When Daniella Rosser was studying a philosophy degree at Cardiff University, she was often told that the value of the degree lay in the transferable skills it created. Now, her role as private client advisor at John Morgan Partnership (JMP) has brought those skills full circle.
When she joined the brokerage, its MD John Phillips was looking to develop the private client side of the business and, given her experience in that market, she was keen to come on board.
“I understand the broking and insurance side and the markets and risk appetites,” she said, “but upon joining, what I’ve learnt is how to launch a project almost from scratch, because originally we only had a small base of private clients and [in Cheltenham] we’re in the best place to look after them. And so I’ve put a brochure together and had to learn marketing and content writing, and I built all the private client pages on our website.
“Because we’re a small outfit, we all have to jump on board and learn a lot of new skills and it’s been really interesting and fulfilling… But while my role has changed quite a lot, at the core of it, it’s still being that person for the client and [serving] their insurance needs. It’s just now I also have web design and development, and marketing and blog writing and social media under my hat.”
It’s the level of variety within the insurance profession that has held Rosser’s attention since she joined the sector. Like so many before her, she fell into insurance, joining Endsleigh’s commercial team before moving to the private client side, which she quickly discovered was her niche. It’s a fascinating market, she said, and she loves working within it because everybody she deals with is so different and has such unique requirements.
She joined Horizon Underwriters after a short maternity break, looking to get some underwriting experience, but her stay was cut short by the company moving - a development that proved fortuitous when the opportunity arose to join Phillips and JMP. Now, what she loves about working with the brokerage is its value proposition, which focuses on offering a holistic range of services to clients.
The insurance industry has really changed in the last few years, she said, with many brokers being bought out by bigger brokers, and then bigger brokers again. Teams are becoming more segregated, she said, with customers having to reach out to multiple representatives to access all their necessary covers, a frustrating experience for many when you can’t just talk to the same person throughout. JMP is focused on “old-fashioned” broking and she relishes the opportunity to build strong client relationships where she serves the insurance needs for the whole family – from first car cover, all the way to big estates.
“Insurance isn’t necessarily getting the best press at the moment, after the COVID BI issue,” she said. “But, as a broker, we really have to be the one that’s there to give them the advice and support them whatever their insurer decides. You have to be that friendly voice, which is clearer than ever with the guidance around vulnerable customers at the moment. We have to be highly aware when we’re talking to our clients, and get good at highlighting when a client might need a little bit more help. You have to adapt to how you deal with everyone, because everyone wants to deal with you differently and, I think by being small, you can adapt a lot quicker.”
Rosser believes that a high level of flexibility is the key to running a successful brokerage, both when it comes to clients and also when it comes to attracting and retaining talent. She fell into insurance, she said, the way everybody seems to, but most people end up staying and there is a reason for that, and that reason needs to be promoted to younger people. Flexibility is key.
“Insurance is still seen as that thing nobody wants to buy, but actually there are so many interesting elements to it,” she said. “It’s not just policy wordings, there are so many diverse roles within insurance and you can really make it your own. And also, it’s quite challenging, you’ve got someone coming up to you with a problem and you’ve got to come up with the solution. So, if you want a challenge, I think an insurance career can really give you that.”