Allianz Global Assistance chief sales officer Brad Smith talks about eliminating poverty, tight margins and being a nomad.
How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Strategic business partners.
How would you change the industry?
I would find a way to clearly articulate and show the value that exists within a general and tailored insurance policy. Sadly, most individuals only realise this in the event of a claim.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
“You will never go broke taking a profit”. That may sound very commercial but it resonates in a low margin environment.
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
It’s fundamental to intimately understand the products you are selling to ensure that the relationships with your customers and issuers are solid ones. Any partnership has to be built on strong foundations of mutual respect and trust.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Although you’ve limited my tenure to a day and this may be over-ambitious, without a doubt it would be to eliminate poverty. It’s a shame that in a country as prosperous as ours we still see a growing trend of those in need.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
The margins we operate within are extremely tight and with an ever expanding cost base, it becomes quite constrictive. In our industry, competition is fierce so the need to do more with less, whilst being innovative, is paramount.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
A cappuccino, although the vanilla flavoured coffee my wife buys and serves each morning are pretty good.
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
NRL – I was born and raised in Queensland so there’s little chance of anything else.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
1) Richard Branson – I admire someone who backs themselves, challenges the status quo and never gives up.
2) Wally Lewis – The King (NRL) is an immortal and one of the greatest players to ever wear a pair of footy boots.
3) Ricky Gervais – everyone needs a little laughter in their life.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
a not-so-grey nomad exploring Australia in a caravan.