Travis Gauci – Head of Professionals, BRIC
Joined Honan: August 2021
What quote captures your approach to your work/leadership/life?
“Forever the student” Sensei – Patrick Pinto.
To me, this means no matter what you know, remember to stay humble, and if you stop learning then you will be left behind.
Tell us about yourself
My first introduction to the insurance industry came from working at the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) during university. This gave me the perfect introduction to a career in insurance and I pursued a Graduate role with insurance firm Willis. I worked in the Financial Lines Corporate team before transferring to Commercial Risks. I found the technical complexity of SME risks to be just as fulfilling as their larger counterparts, especially when addressing entire portfolios or even entire professions. I joined Gallagher, managing schemes and Facilities, primarily specialising in Professional Indemnity, Management Liability, and Cyber products. Most recently, I led a team of underwriters at Chubb and oversaw the digital distribution of their Financial Lines products. While I have been consistently focused on Financial Lines products, I have enjoyed approaching these risks from a broad number of perspectives spanning technical analysis, client service, portfolio management, systems and efficiencies, underwriting, and business development.
The silver lining of Melbourne’s lockdowns is the opportunity to spend a lot more time with my loving family. My two girls with a third on the way keep me very busy. Outside of work I’m a novice martial arts enthusiast, currently focused on kyokushin karate. I’ve also developed an interest in crypto currencies and blockchain technologies, and have enjoyed exploring both the technical innovations, and the disruptive changes these technologies herald.
You have just started in your new role with BRIC, can you share with us a little about what specialist skills and experience (your special sauce) you will bring?
The experience and skills and relationships already in the BRIC business are seriously impressive. My task is to leverage the collective capabilities within BRIC and the resources of Honan to amplify the talent that exists!
You have had an extensive career. Can you give us a highlight that stands out?
I could tell you about some hard-to-place risks that were highlights, but actually, what I am most proud of was leading a multi-state team at Chubb through the challenges presented by COVID and helping them to feel supported, understood, and engaged. Being virtually invited into my team’s homes really amplified the human aspect of work, and the fact that everybody was facing different challenges and a lot of listening was key.
For those that may not be aware, can you explain what the purpose of your role as Head of Professionals at BRIC is?
Working in what is arguably the hardest area to place insurance (coverage for building surveyors and engineers), the purpose of my role is to assist clients and work with our insurance partners to satisfy their requirements at the same time – and delivering all of that in a transparent way. I’ll also be focused on fostering talent and looking for opportunities to help my team develop and excel.
You have worked across Financial Lines insurance for SMEs through to large complex risks for ASX-listed companies and international corporate businesses, what is the biggest change you’ve seen in the Insurance industry in the last 5 years?
There has been a drive for efficiency and digital distribution, but concurrently, there have been significant changes in the risk landscape (e.g. climate change, cladding crisis, regulatory changes, growing cyber risks). This creates a tension for insurers and brokers to simultaneously streamline processes, while needing more information from businesses to address these emerging risks. Let’s call finding that balance an industry wide work in progress.
What was it about this opportunity that drew to join BRIC and the Honan family?
Securing insurance for complex and hard-to-place risks is incredibly energising and the societal good of the building industry has always appealed to me. The ability to work in that area of risk, coupled with the calibre of the BRIC team and the energy and resources within Honan and contributing to the synergy of the two was literally impossible to say no to!
What is your core focus for the year ahead at BRIC?
I’ll be amplifying the technical capabilities within BRIC via the resources and professionalism of Honan. I’ll be adding the sizzle to the existing BRIC offering!
Finally, can you provide us with a recommendation. A book /a series /a podcast?
Jimmy Rees’ Meanwhile in Australia series on YouTube has provided a lot of laughs lately!