Steadfast New Zealand CEO on a “good challenge to have”

Chief executive talks about growth and taking on inefficiency

Steadfast New Zealand CEO on a “good challenge to have”


By Terry Gangcuangco

Neil Cousins (pictured), who served as broker services manager from 2017 before taking the helm at the Kiwi operations of Australasian general insurance broker network Steadfast last year, has been navigating a period of growth. Here the Steadfast NZ chief executive talks about what’s drawing brokers to the network and the hard work involved in bringing them into the fold.

Growing membership

“Over the past 12 months we’ve onboarded about 20 new brokerages into the network,” Cousins said in an interview with Insurance Business. “We’re really growing at the moment. It’s a good challenge to have – being a victim of your own success.

“It’s been a lot of work to onboard so many new members, but there’s good reasons why they would want to join Steadfast, given the services that we offer to our network, particularly around technology… The model that we have here is very scalable, and we’re looking forward to continuing to add new brokers.”

According to the CEO, whose camp boasts of more than 60 Steadfast members in New Zealand, there’s a good membership pipeline ahead for the network in the near future.

Staff-wise, Steadfast New Zealand is also looking to expand, in line with the growing membership.

Cousins shared: “We’re looking to recruit for the broker services team, to continue expanding out as we continue to experience quite a bit of growth and continue to support and roll out services to our NZ network.

“We have a fairly small team in New Zealand. We utilise our head office in Sydney quite a lot for a lot of our fundamental business activities, such as marketing, IT, and a lot of the broker services. We’ve got a fleet of lawyers these days, which helps support the network on both sides of the Tasman.

“Within the Steadfast NZ office, we have around 10 people – from people directly within my team who look after the services and network and a team that looks after the technology platforms, which we have a big presence in now.”  

Addressing inefficiency

So, what’s the pull for brokers joining Steadfast? In Cousins’ view, a lot of it has to do with being efficient.

He told Insurance Business: “What we find is efficiency in New Zealand is particularly poor. So, how can we make things efficient? At Steadfast we’ve always been a market leader with regards to technology. We have one of the best systems in New Zealand and Australia, which has really supported our move into the United States.

“We’ve just bought another network there, and they’re very keen to access the Steadfast technology, which is the INSIGHT and SCTP (Steadfast Client Trading Platform) platforms.”

Cousins highlighted that the abovementioned systems are designed to create the maximum amount of efficiency, allowing brokers to “really have those meaningful conversations with their customers” and offer quality advice.

“How do you create that time through efficiency to spend more time offering good advice to your customers? We’ve also embedded this year the Steadfast Learning Hub, which is an LMS (learning management system) to support the growth of our brokers’ knowledge,” he said.

What do you think about this story? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Related Stories

Keep up with the latest news and events

Join our mailing list, it’s free!