Twelve months ago Broadway Insurance Brokers chief executive Daniel Lloyd-John was appointed chairman of Biba’s Greater Manchester and West Pennines regional executive committee and pledged to put the brokerage “on the map”.
Having already served his term – and having seen the recruitment market expand due to the pandemic-influenced growth of telecommuting – he believes the industry is well-positioned to attract new and young talent.
Speaking of Insurance times at the Biba conference last week (10-11 May 2023) on the sentiment of the broking industry post-pandemic, Lloyd-John explains: “We have built resilience and are starting to do things differently [by] showing some dynamics.
“The insurance ecosystem is in a stronger position than before the pandemic.
“People are much more integrated personally and professionally than ever before – even though they are not [working] at the same place. What I see now is a more unified framework and ecosystem, and it leads to a greater respect for a person’s makeup.”
This improved dynamic is something Lloyd-John believes will help attract talent and invest in people, issues central to Broadway’s culture of hiring only top insurance professionals.
Wearing his Biba hat, Lloyd-John says the broking trade body has mobilized its Young Brokers Committee to highlight and support young achievers in the sector.
“[Biba] are doing much more to talk about insurance for universities, colleges and school leavers from the start,” he says.
The appeal of a career in brokerage has also been enhanced by its increased adaptability to new working methods, such as flexible or remote working.
While Lloyd-John believes some aspects of the brokerage business will always require in-person teams, Broadway was founded during the 2020 pandemic and has benefited from remote work tools like Microsoft Teams from the start.
“We didn’t have an adjustment period [to flexible working] – it was normal,” he explains.
“People now feel more comfortable bringing their whole selves to the workplace because the pandemic has created an injection of people’s personal lives into their professional lives.
“If you think about smashing, it’s a team sport.”
Back to basics
For Lloyd-John, the pandemic has improved employees’ ability to fully engage in their work precisely because of the sentiment, support and camaraderie that colleagues have shown each other during this time.
That’s why he believes 2023 should be about getting back to basics and focusing on four key areas – these are “reimagining career opportunities” for staff at all stages of their careers, reimagining customer experience and business differentiation, promoting of digitization and personalization and finally a “relentless focus on growth and profit” movement.
As part of this, he now believes that all brokerage staff working together in a central location every day is the best thing for clients.
In explaining his thinking, Lloyd-John divides the broker’s job into two main parts – discovery and delivery.
He explains, “Discovery is based on understanding the inner strengths and capabilities of others. It validates a set of solutions – how they go to market and how the customer looks and feels.
“[Discovery] is [also] based on understanding the customer’s needs. I would say a realtor is best in discovery mode when in front of a prospect.”
“On a delivery basis, [the broker] there is [already] figured out the issues and is now in deployment mode – designing the program before administration [it] on behalf of the client.”
Lloyd-John adds that she believes brokerage staff can learn from each other most effectively when they are available to clients in the event of a claim.
In terms of creating a strong culture of success at brokerages, Lloyd-John says Insurance times: “Larger or more established insurers and brokers have a greater challenge because they have grown through consolidation quickly and aggressively and now have multiple different cultures in one business.
“It’s difficult when you’re buying and building – I don’t think 2024 will be the year the industry changes completely.
“[Change will involve] more movement – my view is that gradual change is better.”
While incremental change is preferable, Lloyd-John notes that firms have diversified their businesses, with some looking at the entire customer and customer journey in a completely different way.
But there’s a natural check on change that’s too fast, he says.
He explains that large corporations are “informed buyers of insurance” and “will want to keep insurance fair.”