Drew Schnehage
Innovation Group

Drew Schnehage, Managing Director

Drew Schnehage

Managing Director
Innovation Group

 Level 15, 8 Exhibition Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000
 +61 499599829
 [email protected]
 LinkedIn Profile
 Website

32 years in the insurance industry in South Africa. I started my insurance career with a large insurer in South Africa after finishing my year 12. In my first job I managed general insurance claims, and I worked for 2 insurers and a broker before I joined a third-party administrator where I became a director at the age of 30.
 
Soon after I joined an Underwriting Agency to develop a new niche insurance product for high-net-worth individuals. I have always thrived in innovative and entrepreneurial environments. In 2008 I was offered the opportunity to start Aquarius Underwriting Managers to grow the first ever high-net-worth portfolio, never been done before in South Africa. I have a strong focus on building and strengthening internal and external relationships and have built and grown two business from ground-up. This was the most powerful and enriching life journey. I stepped into the role of leading, managing and growing a business at a young age. I was able to fulfil all my passions at once in growing people, leading a phenomenal team, creating new products and advancing the business with new technology. This was the Age of Aquarius, and the satisfaction and achievements were endless. In 2013 we won the Underwriting Agency of the Year award. I believe my success comes from my passion for people and I love working with individuals that are equally passionate with a view to making a difference. I lead by example and believe that hard work pays off and after 7 years we sold the business to Hollard Insurance in South Africa. I joined their personal lines division to assist with the development of their new personal lines' product offering. After 2 years I was head-hunted to join Innovation Group in South Africa as Commercial Director. When my then CEO offered me the opportunity to move to Australia to become the Managing Director, I grabbed it with both hands.
 
In July 2019 my husband and I and our 2 teenage daughters packed up our lives in South Africa and moved to Melbourne in Australia. We just started settling in and finding our feet when COVID-19 hit Australia the beginning of 2020. We found ourselves all alone and in isolation for several months, but we are blessed as this has brought us closer together as a family unit. We are coming up to our second anniversary in Australia. The biggest challenge for me has been to build my personal brand and network especially when no-one knows you and you have not been part of the local insurance industry. I spent several months engaging our clients to build and establish relationships. I had to build trust with my team and my employees especially after the business went through a difficult time. I believe in nurturing and building highly effective teams which helped me to be successful during my career. I am always willing to have open and honest conversations with my teams and staff being honest establishes a sense of trust. We have managed to weather the COVID wave and have emerged stronger and are excited at the many opportunities presenting itself. We have spent time during 2020 to review our business model and technology platforms and have a new and compelling value proposition. We have increased the presence and visibility of the business in the insurance and fleet markets and there is a new buzz around Innovation Group Australia. I look forward to engaging face-to-face in the new normal.