Last week Australia’s first indigenous-owned brokerage joined Marsh as an authorised representative.
“The size scale and expertise of Marsh allows us to have a deeper and broader impact on the number of clients and prospects that we can engage with around closing the gap strategies,” says Adam Rhodes, Origin Insurance Brokers Managing Director, of the decision.
He told IRP there were two elements to the decision: first, the social narrative of helping close the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians; and second, the commercial narrative of being able to leverage all of Marsh’s resources, subject matter experts and industry experts, to offer to clients the best service in a broader framework.
“It’s great to be aligned to a company such as Marsh which genuinely believes in diversity and inclusion – something that is extremely important to us.”
Rhodes also explains that Origin remains a separate entity from Marsh: “The way we think of it is: Origin is a vehicle, an Aboriginal-owned vehicle designed to use insurance as means to engage Corporate Australia around Indigenous Engagement strategies. Marsh will act as an engine to that vehicle. We will maintain our identity and culture.”
“I think it is an opportunity for corporate Australia. It’s really in the best place to close the gap. While it might seem a bit counterintuitive, as Aboriginal issues are seen as remote and distinct, the journey is all about as, our CEO David Liddiard would say, ‘getting more blackfellas in suits’. It’s about having Aboriginals in business and there’s not a lot of that occurring at the moment.”
“We’re in a unique position as insurance brokers of talking to all types of businesses – so we can take a positive step in this. There’s a nice parallel between insurance and closing the gap: we’re turning ‘necessary ‘evil like insurance and using it to talk about social change.
“And going beyond ‘corporate social responsibility’ and trying to embed it so it has tangible sustainable impact.”