2015 winners reflect on success

The 2015 NIBA awards winners are still reeling following their hard-earned glory at yesterday’s NIBA Convention awards ceremony.

Bunmi Ajayi took out the 2015 Broker of the Year award and says that he is humbled by what he has described as winning the “Grand Slam” of the insurance broking industry.

“It has been an incredible and humbling experience to be called out as the winner, because it was so keenly contested. All the other candidates and finalists deserve to win,” Ajayi says

“For me to be the final winner for Australia means so much to me. It is the Grand Slam of the insurance broking industry. I feel very privileged to be able to win.”

“I think it’s all going to be good things to come out of this. I don’t think I will change focus in what I have been doing, I think I will continue to do what I have been doing, but at a higher level now,” Ajayi adds.  

“I don’t usually drink, but I might indulge in one or two for this event, as I just want to soak up the moment and just catch up with people. It’s a great feeling. I just want to enjoy it and have fun.”

Watch our video interviews with the award winners.

YP Luke Chrzanowski received the Warren Tickle Memorial Award, saying that he feels very proud to be chosen as a star of the industry.

“It is incredibly humbling. It makes me feel very proud that they have selected me to be the winner,” Chrzanowski says.

“I just want to share the moment with my peers, my friends and my colleagues. I wouldn’t be where I am without the support networks that I have.”

“Everyone seems to believe in me, and that gives me the belief to go and be able to achieve these things. I am really looking forward to sharing it with everyone,” Chrzanowski adds.

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The Lex McKeown Trophy for lifetime achievement went to Marsh heavyweight David Duffield. Duffield made note of his appreciation for the recognition of his 40 years within the industry and says he is looking forward to celebrating with friends.

“I’ve been around for over 40 years. I’ve loved every day of that, or most days, and to have this particular recognition is very important to me,” Duffield says.

“Being in the industry for such a long time, much of what I am all about now is giving stuff back to the industry. That is why I like to be a part of NIBA and helping NIBA represent the interests of its members, help to lift the standard of professionalism, and then, within my own firm, helping to mentor the younger people.”

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The NIBA College Student of the Year award was presented to Jeremy Thornton, who says he was surprised to be named winner among the other excellent finalists.

“It was a bit of a surreal feeling to be brutally honest. I talked myself into being third in line for winning this one,” Thornton says.

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“The three of us got to meet a couple of weeks ago in the QBE offices. I walked away thinking I was really proud of myself for getting that far, but I never thought of winning it. It took me a good two seconds to compute that it was my name that was read out.”

“A lot of my study work was based on what I do every day with my clients, so to get recognised for that was just a massive confidence boost,” he adds.