Zurich discusses ‘no-brainer’ broker education program

Zurich discusses ‘no-brainer’ broker education program | Insurance Business Australia

Zurich discusses ‘no-brainer’ broker education program
Zurich’s investment in broker education and development is a “no brainer,” according to one senior executive.

Steven Ord, chief distribution officer, general insurance, Australia & New Zealand at Zurich, said that the launch of the NextGen Leadership Academy earlier this week, was a sensible investment for the firm thanks to its reliance on brokers within its distribution model.

“We see broker education and development as an investment; if they’re successful then we will be too,” Ord told Insurance Business. “We’ve always conceived our relationship with brokers as a partnership, not as a transactional sales channel – when you take that view an investment like the NextGen academy becomes a no-brainer.”

Ord said that, even on the back of a tough operating environment, Zurich views an investment in broker education as an upside for the entire insurance industry.

“It’s also partly about reinforcing why the insurance industry is a great place to be from a talent perspective – if you’re good at what you do, and you show potential, you can get international experiences and exposure,” he said.

The NextGen academy saw eight brokers jet off to Switzerland last week for a series of presentations and workshops and, upon their return, each broker will be paired with a senior Zurich executive as a leadership mentor for the next year.

Ord said that the program sees attendees focus on technical development and trends such as risk engineering and claims in the opening days, moving on to a final day around leadership skills and people development.

“Having seen how issues like risk engineering and people management are approached on a global scale, we’re confident that participants will return with new ideas and approaches that they can apply in their own businesses,” Ord continued.

He added that participants were chosen after the Zurich distribution team created a shortlist in conjunction with broker principals and individual brokerages.

“In the next iteration of the program in 2018 we will be putting the call out to our top partners and asking for their nominations – there will also be a formal interview process,” Ord noted.

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