, managing director and CEO of AUB Group
, has said that the firm will look to replicate its strategy in Australia with its growing New Zealand business.
“The way we have executed in Australia, basically we will do exactly the same in New Zealand,” Searles told Insurance Business.
“First stage in any execution is to get the distribution footprint right, which we have been doing in New Zealand and it continues to grow. Off the back of that it is ensuring that we provide, or bring to the market, the correct products and services to satisfy those physical, people and financial risks that the client faces.”
AUB’s New Zealand operations have grown over the last three years, as the company now has the largest broking management group in the country, alongside the third largest broker in the market. The business wrote $550 million of GWP last year, and Searles said the growth of the firm over the past three years has been pleasing.
“Really it is about how we work in partnership with strategic insurer partners and broking partners to get the best for clients and I think everyone is getting that clarity, which is great news,” Searles continued.
Searles said that the firm has now fully integrated its acquisition of Runacres into the business and has sold a 10% stake in the business to the original management of the company.
“We are very pleased with the growth of Runacres,” Searles said. “It fits our model really well and it has grown really well.”
In terms of pricing, Searles noted that the Australian and New Zealand markets are both showing signs of hardening as prices have risen in recent months.
“I think we’ve turned a corner with regards to the premium rate environment,” Searles said. “New Zealand lags behind a little bit, although again we have seen the market stabilise there.”
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