“I think running out as a front rower is a hell of a lot easier than the insurance industry!” We might have to take Brian Siemsen’s word for it.
Siemsen, Group CEO and managing director of Claim Central, got his big break in the insurance industry thanks to the sponsor of a referee whilst playing in the NRL for the South Sydney Rabbitohs.
“I was playing professional footy and AAMI were sponsoring the referees at the time and I ran into a AAMI representative after a game and I just fell into insurance after that,” Siemsen told Insurance Business
Fresh off the field from a game against the West Tigers, Siemsen originally thought he was being sold insurance rather than a career in the industry.
“I think he thought I was a builder rather than a football player, what he was saying to me at the time was ‘come and see me, I need builders,’ and I thought he was trying to sell me insurance.
“It was a funny intro but I certainly didn’t think it was going to be like this.
“I certainly didn’t think I would have a business across Australia and New Zealand. I certainly didn’t think I was going to be a technologist and on the technology side. It just goes to show that there are some really clever people across the industry and sometimes it is the simple ideas that you are passionate about that perform the best.”
Siemsen’s first job in the industry was with AAMI and it was a fateful day further up the New South Wales coast that cemented his place after he hung up his boots.
“Queen’s Birthday long weekend when the Pasha Bulker ran aground in 2007 in Newcastle,” Siemsen said of the moment he knew the industry was right for him.
“2000 claims overnight and I thought Mother Nature is definitely a business partner I need to get on to my board.”
Claim Central, set-up by Siemsen in 2002, has gone from strength to strength and remains at the forefront of technology in the insurance industry, having recently been named one of the most innovative businesses in the country by The Australian Financial Review
- beating the likes of Qantas, PwC and Deloitte.
Siemsen may have achieved many a young fans' dream by pulling on the cardinal red and myrtle green jersey but the Toowoomba native said that his career in insurance has been a blessing.
“Rewarding, challenging, emotional all come to mind in terms of this industry.,” Siemsen said of his time in the industry.
“For me in the catastrophe space, we deal with six months of the year when we are in catastrophe and it is incredibly exhilarating and exciting. Then when it quietens down we are in the innovation space trying to improve our operations for the next six months.
“I think if I were to summarise it [my carreer] I would say it was fast-paced and highly rewarding. It's an incredibly exciting industry to be a part of.”
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