The Big Interview
John G Duncan
John G Duncan
A second-generation insurance broker, John G Duncan is described by his staff as “the rock of our broking firm” and “the most thorough, specialised, knowledgeable broker I have ever seen”. He is also a recognised specialist in professional indemnity insurance and a member of the AIMS Professional Indemnity Committee.
While he has reined in his portfolio management to devote more time to his CEO role, Duncan still handles a sizeable portfolio himself, and loves the challenge of accessing and protecting his clients, insurance exposures, and managing a medium-sized brokerage. “As a kid I used to pull things apart ... I loved discovering how things work. With my clients, especially the manufacturing ones, I love to find out how they make widgets and understanding their business. My primary focus is understanding what the client does, because once I know that I can provide advice to the business.”
That philosophy has stood the firm in good stead when competing for business, with JMD Ross securing some major accounts in 2013. “The reason for that is the knowledge we’ve brought to the table and our service offering. Whilst price is an important component, we tend to focus on coverage and service.”
Duncan says 2013 has seen the emergence of ‘enthusiasm’ in the economy, especially in the construction industry on the eastern seaboard. Like many, though, a challenge he faces is succession. “There is a ‘new wave’ of young brokers coming through ... I’d like to think members of our team would be keen to buy into the business, but they’re young; a lot of them have families. We need to find creative ways to finance them into a shareholding in the business.”
JMD Ross Insurance Brokers