’The broking industry is now stronger than it was pre-pandemic,’ chief executive tells Insurance Times
Twelve months ago, Broadway Insurance Brokers chief executive Daniel Lloyd-John was named chair of Biba’s Greater Manchester and West Pennine regional executive committee and vowed to put broking “on the map”.
Having now served his term – and after witnessing the market expand it’s recruitment radar due to the pandemic-influenced growth of remote working – he believes that the industry is well-positioned to attract new and young talent.
Speaking to Insurance Times at the Biba conference last week (10-11 May 2023) about the broking industry’s sentiment post-pandemic, Lloyd-John explains: “We’ve built resilience and we are beginning to do things differently [by] showcasing some dynamism.
”The ecosystem for insurance is in a stronger place than pre-pandemic.
“People are way more integrated personally and professionally than ever before – despite not [working] in the same place. What I see now is a more together framework and ecosystem and it’s led to a greater respect for a person’s makeup.”
This improved dynamism is something Lloyd-John believes will help with attracting talent and investing in people, issues central to Broadway’s culture of only hiring leading insurance professionals.
With his Biba hat on, Lloyd-John says the broker trade body has been mobilising its Young Broker Committee to highlight and support young achievers in the sector.
“[Biba] are doing way more for university, college and school leaver insurance conversations from the ground up,” he says.
The attraction of a career in broking has also been improved by its increased adaptability to new working methods, such as flexible or remote working.
While Lloyd-John believes some aspects of the broking business will always require in-person teams, Broadway was founded during the pandemic in 2020 and took advantage of remote working tools such as Microsoft Teams from the very start.
“We didn’t have an adjustment period [to flexible working] – it was normal,” he explains.
”People are now more comfortable bringing their whole self into the workplace because the pandemic created an injection of people’s personal lives into the professional.
“If you think about broking, it’s a team-based sport.”
Back to basics
For Lloyd-John, the pandemic improved the ability for staff to bring their whole selves to work precisely because of the sentiment, support and togetherness colleagues showed to eachother during this time.
Therefore, he believes that 2023 should be about getting back to basics and focusing on four key areas – these are “reimagining career opportunities” for staff at all stages of their careers, reimaging client experience and business differentiation, promoting digitalisation and personalisation and finally driving a “relentless focus on growth and profit”.
As part of this, he now believes that all broker staff working together in a central location everyday is the best thing for customers.
In explaining his thinking, Lloyd-John splits the job of a broker into two broad parts – discovery and delivery.
He explains: “Discovery is based on understanding one another’s internal strengths and capabilities. It affirms a suite of solutions – how they go to market and how to make a client look and feel.
”[Discovery] is [also] based on understanding a client’s needs. I would say a broker is at its best in discovery mode when in front of a potential customer.”
“On a delivery basis, [the broker] has [already] understood the issues and is now in placement mode – designing the programme ahead of administering [it] on behalf of the client.”
Lloyd-John adds that he believes being on hand for customers in the event of a claim is where broker staff can most effectively learn from one another.
In terms of creating a strong culture of success at brokers, Lloyd-John tells Insurance Times: “Larger or more established insurers and brokers have more of a challenge because they have grown by consolidation quickly and aggressively and now have a multitude of different cultures in one business.
”It’s tough when you buy and build – I don’t think that 2024 will be the year the industry completely changes.
“[Change will involve] a bigger movement – my view is that gradual change is better.”
Despite gradual change being preferable, Lloyd-John notes that firms have diversified their businesses, with some looking at the whole client and customer journey in a completely different way.
But there is a natural check on change that is too rapid, he says.
He explains that large corporates are “informed buyers of insurance” and will ”want to keep insurance honest”.