Ballie feted at industry awards

A standing ovation hailed a lifetime achievement award for late insurance legend Steve Ball, among a host of other plaudits at the Australian Insurance Industry Awards in Sydney on Wednesday night.

The JLT Australia chairman and former NIBA President died suddenly earlier this year, and ANZIIF last night paid tribute to his contributions to the industry with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Earlier in the night, Melbourne’s Consult Insurance Solutions was named Small Broker of the Year.

Meanwhile, NIBA members dominated the rest of the broker prizes, with Sydney’s GSA Insurance Brokers named Medium Broker of the Year and Marsh taking out Large Broker of the Year.

Willis’ Alexandra Blannin-Ferguson was a finalist for Young Insurance Professional of the Year but was pipped at the post by BT Financial’s Katherine Ashby.

Brooklyn Underwriting picked the Underwriting Agency of the Year prize for a remarkable fourth year in a row, while IAG picked up a total of three awards.

CGU was named Large General Insurance Company of the Year, while IAG itself was recognised as Women’s Employer of the Year and IAG Group Managing Director and CEO Mike Wilkins was named Insurance Leader of the Year.

IAG Commercial Insurance Chief Executive Ben Bessell says he is delighted to have won the award.

“This is not just one year’s work; it’s the culmination of a hugely successful business transformation to build on CGU’s long history in the Australian general insurance market,” he says.

He says the fact the past year has seen tough insurance markets and involved the integration of Lumley into CGU made the victory particularly rewarding.

Meanwhile, a bold initiative deploying behavioural psychology to help injured employees return to work faster earned Allianz the gong for Innovation of the Year.

Allianz Workers Compensation Chief General Manager Helen Silver says the program has benefitted workers, their families and businesses.

“By applying behavioural insights to our return to work approach we have gained a greater understanding of how injured workers respond in different contexts, which has led to long-term benefits for workers and their employers,” she says.

The full list of award winners is below.

Small Broker of the Year: Consult Insurance Solutions

Medium Broker of the Year: GSA Insurance Brokers

Large Broker of the Year: Marsh

Underwriting Agency of the Year: Brooklyn Underwriting

Small-Medium General Insurance Company of the Year: Hospitality Employers Mutual Limited

Large General Insurance Company of the Year: CGU

Life Insurance Company of the Year: AIA Australia

Innovation of the Year: Allianz Australia

Professional Services Firm of the Year: Finity

Service Provider to the Insurance Industry: Recoveriescorp

Women’s Employer of the Year: Insurance Australia Group

Youth Development Employer of the Year: BT Financial Group

Young Insurance Professional of the Year: Katherine Ashby (BT Financial Group)

Insurance Leader of the Year: Mike Wilkins (IAG)

ANZIIF Lifetime Achievement Award: Steve Ball