The NIBA mentoring program turned ten this year and now nearly 500 mentor-mentee pairs have been through the program. But those involved with the program for a long time say that the program is even more relevant today than when it started.
With a transitioning market coming to play in insurance, the royal commission related bad press that all of financial services is getting and the imminent threat of disruption, strong mentoring for young professionals in insurance broking is more vital than ever.
Industry stalwarts are taking a proactive stance in nurturing the next generation of brokers. Why? Because the industry depends on it.
Nick Cook, Executive General Manager – Partner & Broker Services, Steadfast stresses the importance of giving back, “This profession has been fortunate to a lot of people, so I think it is incumbent on us to give back to make certain the next generation are equipped for the challenges of building a career in the industry.”
“It is up to us to ensure that they demonstrate the qualities of an insurance professional & look to balance their career, personal brand & their own objectives in life.”
Nobody knows better the value of strong mentoring within the industry than the 2017 Lex McKeown Trophy winner, Jeff Murdoch.
He has been involved with NIBA Mentoring since the very onset of the program and believes, “It is very important if we are to retain our identity as a profession, particularly in a time of digital disruption that our successors must understand what made us successful and then add to it with their own dynamics.”
Cook adds, “Insurance is a people business, it makes sense then that mentees and mentors get together to share their learning as well as their experiences to assist in developing a the roadmap for what can be a complex and unwieldy business landscape.”
Another long-term mentor and one of the current NSW finalists for the QBE sponsored NIBA Broker of the Year Award, David Michell thinks supporting young professional and fostering their development can also go a long way to changing the mindset many people have about the industry.
“This program allows Mentees to expand their network, which is always valuable, and it also encourages them to think differently to what they have been exposed to previously.
“Having these skills and outcomes can usually enhance their career paths and certainly lifts them to another level of professionalism and experience, which is a good outcome for our industry, and all involved including our clients.”
Broking can be all-consuming but despite its challenges can be a very rewarding profession and it is up to the more experienced executives to show the younger generation the way.
Murdoch concludes that the goals today are no different to when he started, “The landscape has certainly changed, the challenges are presented differently and as always strengthens one’s resolve to be successful to get the best outcome for our clients.”