Running a reputable insurance brokerage; being a father to a one-year-old; working on a commerce degree; and securing a finalist spot at the Queensland leg of the National Insurance Brokers Association’s (NIBA) young professional broker of the year award – it all seems quite a lot to take on, but these are precisely what’s on Scott Mitchell’s (pictured) plate at the moment.
Speaking with Insurance Business, the Brisbane-based managing director of Cornerstone Risk Group shared: “I’m pretty good at allocating time. I just commit X amount of hours a week – whether first thing in the morning or late at night – [say, for studying]. And we’re very lucky that my son is a good sleeper.
“So, being able to work at night or study at night is an ability that I have. I don’t take that for granted, because plenty of my mates don’t have that benefit.”
Aside from his child’s favourable sleeping habits, the Suncorp alumnus also has his seven-strong staff to thank. The roster, one of which has just finished the NIBA mentor-mentee programme, is encouraged to “get out there,” network, and constantly learn and grow.
“We’ve got a great team at Cornerstone,” highlighted Mitchell, who set up the Resilium Insurance Broking authorised representative in 2016 after making the switch from hospitality to insurance a decade ago.
“We do run very effectively and very efficiently, and I have the support in the business to be able to allocate that time. I certainly am very lucky to be able to commit time to doing other things because I can rely on the gang at Cornerstone to help me out in the background.”
As for being named a NIBA finalist, the MD wasn’t afraid to use an often-heard phrase to describe the feeling he attaches to the recognition.
Mitchell told Insurance Business: “I know it’s a cliché, but it is extremely humbling. And it was very unexpected, like I was sort of just going about my business day to day. NIBA has set that benchmark of high standards and compliance in our industry, so to be considered a leader among my peers is quite an accolade that I’m very proud of.”
The broking boss, meanwhile, highlighted Cornerstone’s relationships with both its insurance partners and clients. Mitchell went on to describe their clientele as the company’s “greatest advocates” and the drivers of the growth that Cornerstone sees year on year.
“Anyone who knows me knows that I hold myself to a very high standard for customer service and customer focus,” he asserted. “The Cornerstone team and I, we pride ourselves on having great relationships with our clients and providing good personal market-leading advice.
“I think that – coupled with the quality of submissions, the quality of slips, and the mutual respect we have for our chosen underwriters – has held me in good stead in the market. Just having that mutual respect and the understanding of mutual benefit allows me to have that ability to do business effectively and efficiently.”
Additionally, amid a hard insurance market, it’s these broker-client and broker-underwriter relationships that Mitchell’s camp relies on.
He said: “What makes us lucky and what allows us to work through what we’re working through is that we have hard conversations with our customers early and we set expectations as early as possible.
“And those key underwriter partners – and we probably don’t get to say ‘thank you’ enough – are not out there just [for] high premiums. They will help you out where they can, and our relationship with those underwriters has allowed us to relieve as much pain as possible on those increases.”