Insurance industry professionals from around Australia flocked to Doltone House on Sydney’s Darling Habour last week for all the glitz and glamour of the fifth annual Insurance Business Australia Awards.
More than 500 insurance professionals, including brokers, authorised representatives, insurers and underwriters enjoyed all the excitement and pizazz. The intense work of the industry’s best was recognized in 25 prestigious categories.
The night’s fun included a pre-awards cocktail reception, red carpet, dinner banquet and awards ceremony – and, of course, live entertainment throughout the evening.
“I’m terrified!” said James Toth, managing director of Kona Recruitment as he took the podium. “It’s my absolute honour and privilege” he added as he announced the excellence awardees for the Australian Brokerage of the Year Award (6 to 20 staff). The winner was allinsure. Kona sponsored the Australian Young Gun of the Year award.
Trent Brown, the Underwriting Agencies Council’s (UAC) director of finance presented the Australian Underwriting Agency of the Year award, one of two awards sponsored by UAC.
“This is not something that we do day to day for awards, but it is nice to recognise all the work that’s being done and it sure is nice to grab an award,” said Brown, who is also director of Allstate Underwriting.
Brown also paid tribute to William Legge, the outgoing general manager of UAC, to a round of applause from delegates.
“On behalf of the Underwriting Agencies Council I’d just like to thank William Legge quickly for his service,” he said. “William has been an instrumental part of the Underwriting Agencies Council. He’s the reason I joined the underwriting agencies council board.”
Honan Insurance Group beat stiff competition to take out the QBE Brokerage of the Year for firms with more than 20 staff. Honan’s Steve Pappas (right side of main picture) accepted the award from QBE’s Lorelle Hillman (left side of main picture).
Brooklyn Underwriting’s Jessica Jenkins (pictured immediately below left) took out the Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) Underwriting Agency BDM of the year. UAC’s William Legge (pictured immediately below right) presented the award. UAC also sponsored the Australian Underwriting Agency of the Year award won by CHU Underwriting Agencies and accepted by their CEO Kimberley Jonsson.
Tanushree Arora-Sopori and Sumit Sopori (both pictured immediately below to the right) from Imperium Insurance and Financial Solutions won the Brokerage of the Year award (1 to 5 staff). They are seen here with Daniel Marsh (pictured immediately below left) of Blake Oliver Consulting who sponsored the Australian General Insurer of the Year award that was won by Allianz and accepted on the night by Phong Ly.
Once again, Blue Zebra Insurance took out the Best Digital Strategy Award sponsored by Duck Creek Technologies. Blue Zebra’s Colin Fagen (pictured immediately below left) accepted the award from Duck Creek’s Shaji Sethu (pictured immediately below right).
Vero won the AAMC General Insurer Claims Team of the Year. Vero’s Luke Whenman accepted the award (pictured immediately below left) from AAMC’s Daniel Lukich (pictured immediately below right).
James Toth (pictured immediately below left), from Kona Recruitment, represented the sponsor of the broker award, Australian Young Gun of the Year. That award was won by Nicole Pallavicini from Marsh. In this photo Toth is with Peter Chamberlain (pictured immediately below right) from allinsure, whose firm won both the Brokerage of the Year (6-20 staff) and Best Customer Service from an Individual Office awards.
Smart Nine sponsored the Australian Brokerage of the Year award. Smart Nine’s Martin Hodgkinson (pictured immediately below left) is seen here with Clear Insurance’s Jen Bettridge (pictured immediately below right), another of the night’s big winners, who took out both the Australian Broker of the Year and the QBE Broker of the Year - Authorised Representative awards.
Comedian, actor and presenter Ed Kavalee hosted the event with his trademark humour and wit. Groove Academy’s Party Band kept delegates tapping their feet and dancing well into the night.
IB is particularly grateful to all of this year’s judges and extends a special thanks to the award sponsors: AAMC, AXA XL, Blake Oliver, CHU Underwriting Agencies, Duck Creek, QBE, the Underwriting Agencies Council (UAC) and Wilbur for supporting this event and for the recognition of insurance excellence.