Shane Brady QPIB
Account Manager, Sear Insurance Brokers, VIC
What has been your career pathway in broking?
I started my career in insurance broking in 2009 at Sear Insurance Brokers as an assistant account executive. While learning the basics, our Director and other senior staff taught me the very fundamentals of insurance which still to this day form the base of all of the insurance-related knowledge that I have accumulated.
Within three months I was reassigned as the assistant account executive to our Managing Director, Andrew Sear. Andrew provided me a very thorough and detailed apprenticeship, teaching me more about insurance than I ever thought possible.
After spending 12 months in this role I was promoted to an Account Executive and began to take ownership of some of the accounts I had been handling for Andrew. I was assigned a dedicated assistant of my own in 2012 and my duties and responsibilities seemed to grow by the month. In 2013, I completed my Diploma of Insurance Broking, earned my QPIB status and was promoted to a Senior Account Manager. With that came a whole range of additional responsibilities and duties and, of course, many exciting new challenges.
I was a national finalist in the 2014 Warren Tickle Memorial Award, too, after winning the Young Professional Broker of the Year Award for the VIC/TAS region. That was a great experience.
What are your professional ambitions?
It has always been a long term goal to eventually own a brokerage. To be able to realistically achieve this I’ll have to dedicate many more years of time and effort into my professional development and continue to grow and refine my skill set to ensure I am adequately prepared for the challenges that come with that responsibility.
In the shorter term, I’m dedicated to growing awareness of the insurance broking profession as a rewarding and exciting career for others. My experience at Sear Insurance Brokers is proof that any driven and motivated young professional can achieve big and create a long and enjoyable career in broking, and this message is something I’m very passionate about circulating among other motivated young people.
I’m equally dedicated to helping grow and expand Sear Insurance Brokers, and owe my success to our Director, Andrew, who gave me the chance to begin to carve my own career.
Why is broker education important to you personally?
Broker education is the major pillar holding up the standard of our entire profession. It ensures we are well equipped with the knowledge it takes to work in the industry.
The level of trust clients put in their broker can’t be understated. Clients all over Australia place their most precious assets in the hands of their brokers and knowing that broker has had to go through a formal, structured education process to be qualified to handle such a responsibility should be very comforting.
Why does the QPIB designation matter to you?
Having the QPIB status is very much like a badge of honour within the industry. Knowing that someone has dedicated years of time and effort into studying the industry to a level that allows them to qualify as a practising insurance broker comes with a high level of respect.
QPIB isn’t something that gets handed out to just anybody. It’s a qualification that’s only forthcoming after a lot of hard work and study and that alone is enough to earn someone the respect of their fellow peers in the industry.
The skills and knowledge you gain from earning QPIB status is something that’s carried with you for the rest of your career. It helps you consolidate the principals of insurance and teaches the skills you need to understand the dynamics of broking.
It certainly has opened many doors for me and has has helped me become a better broker in many ways, most of all by giving me the tools and education to be a well-rounded, strong and competent broker.
How do you use the QPIB designation to market your expertise to clients?
QPIB is a qualification that separates us from others. It’s a qualification we market as being something that proves to clients we have an education that gives us the knowledge and skill to offer them advice on what they value most. QPIB is on the signature of every email I send, it is advertised on our websites and most certainly held in very high esteem within our office.
Why would you recommend new entrants to broking seek to attain QPIB as soon as they can?
Having new entrants trained and educated to such a high standard is important for the entire profession. It ensures ongoing integrity of the broker community and creates an educated culture and a stronger generation of future leaders.
What do you enjoy most about a career in insurance broking?
Broking has so many enjoyable facets. The most rewarding part is being able to genuinely help people when they’re in compromised situations. Over my career I have experienced several total loss fires; had around a dozen flood claims in the Brisbane floods of 2011; and had many long and protracted business interruption claims. Fortunately all of them ended in a favourable result. That feeling you get after helping a business get back to its full potential after such tragic events is a feeling you will only get in a handful of industries. Thankfully broking is one of them.
Apart from helping a client when they are in most need, getting the opportunity to see and experience a range of different industries is exciting. Being a broker gives you a lot of life experience that other industries just can’t offer. The learning never stops and the diversity of the responsibilities you take on keeps me interested every single day.