Five minutes with...Sam Kerr, broker at Seneca Group

Onus on broker community to rebuild trust after Canterbury quake

Five minutes with...Sam Kerr, broker at Seneca Group

Insurance News


Sam Kerr works at Seneca Group – his family business – as a commercial insurance broker.

He was the recipient of a QBE scholarship through the Professional IQ College that enabled him to complete the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services level five last year.

“It was good experience and it broadened my knowledge on the risk management side of things – it helped me a lot,” he says.

Now he finds fulfilment as he gets to see the “inside of different businesses everyday” spanning professional to manufacturing, as well as constantly building professional relationships.

He elaborates that what makes his role especially significant is that he works for his father’s business, which recently celebrated its 21st birthday at Waitakere Estate with staff and special guests.

“My dad Andrew Kerr and Ian Selwyn established the company in 1996,” says Kerr. “We were all proud to reach such an important milestone, and I think the company’s success is based on the integrity it has always upheld and a commitment to putting the client first.”

To mark the occasion a $1,000 donation was made to the Auckland Helicopter Rescue Trust.

“Coming into the family business in my late 20s made me realise how much I look up to my dad, who has been in the insurance industry for 43 years. He has taught me so much, especially the value of trust,” says Kerr. “I always keep it in mind when doing any business with clients.”

Another person Kerr looks up to is Mike Maher, who also works at Seneca.

“He helped mentor me in my first few years on board,” says Kerr. “I worked under Mike for a year as his broker support and he taught me the ropes really well. He’s got a passion for his clients that I hope I’ll have when I reach his age!”

According to Kerr, after the Canterbury quake there was definitely a breakdown of trust between insurers and policyholders over repairs.

“I think it behoves the broker community to rebuild this trust, which to its credit it is doing,” he claims.

In his free time Kerr likes to attend events, visit markets and spend time walking his dogs. He describes himself as “a big guy with a big personality”.

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