In the words of Alexander Graham Bell, when one door closes another one opens, and for Craig Walker a similar experience led him to a 30 year career in the insurance industry.
Walker, underwriting manager, liability, at GARD Insurance, made a difficult decision earlier in his life that set his path through the insurance industry and has led him to start his own business.
“I was at university, and I applied for every job in the paper the day that I decided I didn’t particularly want to be at university anymore,” Walker told Insurance Business.
“I fell on my feet.”
Walker has worked across multiple sections of the insurance industry throughout his career. From a decade at Munich Re, to a spell in the direct market, before moving into the underwriting agency space and starting his own firm, GARD Insurance, Walker noted that this diversity has helped him along the way.
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While Walker said that a varied career has been beneficial, he has counselled younger members of the industry to choose their course wisely as sideways steps will get you nowhere.
“One of the biggest challenges for the industry at the moment is Gen-Y kids that we put on for a year and they move to get an extra $2,000 a year,” Walker continued.
“You lose all that knowledge that you’ve tried to impart on those people.”
In a career he described as “hard work, successful and rewarding,” Walker pointed to a spell with HIH as a good learning experience. Walker stayed with the firm through its demise and said that working at a then market leader equipped him with the knowledge to continue his career development.
Having worked at some of the largest firms in the industry, Walker decided to step out on his own and advised that, for others looking to take a similar route, patience is key.
With a business that continues to grow, Walker noted that the industry offers a great route to success for the right person.
“You are going to do alright if you are prepared to work hard,” he said.
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