Building the success story of the allied world
MacLeod insists that all achievements in Australia are the result of hiring the right people up front.
“It goes back to how Allied World was building a new office – making sure the right building blocks were in place,” he said. “The people are the most important part of this.”
He says hiring people who are willing to grow with the business helps ensure consistency and transcends how you view your business.
“You want to make sure that you are sustainable, that you provide insurance solutions to your clients for the long term while building strong brokerage relationships and a good volume of business,” he explained.
Globally, the company employs more than 1,400 people and in 2017 became a subsidiary of Canadian giant Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited. Although part of a much larger global entity, MacLeod maintains that Allied World’s ‘roll up your sleeves’ work culture has also played a key role in calling brokers and clients to work with Allied. World.
“We like to use the phrase ‘act like you own the business’, and everyone is involved in contributing ideas and implementing those ideas,” he said. . “It’s important that we build the business with team players who can balance being results-oriented while having fun on the job. “
MacLeod describes it as a start-up mindset and culture.
“At the underwriting level, this means we remain open to opportunities and focus on our service and our ability to respond well to our broker partners,” he said. “That’s really what sets us apart, I believe – that blend of local empowerment combined with the global reach and financial strength that comes from being part of the $ 19 billion Fairfax family.”
This includes cultivating close relationships with target brokers across Australia.
“We tend to focus on 15 or 16 brokers who understand our appetites and understand what we’re trying to do,” he explained. “It creates a much more efficient process – in that there is a trust that can be built up pretty quickly. “
Prior to MacLeod’s appointment to Australia, the market was in the early stages of filming.
“We have seen the start of a tightening in the market and certainly some dislocation of capacity in Australia,” he said. “Given the circumstances, we felt that with our key products we could make a difference and have a really positive impact on the Australian market. “
He attributes the company’s rapid growth to its ability to enter lines of business from which others were withdrawing.
“We have seen many market dislocations, with operators withdrawing from certain lines of business or reducing the size of their lines or becoming more cautious in Australia,” he said. “It really opened the door to allow us, certainly on the largest corporate insurance and these quota sharing programs, to offer essential capacity in what was becoming a declining capacity market. “
In Australia, Allied World focuses on: Property & Casualty, Trade, Construction & Engineering, Medical Liability, and Ocean Freight. MacLeod says they aim to build “a tremendous base of diversification” in every industry.
“In the construction industry, we recently launched our industry vertical proposition,” he said. “This is a multi-line solution for construction industry customers, allowing us to provide a single point of contact for multiple covers throughout the life stage of a construction project.
The Australian office took advantage of the opportunities, but Allied World’s senior vice president says there is actually not much difference between their lines of business in Australia and their operations in other countries.
“There is always a slight regional difference, but if you look back at the traditional business sectors for which Allied World has become best known: P&C and professional insurance, these are still our core businesses,” he said. note.
He says that culture, consistency and long-term approach are always key to any new office Allied World opens internationally.
MacLeod says service is at the center of what they do, referring to a recent company survey indicating that globally 99.9% of claims are paid without a coverage dispute and nine customers out of 10 are likely to recommend them to a colleague.
“Basically we’re here to pay claims, that’s the real job of any insurer and if you fail on that front you fail in a lot of places,” he said. “So the payment of claims is probably the most crucial part, certainly from the customer’s point of view, which means we stand behind our products and the policies that we sell. “
He says it all depends on having the right claims staff in Australia, with strong support in Hong Kong and Singapore, as well as a knowledgeable legal advisor.
“It’s based on people at the end of the day and making sure we respond well and consistently,” he concluded.