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25 May 2013
Perth-based EBM Insurance Brokers has launched a construction, marine and specialty risks division after poaching three senior executives from Willis.
MD Alan Bishop says the appointments signal the company’s intention to be a market leader in the segments, with the six members of the new division having almost 200 years of insurance experience between them.
He told insuranceNEWS.com.au the company will provide advice from an open panel of underwriters, countering a trend for brokers to deal with a limited number to boost profits.
An EBM statement describes the hiring of the Willis executives as a “recruiting coup”.
The move led to legal action by Willis, which went to the NSW Supreme Court seeking restraints against Michael Griggs, Vincent Healy and Peter Matthews, citing terms in their employment contracts.
The case ended by agreement with court orders preventing the men from soliciting or doing business with Willis clients for set periods.
Mr Bishop says these restraints have ended and the men have been free to work for EBM since February.
Melbourne-based Mr Griggs is National Manager of the new division. He is a former director of Willis Australia and was head of Willis Construction Risks.
Mr Matthews is NSW State Manager for the division and Mr Healy is Victorian State Manager.
Mr Matthews previously led the Willis NSW construction risks team and Mr Healy was Victorian state manager for Willis Construction Risks.
Melbourne-based Trevor Stinton is the new division’s National Technical Manager, having left Aon.
Well-known Sydney maritime lawyer Anton Edwards is Marine Risk Specialist and Melbourne-based Denise Steggall is Account Director. She was formerly an account director for Willis Construction Risks.
Mr Griggs says the team has won 40 clients in the past six months, some by tender and some by word of mouth, and is now in “full go position” to generate business.
He says EBM’s private ownership, size and customer focus give it a major advantage over many larger firms.
“One size doesn’t fit all, particularly in construction and contracting,” he said. “Businesses need quality, tailored advice from experienced staff on the ground in Australia.”
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