Shared ownership aligns staff at award-winning brokerage

Company reaps success through ‘hard work and consistency’

Shared ownership aligns staff at award-winning brokerage

Insurance News

By Bethan Moorcraft

Canada’s insurance marketplace continues to be dominated by small, local brokerages.

Many of these brokerages are family-run and family-focused – and they only employ a handful of staff. 

There are many challenges operating a small brokerage in an evolving marketplace and competing against mega industry players like HUB Canada and Arthur J Gallagher.

But “hard work and consistency” pays off, according to Andrew Clark, president and CEO of ALIGNED Insurance. His company recently won the Best Brokerage Under 10 People award at the Insurance Business Canada Awards 2017 – an accolade he attributes to “hard work day-in, day-out” and winning each client one at a time.  

“2017 was a year of a number of things for ALIGNED. First and foremost, our focus was on our team. We launched an employee ownership program, which brought all of our staff together and really solidified the organization,” said Clark.

“We distributed shares to everyone in the ALIGNED team, so that every single employee is an owner and shares in the success of the brokerage. We have a great group of people who are all working towards a common goal, which is a great foundation to build the business upon.”

Even with everyone’s head in the game, it can sometimes be tough to run a small brokerage. Staff are often required to take on tasks outside of their typical responsibilities. If you refuse to take on the extra work or the challenging risk, that business account could go down the drain.

Acquiring new business isn’t always easy for small brokerages up against international organizations with major advertising spends. ALIGNED Insurance has tackled this by “focusing on building a digital presence” from day one.

Clark described social media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) as a “great opportunity” and a way to “level the playing field” with some of the bigger companies in the marketplace. The brokerage takes “an education and information approach” to its social media accounts, which Clark said is an “exciting way to share knowledge.”

“At ALIGNED, everyone pitches in to do whatever’s needed. We’re all in this together and we get the job done,” Clark told Insurance Business. “We’re strong in that the whole team is really close. We all work extremely hard and everyone supports each other. It’s very personal and everyone’s contribution really makes a big difference.

“We have a great strategy and a unique way of doing business. In 2018, we’re going to focus on growth and continued execution. We have all the right people doing a great job, and we’ve got a wonderful group of supportive clients.”

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