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Liberty Specialty Markets

Broking doyen Frank Hoffmann dies

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Frank Hoffmann, a leading light in the establishment of professional insurance broking in Australia, died in Sydney last night after a short illness. He was 84.

Mr Hoffmann built a huge reputation in the industry as a mentor, teacher, technical analyst and writer, expert witness in legal cases, fearless and often controversial commentator on industry issues and consultant to businesses and brokerages.

Leave a tribute to Mr Hoffmann by posting a comment at the bottom of this article.

The over-riding interest in all his activities was always the promotion of technical competence and professionalism in broking.

His broking career began in 1952 at the age of 18, when he was forced to abandon his university law studies to take over the family brokerage following the sudden death of his father.

In an interview in 2007 Mr Hoffmann said the brokerage’s clients supported him as he learned the business. It thrived over the next 22 years until he sold the company in 1974.

While he then retired from active broking – he said he was “a little old-fashioned” and believed he shouldn’t set up a new brokerage to compete with the one he’d sold – Mr Hoffmann continued to influence the direction of the profession for the next 40 years.

A former president of the Corporation of Insurance Brokers – one of the member organisations that combined in 1982 to become the National Insurance Brokers Association – Mr Hoffmann was awarded the Lex McKeown Trophy in 1999 for services to broking. He was also a life member of the Australian Insurance Law Association.

Mr Hoffmann is survived by Jennie, his wife of 53 years and a family that reflects his lifelong love of the insurance industry. His son Tony (employed by QBE) is married to Samantha Chick (Quattro Risk Services), son David (Suncorp) is married to Kay (ex-Sun Alliance), and daughter Tina is married to Lloyd’s General Representative in Australia Chris Mackinnon.

There are also five grandchildren.

Mr Hoffmann’s family is planning a private funeral, with a celebration of his life to follow. will report details in The Professional section when they become available.