Tickets for their St Patrick’s Day event tomorrow night sold out in one hour, which is proof, Young Insurance Professionals (YIPs
) NZ communications officer Charlotte Robertson
says, that they’re meeting a need - but also that there is a need still to be met.
Current New Zealand membership numbers have just tipped over the 500 mark – 503 to be exact – and so to make such events accessible at the other end of the country, YIPs
New Zealand is opening a second branch in Christchurch, officially launching on Thursday 31 March 2016.
“We seem to have found a niche in the industry where there are a lot of people who want to go out and meet fellow young insurance professionals and network with them,” Robertson told Insurance Business
“They don’t have that many other opportunities to do that.
“We’re very excited about Christchurch because we’ve had a goal to expand out of Auckland since we started, and now we’re in a position to do it because of the support of our sponsors so it’s great that it’s finally happening.”
Christchurch became an obvious choice for a second branch due to the number of connections and work commitments existing members had in the city.
Key to making it happen was finding someone with the right drive and motivation to run things. That person is Crombie Lockwood
broker Jamie Simpson.
He has been busy setting up a committee and putting together a plan of events which include the inaugural launch night at Bardello’s in Christchurch, sponsored by law firm Duncan Cotterill, a business breakfast focusing on business development and public speaking, a quiz night, 10-pin bowling and a bbq later in the year.
“I think there will be a lot of people keen to come along to these events, it’s in their best interests to come and network and chat to other young people who work in insurance,” said Simpson.
“At a lot of insurance functions it’s just the senior people who get to go along so this is a way to encourage younger people to understand more about what insurance is and to chat with their peers.”
So far, joining Simpson on the committee are:
Josie Wijohn – Marsh
Holly Page – NZI
Thomas Denyer - Crombie Lockwood
Edward Glubb – NZI
Nicole Shennan – QBE
Ashleigh Rowland – Vero
Like the Auckland branch, who recently set up a stand at a business expo at the University of Auckland, Simpson was keen to do the same in Christchurch to show students what an excellent career path the industry offered.
Robertson said they are planning several educational events this year that would give CPD points, and added that YIPs
is still very keen to include senior industry members.
“We’re starting to get more senior people from the industry coming along to our events which is fantastic because it gives people the opportunity to meet more established industry members in a much more relaxed environment,” Robertson said.
“I’ve heard feedback that people have made positive connections from our events and have used those connections, whether it’s ended up being a source of work or just knowing about someone in a particular sector of the industry.”
Robertson strongly encouraged those interested to sign up as a member, which is free, and will mean find out about events from the mailing list and have access to discounted ticket prices.
She said once Christchurch was up and running successfully YIPs
would turn their attention to Wellington.
“We have had people enquire about Wellington events and some of our sponsors are keen for us to set up down there as well but we want to make sure everything is running properly while we do that.”
Any expressions of interest were welcome though, she said.
Robertson, who has been involved with YIPs
in New Zealand right from the start, said the organisation’s success has been incredible.
“I was always hopeful that it was going to be successful but I don’t think we expected it to take off and be quite as successful as it has been. The uptake has been quite fantastic.”