Alexandra Ferguson, Account Manager - Corporate Risks for Willis and Chair of the NIBA NSW Young Professionals Committee talks about a multi-million dollar dress, winning a prestigious award and Leonardo da Vinci.
Who wouldn’t want to work in an industry that is diverse, dynamic, exciting and fun every day of the week?
It may sound clichéd but I really thrive on the abundance of opportunity presented within our profession! We are so lucky as brokers to engage with so many different stakeholders in our business life, from clients to insurers to lawyers and of course, our fellow brokers. And although we work hard, we have the most phenomenal industry for networking and social events.
How would you sum up insurance brokers in three words?
Fun, focused and creative.
What’s the most important thing a broker can do to develop their business?
Develop and maintain their relationships with clients, the market, their peers and other stakeholders to their career.
What is the strangest thing you’ve ever arranged cover for?
A multimillion dollar dress that was being shipped from Paris to Melbourne for Fashion Week! It was in a bulletproof container with 8 guards 24 hours a day!
If you were Prime Minister for one day, what would you do?
Provide greater support, remuneration and celebration around some of our crucial occupations: nursing, teaching and the armed forces. They are the backbone of our society and deserve better recognition and pay.
What’s the biggest challenge facing the industry today?
A number of things jump to mind, however I think diversity throughout whole organisations is a challenge that can and should be dealt with now. All managers need to proactively address diversity in their organisations and partner with their employees to work towards solutions. There are so many statistics about the benefits of diversity – and its direct positive effect on the bottom line – that until more discipline is applied and accountability enforced, there will always be more talk than action.
What has been the highlight of your career?
By far, winning the Young Professional Broker of the Year Award for NSW/ACT in 2012. To be recognised by your peers, colleagues and clients in such a way really provides inspiration to give back to this industry to make it better.
NRL, AFL, soccer or other?
Rugby Union or AFL would be my viewing choice – and the game is OK, too!
If you could invite three people to dinner, dead or alive, and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Leonardo da Vinci – Brilliant, gifted, and a visionary. I want to see his reaction to modern technology. I also have a couple of questions like: What's with the backward writing? How were you involved with the illuminati? What happened to Mona's eyebrows?
Elizabeth I – A strong, smart, astute woman. Politically adept. I think she'd be a fascinating dinner guest who would definitely speak her mind and challenge the other guests.
Stephen Fry – Such an interesting, educated and funny guy. His banter with Leo and Lizzie would be inspirational!
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t in insurance, I would be…
Working in finance, wondering who all those people are that are out having fun and calling it ‘work’!