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: