Thu Feb 18 2021

Ben Morgan, AM&T’s Brisbane based General Manager, Underwriting is competitive by nature. With almost 20 years in the industry, he sheds some light on what makes a great team, how AM&T have grown and developed into an award-winning underwriting agency. Somehow, he manages to liken it to a good game of cricket...

Name: Ben Morgan

Company Role: General Manager Underwriting & Operations

Years of experience: Almost 20 years in the marine insurance industry.

Describe your role at AM&T?

Leading the Underwriting and Operations team and supporting them through the day-to-day complexities of our industry. My main goal is to encourage our team to perform better than our competition and understand and meet the expectations of our brokers.

I also sit on our Senior Management Team where we work to orientate the future of AM&T.

What was your first-ever job?

My Dad used to pay me a dollar (bill!) for occasionally picking up the ‘locked bag’ mail for him at the Sun Alliance insurance office in Cairns. I used to think it was very really secretive and that I was basically an important spy because it was a padlocked canvas bag, but it was probably just insurance certificates and proposal forms.

My first proper job was pretty messy – cleaning the mud and slush out of ski busses in Tasmania in the middle of winter.

What do you enjoy about working at AM&T?

It’s been almost 9 years since we started AM&T and I‘ve really enjoyed seeing the business grow and the relationships I’ve developed along the way.

I derive the most enjoyment from leading and developing the team and get a kick out of watching our people adapt, evolve and achieve. It’s also nice to have a foot in both camps - to help run an SME underwriting agency like AM&T but also have exposure to the Global operations of Allianz.

What advice would you give a newcomer to the industry?

I believe newcomers, young or old will always learn a lot from their team, their customers and their industry contacts (including competitors).

Ultimately you’ve got to spend a lot more time than you think developing your knowledge beyond your day job, getting properly qualified and being critical of your own skill gaps.

I see the value in finding a mentor who can help you develop your reputation but also picking out anti-mentors who you don’t want to be like.

You can’t learn from or pay for experience so put your hand up, volunteer for projects, postings, events, conferences or positions outside your comfort zone.

What has been the biggest challenge while working with AM&T?

Claims are always the biggest challenge. At placement time we deal mainly with our brokers, but we have a lot more exposure to our end-clients after they have experienced a loss. At claim time, emotions can run high and there is a wide range of circumstances to consider.

I am always impressed with how our team manages claims with a balanced, systematic yet empathetic approach while making sure that policy obligations are met.

What do you enjoy doing on your days off?

I’m still trying to play cricket in my mid-forties, I sail competitively, walk a lot around the River in Brisbane and hang out with my partner and my friends.
I find it very difficult to turn down an invitation to a good restaurant and love a road trip.

shout out to your favourite charity or cause ..…

It might be a little old fashioned, but I like what the Salvos do and that they've not needed to modernise massively to keep being effective.

Quote you live by or that resonates with you.

Our CEO Steve Ford and I normally try and resolve business challenges with cricket analogies so I’ll run with:

"A prudent and capable batsman doesn’t look for the placement of the fielders, rather they look for the placement of the gaps" – Don Bradman