With all the broker acquisition and consolidations happening in the last several years, are there still significant organic growth opportunities within insurance brokerages, agency departments or insurance brokerage groups? Can brokerages and agency departments obtain significant annual growth without mergers, acquisition or amalgamation? There is one brokerage example that is finding the right formula that provides consistent revenue growth organically.
Stephen Billyard, CEO of Billyard Insurance Group (BIG) was awarded CEO of the Year by the Insurance Business Canada Awards in 2021. He was interviewed by Insurance Business Canada and below are points discussed in that interview.
In order to be successful in the organic space, Stephen suggests that you need to be good at a lot of things starting with business development, learning how to access your communities and form relationships with business leaders cultivating personal networks. However, brokers need a strong brand that is going to stand behind them so that they can they can be well represented in the marketplace.
Furthermore, empowering technology to make it easier for your clients to do business with you and for brokers to do business more efficiently so they can better serve their customers. Hiring and onboarding staff to grow organically is a significant challenge in business today. BIG Group has brought on over 700 agents in the last number of years into many different communities.
The mechanics of not only of finding and cultivating those insurance brokers but getting them into an office location, computer and trained to sell, is considerable work. In addition, there is the building of infrastructure to support these outcomes. Training new brokers to understand how to do their job, how to work within the BIG system, how to sell insurance, how to build those networks, how to cultivate those training courses. Additionally, to support growth, there is a need for advertising both digital and traditional, to generate leads. Finally, the work to create a distinct brand that stands behind each broker.
Attracting top talent is one of the critical elements of BIG Group growth. BIG has put some really hard work into creating their core values to make sure that they were creating a culture where people want to be working, as they spend more time in the workplace with colleagues than at home with family.
Coaching and mentoring in the insurance industry is incredibly important because the jobs that brokers do are so difficult. We need understand our client, the risk that we're underwriting and customer needs. We then need to understand the appetites and underwriting nuances of many different insurance carriers including the different technology of all those carriers.
The BIG Group did considerable work to convince the insurance industry that wasn't very accustomed to significant organic growth, about how BIG Group did business as an organic growth model. BIG Group has established itself as a national player that is continuing expansion with the support of their insurance markets and customers.
There are many opportunities to enhance organic growth within insurance brokerages or agent supported mutuals. Vision and expertise seem to be the keys to success.