Ben Hastie (pictured) has marked his 25th year in the industry with a new role – that of managing director at authorised representative (AR) network Resilium Insurance Broking. Here, the former broking director shares what’s high on the agenda, as well as his biggest challenge at present.
“I think the biggest challenge right now is making sure we take care of our staff and ARs in locked down states,” Hastie, who took on the MD post in June, told Insurance Business. “Mental health has already become an issue with so much of the community in both Victoria and New South Wales.
“As a business, we need to do all that we absolutely can to help and support our people through these tough times. Without our people, we have no business – they are and will always be our greatest asset.”
Despite the lockdowns, though, Hastie said their outlook for the rest of the year is positive. The managing director pointed to the continued boost in Resilium’s income, adding that they have, in fact, welcomed some “really professional and growth-focussed” ARs into the network.
He also highlighted: “The hard market continues to be a challenge for an expanding list of occupations, but our internal placement team does a wonderful job helping our ARs find solutions for difficult placements both on- and offshore.”
As for his priorities, the new boss said the key focus for him is to continue to develop and implement strategies aimed at meeting Resilium’s goals, both for the short and long term. The firm’s ‘growth through professionalism’ mantra, according to Hastie, very much remains as their main differentiator.
“I’m also working on continuing to build strong relationships with our key insurer partners and growing their portfolios with Resilium ARs,” he noted.
“While I have taken over the direction of the company’s business operations, I still work closely with former MD Adrian Kitchin as far as working on strategies to increase the business’s financial performance, as well as working with new Resilium partners who join the business in an investment capacity.”
Kitchin, who remains a director at Resilium, is now the chief executive of partner brand Ethos Broking Australia.
Read more: What’s next for Resilium Insurance Broking?
Hastie, meanwhile, recognises the value of his previous remit and the lessons it brings to his new responsibilities. He came onboard the business in 2016 after spending 11 years at Chubb.
“Having come from a sales and leadership role prior to being appointed Resilium’s MD, I have been at the coalface with both our ARs and key insurer partners for some time and believe this has been helpful to my new role,” Hastie told Insurance Business.
He said: “Having those strong relationships with insurers and our ARs is something that can only help in a managing director capacity, as my reputation is one where I am known for being approachable and that I’m never too busy for a phone call to offer support.
“Having that background in Resilium, and in underwriting and leadership roles with Chubb prior to joining Resilium, has also been incredibly valuable as I have experience on both sides of the intermediated insurance ‘fence’.”