The founder of PSC Connect brokerage Balance Insurance Advisors Gareth Wallace explains why brokers should not get hung up on the numbers.
Why did you get into insurance?
I left the Navy after realising I didn’t like getting told what to do! Doesn’t work well in the military. My girlfriend at the time was working at State Insurance, and it seemed like a good job. I applied for a role as a cadet with State Insurance on the Friday and started on the Monday.
How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Resilient, diligent, negotiators
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
Probably Nazi daggers. They’re very valuable and collectable items, but you can’t trade them on the open market like Trademe.
How would you change the industry?
Big question, however I don’t really feel the industry is in bad shape. It would be great to see a common IT platform between insurers and brokers.
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
Don’t focus on the numbers, focus on the service and the client. Too often you can worry about your income, but this takes care of itself if you do a great job.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
If in doubt, ask yourself what’s in the best interest of the client. It’s helped me so many times trying to decide a course of action.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Get more funding to the police. But most likely I would get stuck into the PM’s office mini bar.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Setting up Balance Insurance Advisors. A terrific experience and something I would recommend to all brokers out there. Owning and running your own business is incredibly rewarding.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Boring old flat white.
Union, league, soccer or other?
Union, and league, but my eldest son is now playing soccer, and I love watching him.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
William Wallace, have a catch up and tell him what the whanau has been up to since he passed.
Kennedy, would be great to meet him and talk about the grassy knoll.
Billy Connolly, well he is just a funny bugger.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
A cricket commentator.
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