Glenn Lambert, managing director of GT Insurance, talks about needing insurance, smoothing out pricing cycles and dinner with George Clooney.
Nearly everyone needs the product in some form, it’s not a discretionary spend, so the employment opportunities are good in general, with significant opportunities for career development available to those who wish to pursue it.
The industry has been very good to me, in terms of education opportunities, personal development and overall rewards for effort that I don’t think I would have realised had I stayed in the other industries I have worked in. For me it was the combination of personal opportunity and the relationships that have been built along the way.
How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Distribution, relationships, trust.
How would you change the industry?
I don’t think much needs to change as the industry gets it right 99% of the time. Maybe the pricing cycles could be smoothed out as this certainly confuses the insureds who are at a loss to understand how premiums can change so much year on year. Certainly brokers are in the firing line on this one.
Best advice you’ve ever been given?
If I have made a mistake accept responsibility immediately, even if there are mitigating circumstances. Most people respect this.
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
There is no way around the need to work on growing the income in general, as good as customer retentions are for brokers, eventually accounts will be lost. Often it can take three years to finally convert a lot of effort into acquiring that new client, it’s certainly not easy, and it takes a certain type of broker to do it. Referrals, cross selling, all things that are always talked about are all key drivers of success not to mention delivering on the service commitment.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Stop playing politics and actually address the issues that country faces. Too much talk not enough action!
What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
The available pool of people wanting to work in the industry continues to shrink, which is further exacerbated by the lack of experience and skill in general. The reasons for this are many, certainly the business model has changed dramatically with the industry being more process driven, therefore the learning pathway is more generalised and not centred around risk analysis as it was in the past.
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
I am an AFL fan, a supporter of Collingwood and an admirer of the Swans, I like the way they go about it. It causes confusion when they play each other!
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
George Clooney, love his style and intellect, Bill Clinton for what he is and what he has done and Cate Blanchett, gorgeous, smart, and very stylish.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
not enjoying business activities as much as I currently am.