CII President urges brokers to exit comfort zone

Group-CEO-of-Aston-Lark-and-President-of-the-CII-Peter-Blanc

Authored by CII

How to create networks to further your career, and develop the profession, was the focus of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s fringe session at the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) Conference in Manchester today (12 May).

Mr Blanc, Group CEO of Aston Lark and President of the CII, Ajay Mistry, Society of Insurance Broking Board Member, and Sue McCall, Senior manager for claims management at MS Amlin and Chair of the Society of Claims Professionals, shared how they built their own networks.

Mr Blanc said the best way to meet other insurance and personal finance professionals has always been to engage with your local Chartered Insurance Institute.

Reflecting on how 2022 marks 125 years since Local Institutes came together to form the federation that became the CII, he said attending events and dinners was a great way to learn from your peers.

To further expand your understanding of the consumers and businesses you want to assist, Mr Blanc recommended reaching out.

Mr Blanc said: “One of my early significant clients was a haulage contractor and the directors were all members of the Transport Managers Club.

“I therefore joined the club and attended countless dinners and events around the country. I was able to answer questions from other members about insurance topics and in a very gentle way became the go to insurance man for members of the club.

“This served two purposes; firstly, it helped me to truly understand what was going on in my clients’ world giving me a different perspective and secondly, it enabled me to meet prospective clients in an informal setting where I didn’t need to sell my services.”

Mr Mistry, co-founder of iCan - the Insurance Cultural Awareness Network, encouraged insurance brokers who came along to the BIBA fringe session to consider creating their own network from scratch.

He said: “Networks allow you to shape your career and the profession. Get out of your comfort zone. Approach groups and individuals you wish to engage with and understand.”

Ending the session, Mr Blanc’s last tip was a simple one he said was best exemplified by Ashwin Mistry, Ajay’s dad.

He said: “At every event Ashwin attends he always asks questions - always thoughtful and high quality, he became well known in the industry.

“Most people simply keep their hands (and heads) down when asked if they have any questions - not Ashwin.

“Everyone in attendance would know who he was and would make a beeline for him at the drinks afterwards. A great example of stepping outside your comfort zone to achieve your networking aims”

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About CII

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), the leading professional body for the global financial services profession, exists to promote higher standards of integrity, technical competence and business capability.

With over 115,000 members in more than 150 countries, the CII is the world's largest professional body dedicated to insurance and financial services.

Our membership covers all disciplines within the insurance industry (claims, broking, underwriting), those working in the life and pensions sector, the mortgage advice market and financial advisers (under the Personal Finance Society brand).

Our Royal Charter requires us "to secure and justify the confidence of the public" in our members and in the insurance and financial services sector.

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