Lockton New Zealand looks back at "exciting ride"

CEO shares focus for one-year-old branch

Lockton New Zealand looks back at "exciting ride"

Insurance News

By Terry Gangcuangco

Lockton New Zealand, which is now a year old, has grown by about 150% in terms of staff count, and NZ chief executive Peter Lowe is focussed on ramping up further to cater to the expanding clientele of the business.

Twelve (12) months ago, during a nationwide lockdown in New Zealand, US-based global insurance brokerage Lockton forayed into the land of the long white cloud with 10 people working remotely in Auckland. Colleagues in the major city have since met in the flesh at 1 Albert Street, while offices in Christchurch and Hamilton have also been added to the company’s roster of premises.

Currently, Lockton NZ is manned by 24 employees. Globally, the privately held broker employs nearly 9,000 professionals in more than 100 sites.  

“It has been really pleasing to see how our clients and prospects have jumped onboard and embraced our client-first mentality,” said Lowe, who joined the Kiwi branch on November 29, 2021. “It’s been a really exciting ride so far, and I expect it to continue.”

Previously, the CEO was ready to take longer than planned to hit Lockton NZ’s workforce target.

He told Insurance Business in March: “If it takes me three years to double [the number of employees], I’m prepared to do that, to put the right people to fit our organisation…

“What I’m really excited about is the opportunity to start something brand-new with a great partner who has the same values as I do, who believes in putting clients and staff first and believes in looking after people.”

At present, recruitment remains high on the agenda, said Lowe.

Meanwhile, looking back at the first year of Lockton’s operations in the country, NZ chief operating officer Melanie Harding didn’t have any difficulty picking milestones.

“That’s easy,” said Harding, who was among the original set of hires when the unit was launched. “Creating something from scratch and onboarding our first client was definitely a highlight.”

For the COO, it is exciting to be part of change, not only company-wise but also in relation to the wider insurance industry.

“There is huge opportunity for us to leverage technology in a more meaningful way to provide the best service and ensure that our associates are available to our clients rather than being overburdened with admin,” she previously told Insurance Business. “At Lockton, clients are front and centre of everything we do, and our entrepreneurial culture empowers our associates to deliver on this.”

Lockton NZ is part of the Lockton Pacific (LP) business headed by LP chief executive Paul Marsden, who described the decision to expand into New Zealand as a logical next step for the international group as it continues to widen its global reach.

He said: “We’re thrilled that Lockton identified the New Zealand market as one where we could make a genuine difference, and we look forward to playing a part in Lockton’s continued success.”

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