Honing In on Our Partners: Catapult Sports

Q&A

Honan has been working with Australia’s Catapult for over 10 years. Now ASX listed, Catapult is one of the leading wearable technology companies in the world. We caught up with Boden Westover, VP Brand & Communications, to learn a little more about the brand, and how far they’ve come since 2006.

 

 

THE CRUX OF YOUR BUSINESS?

Our mission is to offer the most comprehensive set of solutions for teams and athletes to improve performance.

 

YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HONAN COMMENCED BACK IN 2008. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT CATAPULT LOOKED LIKE THEN VERSUS WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

Founded in 2006, Catapult was only a five-person business in a windowless accelerator office when we first engaged Honan in 2008. Based in Scoresby (Melbourne), we had no overseas presence, and really no competitors having commercialised world-first GPS-based wearable technology for elite sports teams in late 2006. Catapult was listed on the ASX in 2014 and now boasts a team of 350 staff working in over 100 cities worldwide. We serve over 3,200 sports organisations in 40 sports across 139 countries, with annual revenue over $100m.

 

AT HONAN, SUPPORTING INNOVATIVE AUSSIE BRANDS ACHIEVING RAPID GROWTH AND INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM IS ONE OF THE GREATEST PRIVILEGES OF OUR WORK. REFLECTING ON THE DECADE 2010-2020, HIT US WITH YOUR TOP 5 MILESTONES.

  1. We have about a dozen league-wide deals with sporting competitions around the world, so any time we bring on an entire league (rather than an individual team) it’s considered a milestone as it helps us shut out competition and provide value to the teams within the league in a more scalable way. Our first league-wide deal was in 2015 with the AFL, followed closely by La Liga (Argentinian basketball competition).
  2.  Our Boston-based CEO, Will Lopes, joined the business in November 2019 and has already had an enormous impact on the strategic direction of the business. Will led our transition from a product-led business, to a solution- and customer-led one.
  3. In 2015, Fast Company named us the most innovative company in the world in both “Fitness” and “Big Data”, and the 12th most innovative company in the world – ahead of Netflix, Tesla, and Samsung. In 2019, we were the fifth most innovative company in “Sport”.
  4. In 2016, we acquired XOS Digital, the North American leader in video analysis technology, and PlayerTek, a GPS wearable technology engineered for amateur teams, at the same time.
  5. We launched our first consumer business in mid-2018, PLAYR, which is a dedicated wearable technology product for individual soccer players.

 

WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 TRENDS IMPACTING YOUR BUSINESS RIGHT NOW?

LOAD MANAGEMENT – controlling how much physical stress professional athletes endure during competition.

COMPUTER VISION – the interplay between wearable technology and video analysis for elite sport.

PLATFORM / MARKETPLACE – the consolidation of the elite sports technology industry, with a couple of heavyweights owning the distribution channels.

 

AT HONAN, MAINTAINING QUALITY CONNECTIONS WITH OUR PEOPLE, PARTNERS AND THE COMMUNITY SITS AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO. WHAT RELATIONSHIPS & CONNECTIONS HAVE BEEN CRITICAL TO YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS? 

Catapult is a customer-obsessed organisation that places a lot of importance on our relationships with athletes, coaches, and management within sporting organisations. We seek to empower every athlete and team on earth with technology to perform at their best.

 

WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE OR QUOTE THE CATAPULT TEAM CAN SHARE WITH AUSSIE STARTUPS CURRENTLY WRANGLING THEIR FORMATIVE YEARS? 

James Demetriou from the Australian Sports Technologies Network (ASTN) says it best when he tells new Australian start-ups to “go global or die local”. Yes, growing pains can escalate when you venture overseas, especially if you do so too early, but don’t wait until you’re “ready” to form a presence overseas. Take the leap.

 

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY

From freshly founded side-hustle, to publicly listed multinational, Honan is ready to support organisations of all shapes and sizes. To find out how we can help your people and business, please contact us at any time. 

 

Steve Pappas

Head of Global & Networks

steve.pappas@honan.com.au

 

Meet Our Head of Claims – Poppy Foxton

Q&A

Poppy Foxton Head of Claims

Office: Sydney

Joined Honan: 2012

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game” – Babe Ruth. 

 

Tell us about yourself

Eight years ago, I left Aon to join Honan as a Senior Claims Executive which involved working on a single portfolio in a team of three. Honan is a rapidly growing company, and this was my blue-sky opportunity to create a claims service that was truly market-leading, and a headline value-add for the business. I rolled up my sleeves and got stuck into claims across all lines of business. Four promotions and two rounds of maternity leave later, I now proud to head up Honan’s Claims division, overseeing a team of 20 in delivering exceptional claims solutions and services for our clients across Australia.

Outside of work, I enjoy spending time with my husband, two young boys, and two Groodles (think giant teddy bears). We all spend plenty of time at the local beach or hiking in National Parks. My husband and I are particularly keen hikers, which means we’re never short on adventures. We once got caught in a blizzard at the saddle of a New Zealand mountain during a three-day hike. I honestly thought we would perish up there!

 

What does the Head of Claims do?

My role is to design and execute the overall strategic growth and service delivery for Honan Claims, together with our subsidiary TPA service, Risksmart Claims Management. Collaborating with relevant teams across the business, I’m responsible for building strong relationships with our clients through outstanding claims results. I’m fortunate to lead a team of exceptional claims experts, coaching them to develop a commercial yet pragmatic approach to claims management, whilst building their personal capabilities as business leaders in their own right.

In today’s market, claims are becoming more complex than ever. Together with my team, I love the challenge of troubleshooting problems for our clients, leveraging our solid relationships with leading carriers along the way. A number of clients require sophisticated claims solutions for under deductible claims or captive programs. We develop and deliver solutions which save our clients time, money and internal resources through exceptionally efficient claims management.

Together with my partner in crime Lea Mac, I’m also pleased to lead Honan’s Sydney office; building  great systems and processes to ensure business objectives are met, but fostering a great workplace culture and happy, engaged staff too.

 

What do you find most motivating about your role?

I work with amazing people across the whole business – from Corporate to Strata to Operations. Getting to collaborate (and sometimes spar) with my colleagues is the highlight of every day.

Honan is quite unique in the level of opportunity available. I have never been pigeonholed to claims alone. Every day I’m faced with new learning opportunities which push me to reach my potential as a leader and businesswoman.

 

Biggest learning from your time at Honan?

With the right leadership, people can change dramatically. I’m a very different person now than I was 8 years ago. Being continually pushed outside my comfort zone has made me tougher, smarter and happier. I have learnt that people are a product of their environment, and with the right support and a bit of tough love they can surprise themselves with how far they can go.

 

Your core focus for the year ahead?

Supporting our clients in managing their risk during the Pandemic, particularly around navigating potential liability exposure in a new landscape. The industry is anticipating a number of class actions around mismanagement and employment practices to come from COVID-19. In addition, there is an AFCA test case on whether broad sweeping pandemic policy exclusions will apply to business interruption claims. We will be working closely with our clients to protect their assets and ensure they obtain the full benefits of their insurance program.

 

Noteworthy trends?

“Working from home” seems an obvious one, but one silver lining of this Pandemic has been its capacity to prove just how productive and engaged our team can be whilst working remotely. Globally, I think we will see a shift to wider acceptance of flexible working arrangements; allowing people to improve their ‘work life balance’ and enable work to be done from anywhere they please. Given our relatively young workforce and rising house prices in major cities, this marks a huge shift for professionals across the globe. A regional revolution is my bet!

 

Recommended further reading / a great online resource?

Check out the app Headspace. It is a great way to relax and switch off at night, which we all really need right now!

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY: 

You can reach me at poppy.foxton@honan.com.au or 02 9299 9767.

Meet Our Chief Executive Officer – Andrew Fluitsma

Q&A

Andrew Fluitsma Chief Executive Officer

Office: Melbourne

Joined Honan: November 2009

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room” – Confucius. 

A friend of mine says this all the time. Of course, he’s an incredibly successful guy who is likely always the smartest guy in the room! It’s a great way of capturing the philosophy that business will never grow, evolve or exist sustainably without the best, most curious kinds of people.

Tell us about yourself

A mate (Scott Cole – our Director in Perth, Western Australia) said to me – almost 11 years ago, that I should have a chat with Damien Honan; our current Executive Chairman who was the CEO at the time. I was pretty happy where I was, so had no burning reason to connect with Damien … but I did and made the decision to join that day!

I live a pretty busy life with a young family and a very active physical regime – I ride, run or do cross-fit 6 days a week. I also love to travel, which has been something I’ve really missed lately, but being home to watch my kids develop and grow into amazing little people has been a blessing.

What does the Chief Executive Officer do?

I primarily crack gags on company-wide Zoom Town Halls, and in my spare time, do a bit of work around the strategic direction of the business with Damien and our COO Laurence Basell. But ultimately I’m the steward of our brand – that’s the neatest way to capture it.

What 3 things do you find most motivating about your role?

  • Growth of the people.
  • Growth of the business.
  • Growth of the brand.

Biggest learning from your time at Honan?

If you treat people like children, they act like children, Trust, empower and believe in your people and they’ll pay it back in spades through love of the brand. There’s nothing more valuable than proud people who genuinely believe in the direction the brand is heading.

Your core focus for the year ahead?

We just want to keep growing this company.

Noteworthy trends?

Well, as funny as it sounds, I think the suit might truly be dead! To me, that marks a metaphor for the way we do work – we can be anywhere, in any time zone, and move as quickly as we want using technology as the conduit. Having said that, I think the want and desire to maintain personal, face to face meetings will always remain strong. At Honan – relationships are a core to our DNA, and a key driver in our cultural difference.

Recommended further reading / a great online resource?

You won’t find me reading self-help, management or coaching material. I think authenticity is the absolute key to leadership, so I stay away from that stuff. I listen to a lot of podcasts when I run, and I’m a massive aviation geek so absolutely loved Business Wars’ Boeing Vs Airbus.

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY: 

Email: andrew.fluitsma@honan.com.au

Meet Our Chief Operating Officer – Laurence Basell

Q&A

Laurence Basell  Chief Operating Officer

Office: Melbourne

Joined Honan: February 2019

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

I often approach things through a mindset of “it’s easier to destroy than create,” which stems from an extended quote by Ivan Kilma – “To destroy is easier than to create, and that is why so many people are ready to demonstrate against what they reject. But what would they say if one asked them what they wanted instead?” In essence, it’s very easy to throw stones, but very challenging to present new ideas – a mantra that rings true in both business and life.

Tell us about yourself

With a pedigree in management consulting, I’ve worked for many different clients across vast industries. As a result, I’ve had the opportunity to build expertise across finance, IT, strategy and operations. I commenced my career at PwC in mergers and acquisitions before shifting to strategy consulting for a little over a decade. I then went brand side, heading up strategy and finance for a start-up before a stint with a large agriculture organisation. I love the challenge of learning about different industries and organisations.

Outside of work, I have a young family (two daughters under 3) and an amazing wife whom I met at PwC. A keen cyclist and runner, I enjoy keeping fit but it’s not quite as easy as it used to be – you’ll typically find me with a child or pram in tow! Pre-parent life, I somehow found the time to break a 6 hour cycling world record!

What are the key areas you focus on as the Chief Operating Officer?

Together with our CEO Andrew Fluitsma, my role is to drive the Honan strategy to ensure we’re continuously delivering exceptional risk-protection solutions for our clients. A strong corporate services function is a key enabler of this; from leading IT systems and solutions, to robust relationships with underwriters, and cutting-edge client reporting. We’re constantly hunting for new and better ways to grow, develop and push the boundaries of what’s possible.

What 3 things do you find most motivating about your role?

We have an exceptional team at Honan, which makes it a genuine pleasure to come to work each day. Alongside their impressive technical capability and work ethic, our people are always pushing themselves to learn and develop.

For the above reasons, our culture is one of the best I’ve ever been part of – supportive, energetic and cohesive.

I’m constantly learning. Being relatively new to the world of insurance, there isn’t a day I come to work and don’t learn something new. For me – that’s a privilege.

Biggest learning from your time at Honan?

Our people genuinely live the Honan values, which drives the culture across the business with great energy. Many businesses have values emblazoned on their walls, but few operationalise them, and even fewer, truly live them. Our team also boasts rich diversity across gender, ethnicity and geography. Vast perspectives bring richness to our culture, and greater depth to our work.

Your core focus for the year ahead?

Honan has a full agenda for FY21! We will continue to strive for growth across all areas of operations, with continued comprehensive investments in IT and systems in particular. Our promise of industry-leading service delivery is paramount. We strongly believe a best in class ‘back office’ is what makes leading products and services possible.

Noteworthy trends?

The use of technology, data and analytics will become a much bigger part of our business and how we deliver value to clients. Whether it’s 3D mapping high risk buildings and factories, to ensuring efficient and effective cover through razor sharp industry or sector benchmarking, the progress and opportunities being made possible through technologies like AI are exceptional. As a business, we pride ourselves on staying atop the latest developments, and feeding them into meaningful benefits for our clients.

 

Recommended further reading / a great online resource?

Book:  Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game (Michael Lewis) – still an excellent read almost 20 years later! So much to take in terms of how to approach work and life.

Podcast:  Wind of Change. Amazing even if it is only half true.

Article:  Marathon Man:  A Michigan dentist’s improbable transformation. The things people do to pretend they’re something they’re not is really quite staggering!

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY: 

Email: laurence.basell@honan.com.au

Meet our Head of Strategy – Lea Mac

Q&A

Lea Mac Head of Strategy

Office: Sydney

Joined Honan: April 2020

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” – Abraham Lincoln.

Tell us about yourself

Prior to joining Honan I spent nearly 10 years at the Macquarie Group. My work for Macquarie included identifying opportunities for new business, setting and implementing business development strategies, and leading a team toward continued growth; as individuals, and a collective unit. These roles are ones I’m now pleased to be executing at Honan. With a vibrant personality and strong communication skills, I love the youthful energy and exponential opportunity offered by the Honan brand. Our fresh approach to client development bodes beautifully with my approach to building brands through strong financial literacy, innovative sales strategies and, above all, great relationships.

Alongside gritty commercial challenges, I love any opportunity to travel, meet new people and share a good red!

What does the Head of Strategy do?

As the Head of Strategy, I am responsible for building and nurturing powerful commercial partnerships with our clients.  My work spans go-to-market strategy, business development and leading Honan’s continued rapid growth through dynamic internal strategies.

Your Last Two Months in 2 mins?

Upskilling on all things insurance

With an investment banking pedigree, the world of financial services is far from foreign, but my insurance game is a work in progress. To level-up, I’ve been picking brains and grilling the Honan gurus; sponging new terms, concepts and processes from all departments and sectors. Asking loads of silly questions along the way, I’m looking forward to bringing an ‘outside’ perspective to the Honan arsenal.

Learning, the Honan way

Getting to know the ins and outs of the Honan culture and brand. I’ve been blown away by the diversity, resilience and talent across our team. With almost 200 employees across four countries, the Honan team is vast, yet everyone comes together at the drop of a hat to achieve the best possible experiences and outcomes for our clients.

What are your key priorities as Head of Strategy? 

My focus is on closing the gap between business development ‘concepts’, and their real-world manifestations. I’m responsible for bringing fantastic ideas to life and making sure they return worthy bottom-line results!

With an industry-leading team, high-energy culture and impressive global network, Honan has an unrivalled opportunity to lead the way with innovative digital capabilities and exceptional client experiences. Converting clients and prospects into fans who believe in, and proudly advocate for Honan will be the truest marker of our work.

Your core focus for the month ahead?

Re-inventing the core of insurance broking of course! Ok, not quite!

For me, the month ahead will be about sharpening our FY21 business strategies, policies and procedures toward some ambitious growth targets. In pursuit of this we’ll be bringing some disruptive thinking to the category.  This is arguably the most exciting (and perhaps daunting) time the insurance industry has seen, and we’re tackling it head on. With a razor sharp customer-focus baked into the Honan culture, we’ll be addressing client needs with more exceptional products and services than ever.

Recommended further reading / a great online resource?

TED Talk – Rachel Botsman – The Currency of the New Economy is Trust

Rachel is a world-renowned expert on the new era of trust and technology.

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY: 

Phone: +61 428 525 463

Email: lea.mac@honan.com.au

 

Read more from this issue of HoneIn:

Discover the latest on Honan’s partnership with Zest

       Discover our forecast of insurance trends and business implications

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