NIBA unveils national insurance broking award winners

NIBA unveils national insurance broking award winners

NIBA unveils national insurance broking award winners | Insurance Business Australia

Insurance News

NIBA unveils national insurance broking award winners

Awards recognise excellence in the Australian insurance broking industry

Insurance News

Roxanne Libatique

The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) has announced the winners of the national broking awards at the 2023 NIBA Convention Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony.

Held this week, the awards recognise and celebrate excellence in the Australian insurance broking industry.

Broker of the Year award winner

Barry Sonter, corporate account manager at Finsura Insurance Broking (Finsura) from New South Wales(NSW), took home the QBE-sponsored 2023 Broker of the Year award.

Sonter started his career in underwriting and then moved to insurance broking in 1981. He has been with Finsura since 1993.

Lorelle Hillman, QBE Australia Pacific general manager, partnerships, commended Sonter’s talent in building relationships.

“Over his career, Barry has fostered strong long-term relationships with many across the industry, enabling him to work collaboratively and achieve great customer outcomes on even the most complex and technical coverage situations,” Hillman said. “He has also dedicated his time to mentoring and developing colleagues, building their technical knowledge and soft skills, so they can forge their own successful paths. It’s this commitment to his customers and the broader insurance community that ensured Barry stood out, and we’re proud to recognise his efforts alongside NIBA.”

NIBA CEO Philip Kewin added: “Barry is an inspiring broker and role model, passionate about delivering outstanding service to his clients, and passionate about his role in the community. All the finalists should be incredibly proud; they’ve set a very high benchmark for the broking profession.”

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Young Broker of the Year award winner

Taylor Burstow, head of client services at East West Insurance Brokers, received the Vero-sponsored 2023 Young Broker of the Year award.

Burstow has been an insurance broker for 15 years. In 2021, he joined East West Insurance Brokers as the head of client services.

Anthony Pagano, head of distribution, commercial insurance, at Vero, acknowledged Burstow’s thirst for knowledge and passion.

“Taylor’s thirst for knowledge, his drive, and inquisitive mind truly shone through the program. In addition to his outstanding work ethic, Taylor has shown a true passion for giving back to the community, and we’re excited to provide ongoing support to him and other young brokers across the country,” he said.

Lex McKeown Trophy recipient

Gary Seymour, chairman of Edgewise Insurance Brokers, took home the 2023 Lex McKeown Trophy. 

The trophy, presented by the NIBA president in consultation with the NIBA team, celebrates a long-standing NIBA member who has provided outstanding service to the association and has made a significant contribution to the insurance broking profession.

Seymour entered the insurance industry in 1978. In the early 1980s, he established GIS with the late Graham “Bear” Stevens.

Over the years, GIS has grown into an international business. It eventually connected with Bradstock in the UK. By 2000, Bradstock GIS Insurance Broking (Bradstock GIS) had become one of the largest privately-owned insurance broking groups in Australia. In January 2001, Bradstock GIS merged with Willis Australia, with Seymour taking the role of managing director until 2008. He then became the first CEO for a joint venture in premium funding with Macquarie Bank.

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In 2009, Seymour teamed up with Stevens and other brokers, including Richard Coloretti, to establish Edgewise Insurance Brokers. In August 2013, Seymour took the role of CEO of PSC Insurance Group. Currently, Seymour is on several boards and holds advisory roles within the financial services sector.

NIBA president Gary Okely commented: “Gary has been a distinctive pillar of our broking profession for more than four decades and has made an invaluable contribution to NIBA over the years and through his tenure as a director on the NIBA board.”

Insurer and Underwriting Agency awards

NIBA announced the winners of the 2023 Large General Insurer of the Year, Specialty Insurer of the Year, and Underwriting Agency of the Year awards at the NIBA Convention Gala Dinner and Awards Ceremony too.

Vero took home the 2023 Large General Insurer of the Year award, Liberty Specialty Markets received the 2023 Specialty Insurer of the Year award, and NTI took home the 2023 Underwriting Agency of the Year award.

The winners were determined based on broker feedback through the annual Broker Market Survey, conducted on behalf of NIBA by an independent market research firm.

Commenting on the winners, Kewin said: “This year, over 720 brokers had their say through the Broker Market Survey, which is a record number and extremely pleasing result.”

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