August 2012 – A month I will not forget
It has been quite a month. First up, as I mentioned last week, Zurich Insurance has agreed in principle to subscribe to PolicyComparison.co.uk. Meanwhile, another major broker also signed up to our UK service.
Secondly, Owens McCarthy has agreed to act as our agent and assist in the development and marketing of our online services in Ireland, starting with BIcalculator.ie. The management team at Owens McCarthy has a very similar philosophy to insurance and claims as I and LMI do and we hope it will be a good partnership.
On the subject of BIcalculator, one of South Africa’s major insurers has agreed in principle to sponsor the service to its brokers for 12 months, which has given the product a huge push in that country.
Following on from the trip to the UK, I visited the United States where we established a small office as a forerunner to LMI delivering its online, knowledge-based services into North America.
Last week, four of my colleagues and I delivered papers at an insurance conference in the Northern Territory hosted by TIO. The entire conference was a huge success and was very well received. So much so in fact that it looks like becoming an annual event. Congratulations to all concerned, but particularly Luke Harris and TIO.
While up in Darwin, I learned that LMI had been entrusted with a $20 million dollar fire loss in northern New South Wales.
On Friday, LMI sponsored the LMI Group Maiden Plate run over 1,300 metres in Geelong. We did this to support the Jai Roderick Memorial Race Day. The race was won by Crikey O’Reilly who just beat Manhattan Blonde. It is the first time LMI or I have ever done this and Helen, Steve and I who attended all had a great day. Congratulations to the Geelong Insurance Institute and Roderick Insurance Brokers for their efforts.
The biggest event of the month was the 9th Annual Insurance Industry Awards held in Darling Harbour, Sydney on Thursday 16th August.
I was speaking up in Darwin that morning and could only get back to Sydney on a 2:40pm flight but due to RAAF manoeuvres being held at Darwin Airport, the plane was delayed an hour. When my son Steven and I got to the hotel, we could not find the entrance and then it took an age to be served and so we were quite late getting there and 7 colleagues from our Sydney office and my wife Helen who had flown up from Melbourne thought we were not going to get there at all and if anything else had gone wrong, I probably would have called it a night and stayed in the hotel room.
It was a very well-attended night and ANZIIF is to be congratulated on a fantastic, well run evening which honours all that is good about our industry. LMI was honoured to win the Award for Innovation of the Year in 2010 for our RiskCoach product.
The surprise was that there was a new category this year: the Lifetime Achievement Award and, unlike the other awards, it is voted upon by all the senior members of the industry.
I nearly fell off my chair when my name was called as the winner. On the one hand, it was a very humbling experience but at the same time it was really great that I could share the moment with Helen and my Son Steve.
As my long time friend and former colleague Tony Morgan, ANZIIF President, read out the citation, I was shaking like a leaf and Helen got teary. I got to say a few words but I really was tongue tied and only got out half of what I wanted to say.
My sincere thanks go to the person who nominated me, who I have since learned was Mike Quinlan who helped me with the development of PolicyComparison.com and now works at Steamatic, and to all those who voted for me. I also thank Ms Joan Fitzpatrick and all those at ANZIIF who organise the awards which have become so important to our wonderful yet undervalued industry.
Finally, my thanks go to all my colleagues at LMI Group who have worked so hard to turn the dreams into a reality.
My heartiest congratulations go to all the other winners on the night.
To think the month is only half over and I know that more is to come but I am sworn to secrecy on another milestone which will occur next week.
August 2012 is certainly a month I will not forget for the rest of my life.