Lach McKeough

The man who built broking behemoth Austbrokers from the ground up has been named this year’s Lex McKeown Trophy winner.

The prestigious award was given to McKeough in a special ceremony at the NIBA Convention this morning.

McKeough is currently overseas but NIBA President David Wyner and CEO Dallas Booth surprised him last month with a special trophy presentation.

“I wasn’t in any way expecting it and it was the last thing on my mind,” McKeough told IRP. “I feel very honoured to receive this award. There are some wonderful industry names on that trophy, names like [former NIBA president] Frank Earl, and I feel very privileged and very honoured to be on that list.”

McKeough started Austbrokers in 1985, manned by just himself and a part-time staffer. Since then he has shaped this country’s broking industry like few others.

“I don’t think anybody thought that it would grow the way it did,” he says.

“I think it’s been a fantastic ride. I was very fortunate to have the opportunity to build it like I did. The ultimate risk was to float the company seven or eight years ago. It was quite daunting.

“There have been all these businesses that have had great success and it’s been great to work with these people and see their own growth and success. I’ve had some businesses with me for 28 years and it’s enormously satisfying to watch them grow and do well.”