Five Minutes With… Adam Matteson, Managing Director, Talbot Underwriting Australia

Five Minutes With… Adam Matteson, Managing Director, Talbot Underwriting Australia | Insurance Business

Five Minutes With… Adam Matteson, Managing Director, Talbot Underwriting Australia
Adam Matteson, Managing Director, Talbot Underwriting Australia, talks about fostering engagement in the industry, Korean baseball and his beloved South Sydney Rabbitohs.

Why insurance?   
I always had a fascination with the finance industry and numbers. I couldn’t find a job with the banks in the mid-late eighties, and back then The Sydney Morning Herald was the bible for job opportunities. Insurance was next to Junior in the job classifieds and the rest is history!

How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
To use Richie Benaud’s comment, why use three words when one is enough….. Underappreciated would be my word.

How would you change the industry? 
I would encourage every employer to allow their employees 4 hours a month to give something back to the market in terms of promoting the industry or working on an industry committee. We all know how good this industry is and we can all do some lifting.

Best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best piece of advice I was given was from my late grandfather. I often use his phrase and I can still hear him saying it now “The calendar solves most problems.” He encouraged me to keep a cool head and take a long view on issues.

What is the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
In my Reinsurance days we wrote a contingency risk whereby if a Korean pitcher in the US Baseball league pitched a certain number of shut outs then a major Korean mobile phone maker would give customers free mobile phones. We phoned Ladbrokes for both the odds, and if we could lay the risk off with them!

What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
Many would read this question in the negative sense but, as I sit on a number of industry committees, it would be how we improve the engagement for more people to be involved and how we start to get the different factions in the education and industry development spheres working together. It is happening, however not everyone can see it.

What has been the highlight of your career?
Working in an industry where we have such a high ‘esprit de corps’ and regard for one another. And to have provided my kids with an opportunity in life.
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
NRL. Having supported South Sydney all my life, having played lower grades there in my youth and seeing them win last year after 43 years meant a lot. I took my grandmother to a number of games last year and she was my age when they last won. Everyone should have the opportunity at least once to celebrate a premiership with their team

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Vince Lombardi, Winston Churchill, Robin Williams. If either of them pulled out I’d bring Bob Hawke off the bench.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would…
…have either given The Lonely Planet guy or the CEO of South’s a run for their money.