Five Minutes With… Tony Howie, New Zealand manager for LMI Group

by IBO 08 Oct 2014

Five Minutes With… Tony Howie, New Zealand manager for LMI Group

Why did you get into insurance?
I initially set out to study law, but after a year at university, decided to have a year off as I needed a break from study. The first job I interviewed for was with Royal Insurance and I enjoyed the industry so much, that I am still having that year off almost 40 years later.

How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words? 
External risk managers.

How would you change the industry? 
In a word, education. Educate the public and the media on how insurance works and the great good that we do and ensure that all those working in the industry are trained to understand our role in society and to work to ensure that the client has a good experience at claims time.

What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
Become an integral part of their client’s professional support team.
 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Treat everyone as you would want to be treated.

If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Extradite Kim Dotcom on the first available flight.

What has been the highlight of your career?
Being able to assist clients to recover quickly and effectively following a major loss and provide both technical and at times emotional support through the process.

What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Strong trim flat white.

Union, league, soccer or other?
Swimming with my two-year-old grandson.

If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
John Anderson, the founder of Contiki – I heard him speak at the recent NZILA Conference and have never heard anyone more passionate. I would love to hear about more of his experiences.
Robin Williams – I believe he is one of the funniest people I have ever come across.
Robert Muldoon – I would be keen to get his take on what is happening in NZ politics today and hear how he would have reacted if he was currently Prime Minister.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
A lawyer, possibly doing insurance litigation. I might even compete with Craig Langstone for the best courtroom attire!