Got you covered

Got you covered

Got you covered From his early days as a bodyguard to his insurance senior leadership role today, Vero’s Anthony Pagano has always been focused on protecting his clients

After finishing school, Pagano worked as a bodyguard and security guard across Sydney. He worked everywhere from nightclubs and bars to the Sydney Cricket Ground, but a couple of near-death experiences ultimately caused Pagano to re-evaluate this line of work. Unhappy Pagano wasn’t putting his university degree to good use, his father suggested he follow his cousin’s footsteps into insurance. Pagano agreed, thinking he’d only work in the sector for six months to keep his father happy.

Pagano became a service officer in Zurich’s NSW workers’ compensation portfolio and was soon promoted to regional underwriter and eventually became assistant underwriting manager. The portfolio grew from $5m to $75m within a two-year period. During this time, Pagano learnt the importance of quality service as a differentiator, because the regulation of workers’ compensation prices meant the only way he could differentiate himself was by building a reputation for excellent service.

Pagano’s next move was into Zurich’s distribution arm as a broker executive (more commonly known as a business development manager). It gave him the opportunity to work across the full scope of a client’s insurance needs, from personal insurance to workers’ compensation and commercial covers, and led to him gaining a new appreciation for the breadth and variety of expertise that was required in order to offer excellent service.

Pagano became the national manager of Zurich’s aged-care portfolio. This was an opportunity to work with brokers to provide bespoke solutions to a niche industry segment. In order to support brokers and clients, Pagano had to specialise, so he became Zurich’s expert on the insurance needs for the aged-care sector.

Pagano’s next move saw him managing Zurich’s relationship with the Steadfast Group, as national broker manager. It’s a time he regards as the moment “the boy became a man”, opening his eyes to how all the parts of the insurance industry fit together. While his previous roles had focused on transactions and renewal cycles, this role necessitated Pagano working continuously on the strategy and positioning of the business. There was no start or end date – the work was constantly evolving.

Pagano was promoted to head of commercial distribution, meaning he was now responsible for Zurich’s relationships with commercial brokers and cluster groups. The role involved managing the strategic relationships team and state operations teams to execute a national strategy. Together, they won both NIBA’s and Insurance Business’ s Insurer of the Year Award two years in a row and positioned Zurich as the number-one SME insurer.

After two decades with Zurich, Pagano joined Vero as sales manager NSW/ACT. He learnt the importance of coaching and cultivating a team to become a strong, integrated BDM unit, rather than focusing on individual performance. Six months later, Pagano became the head of commercial intermediaries, a role he continues to hold today. During this time, he has helped re-design Vero’s commercial distribution footprint and develop Vero’s online platform, VeroEdge, while managing relationships with commercial brokers and cluster groups.