1. How did your startup/business journey begin?
Gee, whiz! This is harder to answer than I would have thought. There's probably a couple of key moments from the last 20 years that got me down the path that I'm on. I was 17 when I did work experience with AIG which got me into the industry, from here I went to Ireland in 2005 and worked in AIG's European HQ finance team.
Later, when working as the regional product manager and senior underwriter for NTI (niche truck insurer) a peer told me I should start my own insurance broking business. I ignored that and moved to Perth, taking on a Manager role with Macquarie Bank. Then 2 years ago I attended a benchmarking function for Insurance Broking. That's when the light bulb went off. Here was an industry largely unprepared for disruption and reluctant to adopt insuretech efficiencies. Throw in that the average age of an insurance broking director is nearly 60 and I knew this was an enterprise I could drive to success.
Here we are almost 12 months from opening the doors and the future looks really exciting.
2. What are you working on at the moment?
From a client perspective I’m working towards a couple of large renewals, one for a client in the car hire space and another who owns and operates a food processing business. Both are fairly unique by way of insurance requirements which is interesting.
On a broader sense, we’re in the process of improving the post renewal engagement piece that the industry has been slow to digitise. That will continue to be polished over the next 3 months with a 2020 launch for that process improvement.
3. What do you love about being a part of the Spacecubed community?
What’s not to love! The Spacecubed community is so great to be part of. My favourite five things in no particular order are:
Diversity and inclusivity – it’s a testament to the businesses that make up the space that we see real diversity across the space.
The Team – engaged, dedicated and just a bunch of dead set legends. Beginning this start-up journey as a one-man-band the whole Spacecubed crew made me feel like part of the family.
Events – things as simple as Thursday morning breakfast is a great way to build relationships and encourage the next point….
Culture – a massive testament to the space in that they continue to attract high quality businesses and individuals that contribute to a healthy organisation.
The Space – Across all the floors and all the two buildings, this is a seriously beautiful work space. People engage with their architecture of their surroundings and Spacecubed offers its members an amazing array of high quality environments to work in.
4. Can you share with us one of your favourite success stories?
Insurance is quite often a relationship product. A client will be referred to their mate Bill, but Bill works at an insurance brokerage in Sydney and has no idea what the risk associated with that client’s business actually are. I was recently approached by a rurally based client with complex insurance requirements and on review, saw that they were effectively not covered for the main function of their business… since they opened the doors in 2011. Due to our extensive network of insurance providers this was rectified pretty quickly at minimal disruption to the client’s business.
5. What do you hope to achieve in 2019/2020?
With almost ¼ of the year in the rear-view, I’m looking forward to an action packed 9 months. The business is primed to grow beyond the initial stages and this means bringing on additional resources (staff, AI, communication tools) to help service the growing customer base and enhance the client experience. Our increased network will also enable Delta to achieve our community engagement goals via donations and involvement with charities and organisations like Clontarf and Cancer Council.
If you’ve been putting off chasing your career goals, join us on October 10 for our Coworking Open Day and see how the Spacecubed community can help you achieve more.
To get in contact with James, you can find him here.