BJS Insurance Group celebrated its 15th year in the market with a renewed promise to continue to hire graduates as the industry is failing to do enough to attract young people.
The locally-owned brokerage has a premium income of more than $100 million and employs around 90 staff, including 10 graduates.
Bill de Vos, managing director, attributed the company’s success to “building a team of handpicked people”, which he says is why the industry must do more to encourage young people to become insurance brokers.
“The challenge is to attract new people. When we train our staff, we run the risk of them going somewhere else. I am not always certain people know what good a career in broking is,” he said. “Young people want to do things but not insurance broking. Most people just fall into it.
”It is a real challenge to attract young people to the industry. We have a responsibility to make sure people know how valuable a career in insurance broking can be. At times we undervalue it. We talk about attracting people but we don’t always come up with solutions. We have taken it upon ourselves.”
Reflecting on the past 15 years, de Vos said the biggest industry changes had come in the form of the growth of authorised representatives and cluster groups.
“Ten or 15 years ago there wasn’t Austbrokers and Steadfast,” he added. “The rise of the cluster group and those groups buying brokers is the biggest change.”
But this will not stop BJS, which is a Steadfast member, from making acquisitions of its own.
“We want to grow the business in WA and NSW,” de Vos said. “We will talk to a few people about that in the near future. A few brokers have said they want to sell to BJ but we have not thought they are a good fit. Some people sell because they need the money but they don’t have a succession plan. There aren’t many quality insurance brokers out there.”
Zurich raises similar concerns about attracting talent into the industry. Read the comments here.