After starting his career in retail men’s clothing, the MD of specialist underwriting agency Protecta Insurance, Stephen Glading, found he was tailor-made for insurance instead.
Why did you get into insurance?
I was approached to join MLC Insurance, to join its life insurance sales team in 1977. I had made a career in retail men’s clothing but felt there was a lack of opportunity at that time, and was looking to become an owner of a business rather than an employee.
How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Knowledgeable, trustworthy and customer focused
How would you change the industry?
The industry is changing slowly with an emphasis on technology that will improve the way we support our customers.
What’s the most important thing brokers and insurers can do to improve their relationship?
This is nothing new – look after your customer.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
Build strong relationships with all your suppliers as well as your customers, adopt a ‘win win’ philosophy.
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Ensure that people new to this country can speak English, and abide by our customs and laws. Residency would not be given until the individual proved their worth and adopted Kiwi life.
What has been the highlight of your career?
Building a solid business and seeing both our staff and customers grow.
What’s your favoured style of coffee?
Union, league, soccer or other?
Union and golf.
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Elon Musk – for his technology leadership and in particular developing the Tesla Electric Vehicle;
Henry Ford – for developing the model T Ford, an interesting conversation with Elon on how he made vehicles affordable in those times;
Richard Branson – would love to learn from another entrepreneur at the table.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
travelling the world cruising and playing golf - if I had an endless supply of money!
Strengthen your business: hire like Branson
Customers, communication and insurance companies