Honing-In on Our Teams: Global

Q&A

1. THE CRUX OF WHY YOUR TEAM EXISTS?

In a nutshell, to assist multinational companies with their insurance needs and provide them with ongoing support to run their businesses.

 

2.  QUOTE TO CAPTURE YOUR TEAM’S ETHOS / APPROACH / CULTURE?

Work hard and have fun!

 

3. IF WE WERE A SPORTS TEAM, WE’D BE CALLED …

Melbourne Global Trotters

 

4. GIVE A SHOUT OUT TO ONE CLIENT / CUSTOMER YOUR TEAM IS PARTICULARLY INSPIRED BY RIGHT NOW, AND WHY?

A well-deserved shoutout goes to our partners in the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN).

The WBN’s global conferences are usually attended by all member brokers worldwide and they provide key opportunities for us to connect and collaborate, which in turn allow us to coordinate placements for our multinational clients.

While the pandemic and travel restrictions have made these face-to-face international events impossible, the WBN invested in state-of-the-art virtual platforms to enable brokers to continue with a virtual conference.

The WBN’s efforts to overcome these challenges and make the event possible really inspired us.

 

5. REFLECTING ON THE YEAR TO DATE, HIT US WITH YOUR TEAM’S TOP 3 HEADLINES.

  • Successful placements in the Professional Indemnity Design & Construct space, given the very challenging hard market conditions. Despite the hardening market, our clients still need to continue business operations and they still require insurance. For this reason, it has been rewarding to locate the right coverage when it is required.
  • Collaborations with key partner brokers, despite the restrictions on travel during the past year. Platforms such as Zoom have enabled us to enhance our connectivity with our global partner brokers.
  • Reaching out to our clients in a more informal way during COVID was a positive way to stay connected and engaged while working from home. Being able to check in and support our clients was rewarding and further strengthened these relationships.

 

6. HONAN’S ‘WITH YOU ALL THE WAY’ BRAND PROMISE IS ONE WE’RE PROUD TO HONOUR IN BOTH OUR DEALINGS WITH CLIENTS, BUT INTERNALLY ACROSS THE BUSINESS TOO. WHAT DOES ‘WITH YOU ALL THE WAY’ LOOK LIKE WITHIN YOUR TEAM? HOW DO YOU SUPPORT EACH OTHER THROUGH CHALLENGES AND WINS ALIKE?

Being such a close-knit team, we tend to know if a team member needs support or guidance without them having to ask.  Each of us brings different strengths and perspectives, so working collaboratively helps us achieve even better outcomes for our clients.

 

7. IF YOU COULD PICK ONE BRILLIANT PERSON – DEAD OR ALIVE – TO JOIN YOUR TEAM, WHO WOULD IT BE AND WHY?

The Equalizer! (Fictional character played by Denzel Washington). He would be a great addition to the team, ensuring claims are paid to our clients.

 

8. LOOKING AHEAD, WHAT IS YOUR TEAM MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO OVER THE NEXT 6-12 MONTHS?

A big part of our effectiveness as a team is built on our relationships with partner brokers locally and internationally. The ongoing travel restrictions due to COVID have really limited our ability to connect face-to-face, so we are looking forward to doing more of this in the year ahead.

 

 

 

Meet the Honan Life team here

 

Q&A with BRIC CEO – Chris Bovill

Q&A

 

 

 

 

Last month, we welcomed leading professional indemnity (PI) and construction insurance specialists, Bovill Risk & Insurance Consultants Pty Ltd (BRIC) to the Honan family. We thought this was a perfect opportunity to share more about BRIC’s Chief Executive Officer, Chris Bovill, including what inspires him, the highlight of his career to date, and what he’s most looking forward to for BRIC in the year ahead.

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

You spend so much time at work – make sure you enjoy it! That’s my role – Manager of Fun.

 

Tell us about yourself

Insurance was my first job, which I thought was only a summer vacation role. After deferring my Construction Management diploma at RMIT for two years, I realised that money in my pocket was far more attractive!

Outside of work I enjoy socialising with family and friends, visiting my weekender in Lorne, travelling the world (COVID permitting), and playing grandad to my one and only grandson.

 

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

  • Seeing how my employees develop their skills and grow as individuals.
  • Resolving difficult and complex issues for clients.
  • Discovering what other businesses do and how they do it.

 

How/why did you come to establish BRIC?

It had been my goal to establish my own business approximately 10 years prior to actually doing it. My father ran his own business, so the concept was not unfamiliar or worrying. An opportunity presented itself where Sedgwick (my previous employer) declined to participate in a venture where a guarantee had been provided by me to the Victorian Government that an alternative insurance market would be provided as part of the privatisation of the Housing Guarantee Fund. I decided to set up BRIC with the blessing of Sedgwick and their willingness to accept me back if it was not successful.

 

Tell us about BRIC’s Top 5 milestones 

  • Convincing the Victorian Government to accept our proposed builders’ warranty insurance product in 1996.
  • Appointment as the preferred broker to members of Engineers Australia and the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors in 2004.
  • Moving into our own building in Abbotsford in 2010.
  • Securing Lloyd’s Coverholder status in 2015.
  • Being appointed as a Distributor of Builders’ Warranty on behalf of both the Victorian and New South Wales Governments in 2017.

 

Your career highlight to date?

Whilst employed with Sedgwick (now Marsh) in 1986, I was appointed as the Account Manager for Comalco, Australia’s largest aluminium producer and at the same time to Mayne Nickless, one of Australia’s largest transport services provider. It was a fascinating learning curve!

More recently – selling the BRIC business into Honan’s, which crystalised the external recognition of what we have built over 25 years.

 

Biggest change or noteworthy trends you’ve seen in the Insurance industry?

The introduction of the internet!

One of the most significant trends is the use of data analytics. Previously, a hard market meant it was hard across all lines of insurance. Now underwriters can pinpoint those classes that are causing them pain and respond accordingly.

 

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 BRIC’s success?

At BRIC we have always strived to do more than other brokers when it comes to servicing small to medium enterprises. This sets us apart from those who treat their clients the same as processing meat through a sausage factory! We highly value our sponsors and our suppliers (Insurers). We have always maintained that without either, it would be so much harder to grow and survive.

 

Looking ahead, what are you most looking forward to for BRIC over the next 12 months?

The continued integration of BRIC into the Honan Insurance Group and being able to extend our expertise further to increase the recognition of the Honan brand throughout the industry as a leader in its field.

 

Having built BRIC from the ground up, what is one piece of advice you can share with start-ups currently wrangling their formative years? 

Choose smart people to work with you; listen to what they have to say, watch your cashflow and make sure you have fun along the way!

 

 

Read more from this issue of HoneIn:

 

Read the latest Market Update for FY21 Q3

 

 

Discover where we’ve been showing up for our Partners

 

Meet Our Operations Manager, Underwriting Facilities & Strata – Matthew Henderson

Q&A

Matthew Henderson  Operations Manager, Underwriting Facilities & Strata

Office: Melbourne

Joined Honan: February 2020

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“Statistics can be used to prove anything. 40% of all people know that” – Homer Simpson.

 

Tell us about yourself

I was born and raised in Melbourne but left at the age of 21 to travel around Australia, New Zealand, and Europe, working in various pubs, bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. I eventually settled in the UK and managed a golf club in Essex. At the age of 29 I realised it was time to put some of my education to use, I bought a suit and started looking for a job in London. It was a full career pivot, beginning with a three-month contract at the Lloyd’s of London Syndicate – Beazley, but ended up as an 8.5-year stint at Lloyd’s, involving several roles at Beazley and then finally at MSAmlin as a Senior Business Analyst in their Property and Casualty Division. During this time, I also trained as an accountant. I made the decision to move back to my hometown of Melbourne in December 2019 and began the role at Honan just a few months later.

 

What does the Operations Manager – Underwriting Facilities & Strata do?

As the Operations Manager – Underwriting Facilities & Strata, I have quite a lot of scope and freedom in the business, which I really get a kick out of. Almost anything can come across my desk on any given day. There are four key parts to my role:

  1. Head up the Melbourne-based broker teams for Strata and Real Estate who look after Victoria, South Australia and Tasmania.
  2. Manage our Strata and Landlord insurance product– LIGO.
  3. Oversee national operations across all of Strata and Real Estate. This involves looking to implement operational efficiencies, building and running the data and analytics functions, helping to lead strategy and growth, and being a conduit to our Corporate Services team.
  4. Contribute to various special projects across the business.

 

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

  • I am surrounded by smart people, who are consistently willing to share their knowledge and expertise with their clients and colleagues.
  • What we do genuinely helps our clients.
  • Working within a company that has a culture of success.

 

Noteworthy trends?

Insurance cannot sit by and let the fourth industrial revolution happen around it, and all over the world the industry is taking giant strides. Honan is proactive in seeking out opportunities in this space and as an independent brokerage firm, can quickly act to stay ahead of the curve. I see technological advances as the biggest trend that will shape how Honan do business in the years to come.

 

Your core focus for the year ahead?

Continuing to drive change and efficiencies that make life easier for our clients.

 

Recommended further reading / a great online resources/a podcast?

Mr Excel forum – I’ve never had an Excel or VBA problem this forum couldn’t help me solve!

 

 

Meet our Head of Professional & Executive Risks – Henry Clark

 

 

Honing In on our partners: Global Ballooning Australia

Q&A
For almost 30 years, Victorians have been waking up to expansive skies, dotted with brightly coloured hot air balloons.  Honan has been working with commercial balloonists, including prominent operator ‘Global Ballooning Australia’ specifically, for 20 years. In that time, Global Ballooning has brought balloons to the North Pole and Dubai, developed Australia’s first commercial disabled passenger balloon, and received three Victorian Tourism Awards. We checked in with Company Founder and commercial balloon pilot, Kiff Saunders to learn about the iconic business and their resilient response to the events of 2020.  

 

THE CRUX OF YOUR BUSINESS?

Global Ballooning is a business born out of passion for the extraordinary. Initially my ballooning was pure escapism – a personal pursuit of adventure and freedom. Global Ballooning was a natural progression to keep that dream alive. It is now our mission to the give others the chance to experience the incredible world of ‘Lighter Than Air’.

 

YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HONAN COMMENCED BACK IN 2001! TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT GLOBAL BALLOONING LOOKED LIKE THEN VS WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

The new millennium saw Global Ballooning begin to expand along with our business reputation. Our company could support dedicated staff to perform specific roles, allowing me to focus on the aspects of the business that could facilitate growth. My meeting with Honan’s Alan Taylor in 2001 was part of our launchpad to our future. I wanted to provide ballooning services that encompassed the vision behind our name ‘GLOBAL’ – we needed an insurance partner who would work with us to achieve the extraordinary. The Honan partnership has allowed us to say YES to many incredible opportunities, including taking a balloon to the North Pole! In the past 20 years we have certainly managed to evolve into a world class aviation business with an international reputation for professionalism.

 

AT HONAN, WE’RE ALWAYS INSPIRED BY BUSINESSES WHO ARE BRAVE ENOUGH TO DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. TELL US SOMETHING UNEXPECTED OR TRULY DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. 

 

 

I have always been a person who sees the sum of the whole as greater than the individual. This has always been a cornerstone of our business ethos. Our business is a part of the wider community and it is our responsibility to add value through our business practices. My proudest achievement is the designing and building of a balloon that allows access to those living with a disability. Our ethical business practices also include sustainable business practices and giving back to our local community through assistance with education and community courses.

 

INNOVATIVE CULTURES AND A COMMITMENT TO ONGOING EVOLUTION ARE COMMON HALLMARKS OF SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL ORGANISATIONS TODAY. WHAT DOES INNOVATION LOOK LIKE / MEAN TO YOUR BUSINESS?

Innovation is everything when your aim is to be the market leader. We never want to be caught looking over our shoulder when we live in an age where you can envisage and implement in such short time frames. I really like the phrase – ‘the main recipe for growth is to fail often, fail fast and fail at low cost’ – basically don’t let fear be a barrier to innovation; within failure there are great understandings and of course, success.

 

2020 SAW YOUR FLIGHTS GROUNDED IN ACCORDANCE WITH COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS. HOW DID THE BUSINESS STAY RESILIENT DURING THIS TIME? 

2020 is a business year I would rather forget. It has been confronting to be faced with the reality that (as an entrepreneur who has spent 28 years rolling with the punches to shape my business) that there are situations like this that strip you of being the ‘master of your own destiny’. This is particularly difficult for a free-spirited individual and it has taken some time to adjust. Resilience for us has been to keep the team connected and engaged whilst being completely apart. Over the 7 months we were grounded, we have achieved significant internal efficiencies, attracted a new client and built a community balloon. We started the lockdown knowing we needed to see the opportunities within the disaster. I am happy to report that we never lost sight of that, even though there were a few tears.

 

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?

 

Relationships in business, as in life, are an essential aspect of success. For us, our connection with the wider tourism industry, stakeholders and business partners is ever-present. We highly value working with people whose values and energy align with ours. I will always value loyalty, commitment and service over cost. It always gives me great pleasure to find I have been dealing with the same people for decades.

 

 

YOU HAVE AN IMPRESSIVE TRACK RECORD, BUT NATURALLY, HOT AIR BALLOONING MUST HAVE RISKS. WHAT ARE THE TOP 3 WAYS HONAN HAS SUPPORTED YOUR BUSINESS OVER THE TIME WE’VE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER?

Risk mitigation and management is the single biggest operational focus of our business. As a Charter Airline we are required to comply with the Civil Aviation Act. This is where my relationship with Honan’s Alan Taylor has been crucial. In 2001, I decided we needed a Melbourne-based Insurance Broker who could work with us on an aviation policy that would service our needs and comply with the Civil Aviation Carriers Liability Act. At the time, Honan did not offer this service but they worked with us to establish connections in London who could underwrite our risk (even though the book of business was extremely small). We travelled to London to present to the underwriter a 10-point policy wish list that removed the grey areas in our existing policy.

Specifically, Honan’s solution:

  • connected Ground Risk and Aviation risk (vs two different policies)
  • allowed us to have an insurer appointed Risk Controller to deal with Brand Protection in event of an incident
  • offered a policy reward for a higher operational Risk Management profile.

This was my and Honan’s first introduction to Graham Roberts and the Lloyd’s underwriting syndicate. It was by far one of the most beneficial trips I have made in my business life. This relationship has lasted nearly 20 years and I still deal with the same three people.

What are the benefits? Well, when we want to take a hot air balloon on a nuclear icebreaker to the North Pole so we can take guests up and down on a tether or put a balloon in the middle of San Paolo with $20M cover – we know who will help. Flying over the desert, mountains, cities – filming, adventure, training – this is what we do, and the secret of our success is to be able to say yes and move fast. Global Ballooning has never been knocked back on even our most unusual requests. This is what happens when all parties know there are professionals in the room and trust is absolute.

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE BUSINESS OVER THE NEXT 6-12 MONTHS?

I’m most excited about launching our ‘Love Letter to Melbourne’ balloon. This is the final step in a community funded project, a symbol of hope and resilience for our amazing city. The creativity and energy invested in this project has kept our team

 inspired and engaged at a time when there has been so much pain and hardship in our community and the tourism industry. It’s our hope that our Love Letter to Melbourne will brighten the sky and people’s lives!

 

Editor’s Note: Honan is proud to be supporting the Love Letter to Melbourne initiative. The initiative launched on 30 March 2021.

 

 

Discover more in our Partner Q&A Series: Catapult Sports.

Meet Our Key Account Manager – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions: Alexia Poulos

Q&A

Alexia Poulos Key Account Manager, Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions

Office: Melbourne

Joined Honan: May 2018

 

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“Absorb what is useful, reject what is useless, add what is essentially your own”– Bruce Lee.

This quote really resonates with me because it highlights how everyone’s path is unique and we all have our own ways of defining success.

 

Tell us about yourself

I joined the Honan team almost three years ago, after 12 years at Aon. I started in Claims and moved into Commercial broking and then into the Global team. After many years at Aon, I decided it was time for some new challenges and a fresh approach, so I made the move to Honan in 2018 and joined the Corporate Insurance team. I spent time working on our Corporate accounts in Victoria, and was later promoted to Key Account Manager, where I’ve been broadening my skillset, focusing on Best Practice and honing our client service methodology across the Corporate business.

Outside of work, I really enjoy Olympic Weightlifting, which I originally discovered through CrossFit. I’m very much looking forward to getting back into it now that isolation has ended in Victoria!

 

What does Key Account Manager – Corporate Insurance & Risk Solutions do?

My role has two key elements. The first is to ensure consistency of service delivery, insights, and data analytics across each of our key client accounts, nationally. This is part of how we constantly challenge and develop the new gold standard for our clients. The second aspect is contributing to tenders and engaging with prospects throughout the process. I also onboard new clients, to ensure the transition process is as seamless as possible.

 

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

COLLABORATING with clients to achieve the best results together, especially for hard to place risks when the market is tough. I love problem solving!

WORKING WITH TALENTED PEOPLE across the industry who challenge and inspire through education and example.

CHALLENGE – there’s always something new to learn in this industry.

 

Biggest learning from your time at Honan?

Honan has grown and changed so much in the three years I’ve been here. This has taught me how quickly we can adapt to an ever-changing market by leveraging the skills and experience within our team and our networks.

 

Your core focus for the year ahead? 

This year, I’ll continue to partner with our clients and enable them to make informed risk decisions. I’ll also be spending time in our Singapore office working on a new project, which is sure to be an incredible learning experience!

 

Noteworthy trends?

Clients who continue to take a more collaborative approach with the market are helping to drive optimal results in challenging conditions. It all comes back to maximising the tripartite relationship between the client, broker, and insurer to compile a comprehensive submission.

 

Recommended further reading/a great online resource/podcast?

Devs is an excellent drama. Watch Upload for a more light-hearted version!

 

 

Meet our Head of Professional & Executive Risks – Henry Clark

 

 

Meet our Head of Professional & Executive Risks – Henry Clark

Q&A

Henry Clark – Head of Professional & Executive Risks

Office: Sydney

Joined Honan: January 2013

 

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“When you’re on top of your game, change your game” – The All Blacks.

This is a lesson in always improving, in never becoming complacent. We are always looking to raise the bar at Honan.

 

Tell us about yourself

I grew up on the Lower North Shore of Sydney with my parents and 7 siblings (5 brothers, 2 sisters). Most of my childhood was spent outdoors playing rugby, cricket, golf, basketball and enjoying the great beaches and Harbour Sydney has on offer.

I began my insurance career 15 years ago, managing general insurance claims. I then took an opportunity to live and travel around Europe by playing rugby in the Netherlands, which was a great experience. When I returned, I joined Marsh FINPRO, supporting a senior broker servicing large ASX risk managed accounts. I was recruited to Honan in 2013 by our now CEO Andrew Fluitsma to lead Honan’s NSW Financial Lines Portfolio. This role has since expanded across the Group and I contribute to the strategic direction of the company as a member of our Extended Leadership Team.

Outside of work, I spend as much time as I can with my daughter Madeleine and my amazing wife Katie where we live on the Northern Beaches. As an ex-player, I stay involved with the Mosman Rugby Club (Whales) as their Old Boys representative. The Whales are a successful rugby club, which Honan proudly supports.

 

What does the Head of Professional & Executive Risks do?

I have responsibility for the growth and retention our of Professional and Executive Risks Portfolio and managing a team of specialist brokers. My role includes negotiating our insurer agreements, placing our large and complex corporate risks, presenting results and market intelligence to boards, executives, and our wider Honan network, and mentoring our younger staff.

 

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

THE VARIETY – We are fortunate to provide advice to a range of different industries, including financial institutions, technology and telecommunications, real estate, life sciences, healthcare, retail, construction, and professional services firms.

THE COMPLEXITY – As insurance and risk partners, we are given deep insights into our clients’ strategic direction and operational frameworks. 

THE PEOPLE I have been fortunate to meet and learn from many smart, passionate, and driven individuals who are experts in their chosen professions. What I might learn tomorrow from an existing or prospective client continues to motivate me each day.

 

Biggest learning from your time at Honan?

How to adapt to change.

We have been fortunate to have exponential growth at Honan. Over the years, this has included multiple office moves, setting up new locations (interstate and overseas) and staff changes, all of which brings a new set of challenges. Throughout this evolution, we have always stayed true to the fundamental characteristics that propelled us to this position.

 

Your core focus for the year ahead? 

Visiting our clients and partners face to face as much as possible now 2020 is behind us!

 

Noteworthy trends?

The way organisations have adapted to flexible working policies has been refreshing to witness and I will be intrigued to see how it continues to develop. The trust employers have in staff to deliver – no matter where or what time of the day is excellent.

Despite this change in mindset, I still value collaborating and bouncing ideas around in the office environment and I am fortunate my team agree and still enjoy coming into the office regularly!

 

Recommended further reading/a great online resource/podcast?

The Hello Sports podcast:  a couple of average blokes giving their views on weekly sporting events. It’s a great way to lighten up your day when travelling to and from work.

 

Meet our Head of Strategy – Lea Mac

 

 

Honing In on our Partners: blueAPACHE

Q&A
2020 challenged business systems and technologies like never before, forcing many organisations to adopt remote working arrangements at scale, almost overnight. blueAPACHE is more than a leading technology and communication service provider; its solutions enable business growth, innovation and facilitate customer and employee engagement. As trusted advisors, blueAPACHE partners with many businesses to fast-track their digital strategies in a safe and sustainable way – including Honan. As 2021 begins, we spoke with Michael Zuppa, General Manager – Technology about blueAPACHE’s key learnings from last year, and noteworthy trends on the horizon.

 

THE CRUX OF YOUR BUSINESS?

blueAPACHE is based on the idea that people should have secure and efficient access to their systems wherever they are, all of the time. This enables our clients to achieve success, be agile and dynamic to support their own client communities.  

 

2020 SAW A DRAMATIC SHIFT TO REMOTE WORKING AND blueAPACHE WAS INSTRUMENTAL IN HELPING MANY BUSINESSES MAKE THAT MOVE. WHAT WERE YOUR BIGGEST LEARNINGS FROM THE YEAR?

  • As organisations were forced to adopt a remote working model, the swift transformation emphasised two key misconceptions:
    • Firstly, that implementing such dramatic organisational change is difficult and time consuming. COVID-19 has not only set a “new normal” when it comes to traditional workplaces, it has also set a new normal in terms of what is achievable in a short timeframe. Historically, a project might have had a 6-month deployment timetable, but COVID has expedited this, demonstrating a new application can be deployed and value realised in days or weeks, not months.
    • Secondly, from an operational perspective, many organisations incorrectly assumed that their people could not be as productive and effective when granted access to the tools to work remotely. The amazing response to the pandemic has clearly proven this wrong which will require some organisations to change their attitudes towards flexible work arrangements – it is now clear, when you give people the right tools for the job, they rise to the occasion.
  • The value of network connectivity was realised during lockdowns with the NBN retail network placed under considerable strain. Whilst it worked for many, there were instances where it was not sufficient. With agility top of mind, blueAPACHE responded to our clients’ immediate needs, designing a bespoke data and device rental solution ‘Connectivity in a Box’ which provided flexibility and cost reduction from a pay-per-month model. This reinforced the importance of home connections for employee collaboration and productivity in this new remote-working norm.
  • Organisations that were already harnessing a consumption-based, flexible application delivery supply chain model were positioned strongly to transition to the new way of working and experienced the greatest time-to-value. The traditional capital expenditure (CAPEX) hardware stacks however saw challenges expanding beyond their original intent, and thus in some cases, had to be replaced altogether.
  • Work is no longer a place we go to, it is a thing we do and should be able to do from anywhere, on any device, with a consistent and secure user experience.

 

AT HONAN, MAINTAINING QUALITY CONNECTIONS WITH OUR PEOPLE, PARTNERS AND THE COMMUNITY SITS AT THE HEART OF WHAT WE DO. WHAT RELATIONSHIPS & CONNECTIONS WERE CRITICAL TO YOUR BUSINESS SUCCESS IN 2020?

As we descended into the COVID world of remote working, maintaining our #teamblue community culture across staff, clients and suppliers was the top priority.

To counteract these workplace changes, blueAPACHE moved the traditional monthly townhall to weekly occurrences, and delivered these via TEAMS. The virtual speakerphone was used as an opportunity to connect with staff, providing an update on fluid changes to ease any COVID related angst whilst offering staff a platform to celebrate their peers with “shout outs” openly calling out a colleague who had gone above and beyond over the course of the week. Furthermore, department heads were encouraged to host daily stand ups to connect the team as a collective group, outside of 1-1 meetings.

blueAPACHE was extremely fortunate to continue our growth trajectory in 2020 with technology deemed instrumental in our “new world”, subsequently leading to blueAPACHE welcoming new members of staff, globally.

Delivering a consistent induction experience for these new members was critical to ensure they felt part of the blueAPACHE community and were well equipped to deliver in their role irrespective of the 2-dimensional restrictions.

Relationships with our distributors and suppliers continued to be critical – working with them through their change process and understanding any supply impact due to international restrictions. This positioned blueAPACHE strongly to fast-track communications back to our clients and implement contingency plans if required.

 

DATA SECURITY, PRIVACY AND COMPLIANCE WERE TOPICAL ISSUES IN 2020, AS MANY BUSINESSES RUSHED TO DEPLOY REMOTE-WORKING CAPABILITIES. WHAT LESSONS CAN BUSINESSES TAKE FROM THIS?

  1. PEOPLE, PROCESS AND TECHNOLOGY: When it comes to security there always needs to be a balance between people, process, and technology. The shift to remote working does not change an organisation’s obligation to adhere to industry compliance standards and regulations. Employees will be relying on the employer to provide guidance on how they should be working from home, and as the employees’ home inadvertently became the 2020 office, home networks were typically far less secure with printers and wireless devices connected, triggering vulnerabilities. Clear and concise policies, procedures, and guidelines along with awareness training goes a long way!
  2. POLICY REVIEW: In order help protect sensitive data, organisations should be reviewing their data classification policies and toolsets.
  3. ASD ESSENTIAL 8: At a minimum, it is highly recommended organisations align with the Australian Cyber Security Centre Essential 8 strategies to assist in protecting systems against a range of adversaries – in particular, multifactor authentication should be mandatory.

 

THE EVENTS OF 2020 DEMONSTRATED THE POSSIBILITIES OF REMOTE WORKING ARRANGEMENTS AND CHALLENGED SOME ASSUMPTIONS ABOUT PRODUCTIVITY/EFFICIENCY. WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR ORGANISATIONS ON HOW TO BEST FACILITATE A MIX OF ON-SITE AND REMOTE WORKING?

  • Equip employees with the right tools to be effective and productive when working from the office or home.
  • Portable devices support the seamless mobility between locations.
  • Standardisation of device enables higher adoption of flexible workspaces and hot desking.
  • Try having team members working out of the office on the same day.

 

WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST TECH TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS BUSINESSES SHOULD BE AWARE OF FOR 2021 AND BEYOND?

It is all about SASE – Secure Access Services Edge. SASE is the convergence of wide area networking, or WAN, and network security services like CASB, FWaaS and Zero Trust, into a single, cloud-delivered service model. With remote working being the norm, and workloads transitioning to cloud at an increasing pace, the traditional approach of data centre firewalls backhauling traffic and remote VPN users no longer suffice, especially with the high adoption rate of unified communication and collaboration platform such as – TEAMS, ZOOM and Cisco Webex.

Workspaces and Zero Trust Identity access are a complementary trend that is gaining high attention. This is around single sign on (SSO) and multifactor authentication (MFA) access into all corporate systems and data with access being contextualised based on the location and the device that the user is connecting from.

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE BUSINESS OVER THE NEXT 6-12 MONTHS?

2020 saw significant investment across both our core network and cloud hosting platforms. The new infrastructure will enable blueAPACHE to solidify our market-leading offerings into the mid-to-sub enterprise market.

These projects are in full swing and I am excited to see the successful completion of these transformational ventures so our existing and new customers can realise the value and benefits of this investment.

 

TECHNOLOGY MOVES AT SUCH A FAST PACE! WHAT INITIAL STEPS WOULD YOU SUGGEST TO SOMEONE LOOKING TO UPGRADE THEIR INFRASTRUCTURE, BUT FEELING OVERWHELMED ABOUT THE STATE OF THEIR BUSINESS’ SYSTEMS?

  • Focus on the business outcomes and desired end state.
  • Majority of vendor line of business applications are transitioning to SaaS or PaaS.
  • Ensure the future state infrastructure is consumption based and can scale in line with business revenues. Agility to expand is paramount in order to take advantage of business opportunities and provide the flexibility to retract when needed.
  • Security, Governance and Compliance should be at heart of the service.
  • Work with a trusted partner like blueAPACHE who can guide and assist you through the entire application delivery supply chain, forming the right end user – network – private cloud / public cloud – security – governance and compliance composition to suit your unique requirements. Point solution providers will use the same hammer for every nail.
  • Hybrid cloud is the new norm – right workload, right cloud.

 

Read more from this issue of HoneIn:

 

  Meet Our Managing Director – Honan Asia – Eliza White
  Discover the latest Insurance Market Updates

 

 

Meet Our Managing Director – Honan Asia – Eliza White

Q&A

Eliza White – Managing Director, Honan Asia

Offices: Singapore & Kuala Lumpur

Joined Honan: June 2019

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

‘A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work’ – Colin Powell.

My take-away from this quote is that the right dream actually takes sweat, determination, hard work and a strong moral compass to guide you on the right path. Without the latter, the first three are a disaster.

Tell us about yourself

I moved to Asia in 2015, working as an underwriter, chasing adventure and experience outside of Australia. The same year I met Andrew Fluitsma – we sat next to each other on a flight on the way to a Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) Conference in Budapest. It was my first WBN conference and I didn’t know anyone else there, but the Honan team took me under their wing! Ever since then, I watched while the Honan business evolved and grew throughout the region and was finally asked to join the team in 2019…how could I say no!

Outside of work I’ve been completing an MBA part-time over the past 18 months, so my weekends and evenings have been focused on studying and learning with a great group of people here in Singapore.

 

What does the Managing Director – Honan Asia do?

My job is to ensure the team in Asia have the tools, support and guidance to do what they do best.

I want brokers to be able to focus on their clients and getting the best out of the market, rather than being distracted by systems that don’t work or endless internal meetings.

Andrew Fluitsma’s vision for Honan is to be a market disrupter that doesn’t conform to the traditional insurance model. It’s my job to make this happen in Asia by building a team of great people who care for and support one another, while constantly challenging the way we do things. Our strength is our size – we’re agile and nimble enough to adapt to change quickly. My job is to keep challenging the process, to keep asking ‘why?’ and to keep looking for smart solutions for the business.

 

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

Number 1 – I love meeting people. I love talking to our clients, hearing their stories both personally and from a business perspective, and helping to find solutions for them.

Number 2 – We have a tremendous team in Asia that’s constantly growing. I wake up in the morning with a spring in my step knowing that I get to work with great people. When people are happy, empowered and motivated in their roles, our clients feel the difference.

Number 3 – We are only limited by our own imaginations at Honan. We have the power to create our own destinies and that is something I will never take for granted.

 

Your core focus for the year ahead? 

  • One of our four values is We See Our Clients. This will always be our core focus, regardless of how much we grow and evolve. It is at the heart of the Honan DNA.
  • Expand our product offering by creating a Reinsurance team. We hope to have the team up and running in early 2021. This will be a big step in our evolution as a company and will help deliver solutions to our clients.
  • Increase our Employee Benefits offering in Malaysia. We have incredible broking partners all over the world who we support in Singapore and Malaysia. To continue improving the support we offer, we are always on the lookout for great people who can bring new experiences and perspectives to the Honan team.

 

Noteworthy trends?

Technology is (in my opinion) what will distinguish successful companies from the less successful in the next five years. Throughout COVID we’ve seen some companies embrace technology and thrive, while others are facing significant challenges with their systems, applications and processes. Customers today simply expect that you will have technology solutions in your business that run effectively. At Honan we have completely overhauled our broking, finance and banking systems, as well as rolled out a new Employee Benefits platform, all in the past 6 months. The efficiencies that we’ll realise because of these advances set us apart from others in the market and make our clients’ user experience best in class.

 

Read more from this issue of HoneIn:

 

Find out about the latest Insurance Market Updates

 

 Discover insights, tips and trends from our technology partners blueAPACHE

Honing In on Our Partners: Rip Swim

Q&A

Honan has been working with Rip Swim for over two years,  and in what began as a night-time swim many years ago for Founder and open water swimming coach – Grant Siedle, Rip Swim now offers Australia’s most original open water swimming events. We caught up with Grant to learn more about the iconic events and how far the business has come.

 

 

THE CRUX OF YOUR BUSINESS?

To give people an exciting and truly unforgettable open water swimming experience.

 

YOUR PARTNERSHIP WITH HONAN COMMENCED BACK IN 2018. TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT WHAT RIP SWIM LOOKED LIKE THEN VERSUS WHERE YOU ARE NOW.

The event has grown steadily throughout that time. We’ve now completed 6 seasons of swims and more than 450 swimmers have braved the crossing from Point Nepean to Point Lonsdale. We’re reaching a wider audience than ever before, including triathletes and adventure enthusiasts, as well as the traditional open water groups. We also have a Byron Bay swimming trip coming up in April 2021!

 

AT HONAN, WE’RE ALWAYS INSPIRED BY BUSINESSES WHO ARE BRAVE ENOUGH TO DO THINGS A LITTLE DIFFERENTLY. TELL US SOMETHING UNEXPECTED OR TRULY DIFFERENT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS. 

The swim across “The Heads” at Port Phillip Bay was always considered illegal. We convinced the authorities that we could safely navigate our way across the shipping lanes (even though ships come in at the same time!) This feature is one of the many exciting elements in the event, and it’s quite an adrenaline rush!

 

A COMMITMENT TO ONGOING EVOLUTION IS A HALLMARK OF SOME OF THE MOST SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES TODAY. WHAT DOES EVOLUTION LOOK LIKE/MEAN TO YOUR BUSINESS? 

Every year we seek to improve our safety and streamline the entry, training and team selection process. This is a team event, so making sure everyone is working together is critical to our success.

 

 

YOU’RE A HIGHLY EXPERIENCED PRO-SWIMMER AND COACH, DO YOU THINK A HIGH-PERFORMANCE MINDSET STANDS YOU IN GOOD STEAD IN THE BUSINESS WORLD/IN SEEKING OUT NEW CHALLENGES?

Having completed several very long swims, many triathlons and surf life-saving races has given me specific knowledge about how to take on these sorts of projects. The discipline of training does help in business, but I believe it is more about having a strong vision and not worrying about the setbacks along the way.

 

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?

Having a loyal sponsor in Honan helps from both a financial perspective and from a confidence perspective. Knowing that a larger organisation (particularly one that works in the area of risk) will stand alongside you reinforces that what you are doing is well-executed and worthwhile.

 

YOU HAVE A PERFECT TRACK RECORD, BUT OPEN WATER SWIMMING NATURALLY HAS ITS RISKS! HOW HAS HONAN HAS SUPPORTED YOUR BUSINESS OVER THE TIME WE’VE BEEN WORKING TOGETHER?

Providing our Public Liability is the main factor here. The process of putting that in place involves working through a detailed plan and each year, we seek to streamline that plan as we talk with the team at Honan. 

 

WHAT ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT FOR THE BUSINESS OVER THE NEXT 6-12 MONTHS?

After the lockdown of 2020, I’m eager to see the increase in popularity of outdoor and adventure-related events. So far we’ve seen a lot of demand. I am also very excited about a swim we are likely to be running for teenagers from the Anglesea Lifesaving Club. This is a very positive initiative to engage younger people and encourage them to stay involved in lifesaving.

 

 

Rip Swim’s open water swim calendar begins in January 2021. Click here to learn more about the upcoming swims and reserve your place.

 

 

 

Discover more in our Partner Q&A Series: Catapult Sports.

Meet Our Head of Global & Networks – Steve Pappas

Q&A

Steve Pappas– Head of Global & Networks

Office: Melbourne

Joined Honan: January 2012  

 

A quote capturing your approach to your role

“Work hard, have fun, make history” – Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder).

Tell us about yourself

My first role at Honan was as the Financial Accountant back in 2012, meaning I was an accountant in my former life. In 2016 I moved to broking and have enjoyed it ever since. I am constantly meeting new people and gaining further understanding of my clients’ businesses. The fast pace of broking means every day is different. Outside of work, I am trying to catch up with family and friends…or most likely watching too much sport on the couch!

What does the Head of Global & Networks do?

My role has three key components:

  1. Placement of new business for clients locally, as well as inbound referrals from overseas
  2. Servicing our portfolio of clients and building relationships with our global networks, including the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN)
  3. Managing the Global team at Honan to continue providing our clients and our overseas partner brokers a truly market-leading service.

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

  • Understanding what makes our clients tick
  • Finding the right insurance solution for each of our clients
  • Working with a young and vibrant team.

Biggest learning from your time at Honan?

To fully engage with the people and resources available both at Honan and our partner brokers overseas. It is important to share ideas, identify past problems and develop future-focused solutions.

Your core focus for the year ahead?

I believe our clients will continue to ask to be further educated on the state of the market and the mechanisms that drive premiums and limits etc. We will be be providing that material regularly (via webinars, Thought Leadership publications, and LinkedIn updates) to help our clients have meaningful discussions within their own organisations about the insurance landscape.

Recommended further reading / a great online resource?

I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but I still read the Australian Financial Review (AFR) every day. It’s the best daily update on what’s happening in the economy and how it’s affecting our clients.

 

WITH YOU ALL THE WAY

Steve Pappas

Head of Global & Networks

steve.pappas@honan.com.au

 

 

Meet our Head of Strategy – Lea Mac

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