The Abbott Insurance team has swelled in number with four new appointments covering several areas of business.
Fire & General broker Russell Power, who has worked in brokerages in both Christchurch and Dunedin, has nearly 30 years’ experience in the industry, both in the UK and NZ.
Power spent 12 years at Lumley
where he regularly looked after Abbott Group brokers, making it fitting that he has now joined the team.
“It’s exciting to be part of a flexible and professional organisation like Abbott where the effort you put in directly contributes to the immediate close-knit team and end results,” he said.
“Having worked for an international brokerage and corporate-owned insurer, sometimes the results of your hard work are lost.”
It was a similar story for Heath Johnson, who began running Abbott’s recently added Dunedin office earlier this year, covering the area from the south of Timaru to the bottom of the South Island including the area south of Queenstown.
Johnson, who was previously based in Christchurch but was raised and educated in Otago and Southland, had been busy clocking up the miles between Otago and Southland as he built up business in the far South.
Before joining Abbott, Johnson had been working with the team for four years as the business development manager for Vero
where he proved a winner in terms of expanding their book.
Now working from the other side of the fence, Johnson said it was different but only in perspective.
“You’re dealing with the client and then the insurer as opposed to being the insurer and dealing with the broker and coming up with a solution for the client,” he explained.
“So it still comes down to the knowledge that you’ve picked up to come up with the right solution for your clients.
“It’s still a relationship game regardless of what side of the fence you’re sitting on.”
Johnson said the experience had definitely given him more appreciation for the work that brokers do.
“The way I say it to clients, especially if they’re in the direct insurance model, is by not having that advocate when you have a claim or some issues come up, you’re theoretically dealing with that yourself as opposed to an insurance broker who understands the market and understands the ins and outs of policy wordings and can be an advocate for you and do that work for you.”
He added: “You go to court you appoint a lawyer, you build a house you appoint a builder. Well insurance is a specialist product so it’s no different.”
Abbott’s other new faces include life and health broker Craig Savage, home loan advisor Darryl Philpott and claims consultant Harriet Scott.
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Five Minutes With… Mark Reid
, general manager, Abbott Group