NIBA has unveiled its major award winners at its Melbourne convention.
Broker of the Year was won by Bunmi Ajayi, of Megalines Insurance, while the Warren Tickle award for Young Professional Broker of the Year was picked up by Luke Chrzanowski, of Tresidders.
CGU, who beat Allianz and QBE to the top prize, made it a clean sweep of the major industry awards as they were named General Insurer of the Year to go alongside their victories in Insurance Business Brokers on Insurers survey and the Australian Insurance Awards.
Jade Bolam, of North Queensland Insurance Brokers, was named Trainee of the Year and Jeremy Thornton, of Insurance Advisernet Australia, was named Student of the Year.
David Duffield, a former NIBA president who has worked in the industry for over forty years, was recognised with the Lex McKeown Trophy for his services to the industry.
Ben Bessell, chief executive of commercial insurance at CGU, thanked his team and their partnerships with brokers which have proved key to their success.
“We are proud and honoured to have been awarded the NIBA General Insurer of the Year Award for 2015,” Bessell said
“Our business is built around our partnership with brokers and we place great value on the recognition we receive from them. I want to thank them for the support they continue to give us and for this vote of confidence.”
Bessell noted that the award was particularly pleasing in a challenging marketplace.
“To win this award is particularly rewarding in a year where we’ve experienced challenging market conditions, heavily invested in setting ourselves up for the future and brought the best of both Lumley and CGU into our business. And I think it shows that we are on the right track at CGU.”
Linda Evans, NIBA’s professional development executive in charge of the broker survey which is used to dish out the insurer awards, said that once again the voting was close between the final three.
“Once again the voting was extremely close between the finalists and we congratulate CGU for winning this award for the first time.”
Ajayi, who was ranked in the Insurance Business Elite Brokers this year, said that the award win was a humbling experience that he would never forget.
“First of all I thought it was good enough to be the state winner but to come this far, I think it’s just incredibly humbling for me,” Ajayi said.
“I would like to start by just thanking and congratulating all the other finalists, we are all winners and any one of you guys could be standing here today accepting this award. It’s such a privilege and an honour for me to stand here and to accept this as an ambassador of this very, very great industry.”
Chrzanowski summarised the feelings of each winner in his acceptance speech to a packed convention centre in Melbourne by saying: “It doesn’t come much better than this, does it?”