Industry suffers sudden loss

The insurance industry is mourning the loss of Steve Ball, JLT Australia Chairman and former NIBA President, after his sudden death.

Ball suffered a fatal heart attack last Friday while on a trip to London with his wife Maureen, having attended the JLT Group and Thistle Underwriting Services Conferences earlier in the week.

Ball dedicated years of his life to the insurance industry, beginning his career at JLT Australia in 1982 and becoming Chairman in 2013. He was a long-time Board member of NIBA, holding the role of President from 2004 to 2006 within the 12 years he spent serving the Board.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth paid tribute to Ball, saying: “It’s a great loss to the insurance industry in Australia. Steve worked tirelessly for many years to enhance the professionalism of brokers and made an immense contribution to NIBA for more than a decade.”

“We will miss Steve greatly and our thoughts are with Maureen and their two children at this time,” Booth added.

NIBA Board member and former President David Duffield also commented on the loss, saying: “I enjoyed my time on the Board with ‘Ballie’ immensely and I am very sad to see him depart us so soon.”

“Steve was a great servant to NIBA – and the broking profession as a whole – and we have lost one of our most popular and respected figures,” Duffield says.

Ball was awarded NIBA Lex McKeown Trophy in 2008 for his services to the broking industry.

In a statement, JLT described Ball as the heart of the company, praising “his kindness and unquestioning support for all staff, especially young colleagues whom he enjoyed mentoring as much as his real job.”

Further to this loss, another JLT Australia stalwart, Brian Coppin, also died on Saturday after a long battle with poor health.

Coppin served as Chairman at JLT until 2013, the final position he held following a long and successful career in the insurance industry.

JLT described him as the soul of JLT, and an inspiring figure of dedication.