brokers Last year, in addition to providing funding solutions for brokers’ clients, the company launched the Elantis Learning Academy, offering NIBA-accredited education and development programs for brokers. “It’s been a very strong success,” Cunningham reports. He tells Insurance Business events have now been held in all major Australian capitals and across the Tasman in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. Surveys conducted following these events have shown that more than 80% of respondents consider the events as being of high value. “The common theme around the feedback is we’ve designed topics that are

valuable to the business, but that the brokers are not receiving elsewhere.” Cunningham says events have focused on topics such as how brokers can create influence or persuasion with clients, what’s happening in the broader economic environment that might be impacting brokers’ clients, and how to make customer experience a real selling point. Talking about plans for the Elantis Learning Academy for 2016, Cunningham says: “The theme we’re probably looking at running with is more around how a small business can utilise technology better. It’s there, but people don’t know how to access it. So we’ve already teed up a keynote speaker to come and talk around that.” The Learning Academy also involves informal ‘lunch and learn’ events, taken out to brokers’ offices, and some partnering with NIBA. “NIBA’s Young Professionals Committee in NSW has recently run three breakfast workshops, where a financial planner talked to young brokers about getting control of their own situation. We sponsored that event, helped them find a speaker, and got involved. We’ll be doing more this year.” On the subject of the outlook for Elantis in times ahead, Cunningham says: “As a business, we’re well positioned for what looks like a more positive market going forward.”

At Elantis Premium Funding, we’re part of your team. We partner with you to deliver costeffective, flexible premium funding solutions, combined with personalised, reliable service. We have been offering premium funding to Australian and New Zealand brokers for over 18 years and have a track record of operating independently from our group’s broking operations. We have earned our reputation for strength, integrity and reliability. With representatives in 13 locations across Australia and New Zealand, there will always be a team member on hand to provide you with the support you need and expect. Insurance premium funding from Elantis enables your client to adequately protect their business by allowing them to spread the cost of annual insurance premiums on a monthly basis. We partner with insurance brokers, such as yourself, to deliver personalised, reliable and flexible premium funding so that you and your clients receive: Cost-effective and flexible premium funding solutions with multiple repayment options The ability to spread the payment of insurance premiums over regular instalments, freeing up cash flow for other investment opportunities The benefit of not having to provide security Easy quoting and fast approvals. We can also provide you with domestic premium funding options to help your clients pay for their personal insurance premiums in monthly instalments. We deliver a holistic premium funding solution, combining competitive client rates and broker incentives with high levels of customer service and a practical approach to credit underwriting.

50-51_Premium Funding_subbed.indd 51


9/02/2016 11:38:36 AM



TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS Ansvar CEO Warren Hutcheon writes about the insurer’s partnership with Victorian broker, Bunmi Ajayi, to create better insurance experiences for family day care providers BUNMI AJAYI, managing director of Megalines, is becoming a well-recognised figure in the Australian insurance industry, having won NIBA’s Broker of the Year award in 2015. Beneath his exterior of calm and efficiency, Bunmi has been quietly evolving an automated risk management model for the family day care industry. Outside of the larger day care centres dotted across our cities and regional centres, the industry is going through a boom, with over 20,000 solo-operating family day care providers employed across the nation, all of whom can have up to seven children in their care at any one time. This equates to a market of over 140,000 under-school-age children in the care of family day care providers. It’s a significant industry in its own right, and given the growth of dual-income families, is expected to continue to grow steadily in the coming years. It’s a model that works well on many fronts, allowing mothers to maintain an income from the comfort of their homes, and in many cases to have the ability to stay at home with their children. From an insurance perspective, all day care providers require liability insurance to operate, including family day care providers who offer childcare services in their own homes. Given the growth explosion in this sector, family day care providers belong to and are administered by their delegated community centres, particularly in the initial set-up of the childcare service and the processing of government funding awarded to carers.


The need to innovate Often the process of securing liability insurance can take hours to facilitate and a number of days before a policy is in place. As Megalines’ business grew, so did the time spent processing 40 to 50 insurance policies a day, which prompted Bunmi to approach this from a new and innovative angle. This resulted in the evolution of the manual model to a fully

“Bunmi’s brokering business continues to grow from strength to strength, and this is primarily driven by his commitment, his passion and the depth of understanding he has of his customers” automated process, which cut time and ensured carers (or educators as they are now more generally described) were receiving immediate cover. Automation of what was once a very manual process, and the commitment to this sector that Bunmi has demonstrated, has led to the rapid growth of Megalines, which is fast becoming a leading provider in the family day

care sector. From a relatively small start in Victoria, Bunmi is now servicing hundreds of providers, or coordination units that recruit, coordinate and administer, on behalf of the Commonwealth Government, hundreds of family day care educators, who in turn care for over 5,000 children. Ansvar has been insuring family day care for Megalines since 2007. Consequently, Bunmi has a deep awareness of what we offer in this specialist industry. It was our reputation in this sector, and the knowledge of our specialist teams who understand the specific challenges the childcare industry faces, that assured Bunmi we were the right insurance provider to work with long term. Ansvar commenced working with Bunmi in 2013 to support his vision for automating the policy registration services for family day care providers. Bunmi came to us directly because of Ansvar’s risk and insurance expertise in the childcare sector. It made sense for both partners – philosophically and commercially. One of the challenges for this industry is understanding the exposure that applies to operators who are looking after young children. The childcare industry requires a controlled and regulated environment, even more so the family day care sector. There are multiple regulations and other requirements that need to be understood, in order to assist operators in minimising and managing risk more effectively. Following a review of state legislation and

52-53_Broker Profile_subbed.indd 52

9/02/2016 11:38:56 AM

other regulatory requirements, and audits being undertaken by carers, Bunmi and Ansvar worked together to provide an underwriting solution for family day care operators. Bunmi’s insight was able to guide us in arranging the facility for the family day care industry.

The pluses of partnership Bunmi’s brokering business continues to grow from strength to strength, and this is primarily driven by his commitment, passion, and the depth of understanding he has of his customers. That said, Ansvar’s role plays an important part in the growth of the Megalines business. Our open and honest partnership with Bunmi works so well because it is based on shared values. The key characteristic of our relationship is open and regular communication between all parties. Regardless of the challenge or the issue, Ansvar is always on the front foot in helping Bunmi find the solutions he needs for growing

his business and servicing his clients. The automation of the policy sign-up process that Bunmi has worked on with Ansvar is a critical defining factor of Bunmi’s business success, as this puts him ahead of his competitors, many of whom are still using a manual sign-up process. Automation means Bunmi’s clients get an immediate response to their policy requests and can be signed up on the spot, which means faster liability cover for carers and hence far less exposure and risk for providers. Ultimately, this leads to better compliance and safer standards for the children in care. However, while automation has helped propel strong growth of Bunmi’s broker business, his model doesn’t just rely on technology solutions. He remains committed to a continuous flow of contact and touchpoints with his clients. His team receives daily reports of online client activity and use this information to remain in touch with them. This strong communication with end users

has allowed for an active process of continual improvement since the initial launch of automation two years ago. The drive for continual improvement, coupled with Bunmi and Ansvar’s understanding of the unique mix and demographics of those in the family day care industry, promises exciting expansion in 2016. Megalines organises risk and insurance roadshows regularly across Australia – where they hear first-hand what their customers want from their insurance providers. So successful is Bunmi’s model, and so great the demand for automated insurance servicing in the family day care sector, that Megalines is now rolling out automation of sign-up to Ansvar’s family day care product across Australia. Bunmi is a valued partner of Ansvar, and his passion and commitment to the family day care sector is what sets him apart. We are delighted to be able to support him in his ongoing success.

52-53_Broker Profile_subbed.indd 53


9/02/2016 11:39:04 AM



HEADING WEST A leading Australian business law firm has expanded its footprint to Perth. Insurance Business talks to two leaders at Hall & Wilcox about its growing insurance practice and expectations for times ahead

ACCORDING TO managing partner Tony Macvean, 2015 was an exciting year for law firm Hall & Wilcox. “We aspire to be the leading law firm nationally servicing the insurance and financial services sector,” he tells Insurance Business. “In 2015, we made great progress in realising that aspiration, by adding many great people to our already strong statutory and general insurance team, as well as establishing new offices in Perth, Canberra and Newcastle. “We are now servicing our key national insurance sector clients seamlessly across all Australian jurisdictions.” Macvean says 2015 also represented a time of great growth and success for the firm, its partner numbers increasing from 42 to 63 and receiving a number of accolades. Next year will mark 100 years since Hall & Wilcox was founded in Melbourne, and Macvean says insurance has long been integral to the firm. “Our insurance sector practice has grown to become one of the most pre-eminent insurance practices in the country,” he says. “We provide a full cross-practice service to our insurance sector clients.”

The Perth expansion It was the end of November when the firm opened its new office in Perth, following on from its expansion into Newcastle in New South Wales’ Hunter Region. The initial Perth practice is providing legal services to Hall & Wilcox’s insurance and financial services sector clients. Heading up the office are two new partners, Joel Sheldrick (previously with Sparke Helmore) and Anton Vucak (previously with Perth firm, Jarman McKenna). Joining Sheldrick and Vucak in the new office is special counsel Stephanie Driscoll, senior associates Rosena De Freitas and Liz Seggie, and a team of 15 lawyers and support staff. On the decision to establish a presence on the west coast, Macvean says: “A number of important clients were very keen for us to have a Perth office. We have high hopes for the office and see it as an important part of our long-term growth strategy.” Asked what makes Perth a logical next step for Hall & Wilcox in growing its Australian operations, Macvean responds: “It enables us to service existing clients, along with providing the opportunity to grow the business in insurance

“We aspire to be the leading law firm nationally servicing the insurance and financial services sector. In 2015, we made great progress in realising that aspiration” Tony Macvean, Hall & Wilcox


and other practice areas such as litigation/ insolvency, finance, property and general commercial areas of practice.” Currently, Hall & Wilcox has a China practice that advises Chinese clients on aspects of conducting business in Australia. Discussing Asia, Macvean says: “We also think that WA will help us attract more in-bound and outbound work from Asia, building on our successful China practice.”

2016 and beyond Looking ahead, Macvean says his team is optimistic that the next couple of years will continue to be strong for Hall & Wilcox. “We feel there is a great opportunity for us to position ourselves as a leading national business law firm servicing key sectors including

54-55_Hall & Wilcox_subbed.indd 54

9/02/2016 11:39:30 AM

insurance,” he says. “We are also determined to deliver on our promise of ‘Smarter Law’ – looking for new and better ways to help our clients thrive. We feel that we can win share in a flat market.” Macvean adds that clients have responded positively to the firm’s recent expansion, and support its direction. Thinking about the regulatory landscape in Western Australia, are there any key changes Hall & Wilcox’s insurance lawyers will be keeping a close eye on? “In 2014/2015, WorkCover WA continued the second phase of the review of the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981. We are anticipating a draft Bill for public consultation in 2016,” says Anton Vucak. Talking about the insurance industry in WA

“Insurers and brokers are increasingly structuring along national service lines. This signals an increasing national insurance market within Australia” Anton Vucak, Hall & Wilcox in recent times, Vucak says: “In the past six months we have seen WA-based brokers being bought out by international brokers. Willis acquired CKA, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co acquired Strathearn Insurance and recently PSC Insurance Group agreed to buy Australian Reliance. “In addition, insurers and brokers are increasingly structuring along national service lines. This signals an increasing national

insurance market within Australia.” And Vucak says the firm is ready to assist organisations operating in that climate. “Hall & Wilcox has a specialist national insurance sector practice which allows us to provide consistent expert legal services to insurers nationally, and the ability to develop trusting partnerships with the various stakeholders on a national level.”

54-55_Hall & Wilcox_subbed.indd 55


9/02/2016 11:39:37 AM



SIMON LIGHTBODY CEO, Steadfast Underwriting Agencies

An industry veteran of 25 years, Simon Lightbody leads the largest underwriting agency group in Australia. Here, he talks about Austria and Albom, and shares some astute advice he once received


Music: Ridiculously varied. The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The B-52s, The Stone Roses, The Specials... Gives away my age!

Book: Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom – a truly uplifting book.

Best thing about working in the insurance industry: The best thing has to be that no two days are the same. Irrespective of what type of market we are in, the variety of opportunity and challenge is constantly stimulating. Advice: Fatherly advice handed down the generations – “You have two ears, two eyes, one mouth – use them in that order!”

D Movie: Too many to truly say I have a favourite – it would be another list of 10 favourites! Okay, Pulp Fiction.

Vacation spot: Austria – particularly Zell am See-Kaprun – in summer or winter. Both are perfect times to be there.


Indulgence: I think my greatest indulgence is travel – spending time planning a trip and then visiting new or familiar places is a great thrill.

Strangest insurance coverage you’ve come across: I don’t have a strange insurance story, but was involved in placing some film insurance whilst a broker in Lloyds. Some of the things I learnt about film stars was indeed strange!

Sport: To watch: football (soccer). To play: golf – it is a constant challenge!


Best day you’ve had working in insurance: There have been two particular stand-out days. The first day of trading at the agency I started with my business partner, and being with Steadfast when it floated on the ASX – exciting times.

56-IBC_Fav Things_subbed.indd 56

9/02/2016 11:40:08 AM

proudly brought to you by KEY MEDIA




BUSINESS-FOR-SELF Why you can’t afford to ignore this growing market segment


MGAs Advisors speak out about where their MGAs are performing well – and where they could do better

SAFETY NET How title insurance can save your clients thousands

OFC-Spine-SUBBED.indd 2

00_OFC-SUBBED.indd 2



Who brought the heat to the Canadian mortgage industry last year?

CORPORATE RETREATS Smart investment or waste of resources?




5/06/2015 8:26:00 AM

28/01/2016 5:45:08 AM













2012, 2013, 2014


2010, 2012

2011, 2012

2005, 2006, 2007


56-IBC_Fav Things_subbed.indd 57

9/02/2016 11:40:22 AM

000_OBC.indd 40

9/02/2016 11:25:39 AM