Because if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably miss the most suitable route to get there

For the past 25 years, industries everywhere have been dominated by the word “change”. Technology has been the driver, making businesses more efficient, more capable of growth and more flexible in meeting new challenges.

Insurance is no exception. On a global level, the insurance industry has become more sophisticated in the way it measures risk, but it’s harder to understand just how the industry has transformed the way it works, and the way it’s going to keep developing.

Look at insurance broking for an example. A quarter-century ago, most brokers ran independent businesses with little in the way of intrusive regulation. Today, the administrative and regulatory demands are huge, and brokers have banded together to spread the load. There are more brokers, the one-time “cluster” groups are now significant players in the national economy, and competition is more intense than it has ever been.

At the same time, brokers have become far more sophisticated in the range of services they can offer clients. They now have more choice, thanks in large part to the continuing evolution of the underwriting agency sector and the entrance of new players from overseas. Data may well be king, but the need for advice is still the differentiator that maintains brokers’ dominance.

But brokers aren’t alone in adapting to a new industry. From underwriters to loss adjusters, the amount of change that companies and professionals have faced has been enormous. And the pace hasn’t slowed.

In an industry where services are so interlinked, it’s understandable that most of us can’t easily see the big picture – what insurance has become, and what it will become, the challenges we have to meet and the opportunities we all need to see emerging.

That’s the rationale behind Insurance News’ inaugural national conference in Sydney on March 19.

So there’s no confusion about what we intend to achieve with this event, we’ve titled it “Where Is Insurance Going?”

In the space of one packed day, attendees will learn where insurance fits in the local and global economy, the pressures and opportunities, the friction points that have to be dealt with, the future for today’s technology and what to expect, with an afternoon spent focusing on the year ahead. Participants will end the day with greater clarity about the directions insurance is moving in.

To make that ambitious aim possible, we’ve enrolled speakers who are tomorrow’s insurance industry leaders: people such as Steadfast Chief Operating Officer Nigel Fitzpatrick, Lloyd’s incoming Regional Director for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa Chris Mackinnon, and Envest Chief Executive Greg Mullins.

We picked our speakers on their ability to understand the myriad factors moving insurance forward. You’ll find the same kind of leaders and thinkers in our panel sessions, which will be hosted by experienced Insurance News journalists.

For details visit


How insurance got to where it is – insights

Susie Amos, Principal, Finity Actuarial 
Insurance is a balancing act performed on a base that’s always moving. Susie Amos is an insurance specialist who will set the scene for the rest of the conference as she dissects the industry’s past performance, the influences that continue to challenge us, and what we should expect in a world that’s increasingly risky.

The wide world of insurance and where it’s going

Chris Mackinnon, incoming Regional Director for Lloyd’s Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa
A former Sydney broker who rose to be a significant figure in the expansion of Lloyd’s international footprint, Chris Mackinnon is ideally placed to demonstrate how the Australian insurance market is so dependent on global capital to cover its myriad risks. The rising profile of the underwriting agency sector and competition for reinsurance in an unstable world are just some of the topics he’ll discuss in a sharp and concise presentation.

The Australian insurance industry – pressures and possibilities

Panel discussion featuring Shaun Standfield, MD, IAA; Lisa Harrison, CEO Consumer Insurance, Suncorp; Noel MacCarthy, Global Product Leader, Casualty at Liberty Mutual Global Risk Solutions   
Understanding the business and social environment they’re operating in and making it work efficiently and effectively is a challenge our discussion panel members face every working day. The panel dig into their vast experience to discuss how Australian companies are preparing for the challenges of tomorrow while grappling with the realities of today.

The friction points – relationships between insurers and brokers, regulators, customers, politicians etc, and how to improve/optimise them

Nigel Fitzgerald, COO, Steadfast
The largest broker organisation in Australia, Steadfast has business relationships with all parts of the insurance world. Nigel Fitzgerald’s broad industry experience gives him an appreciation of just how the pieces in the insurance jigsaw all fit. How fit for purpose are the various distribution arms in 2024? How could we do better, and what should we expect as the insurance industry develops new approaches and systems in a rapidly changing business world?

Affordability, availability, viability, reliability – the customer and the industry in 2024

Scott Guse, Partner, KPMG
A business specialist takes a deep dive into the business world today, examining where the opportunities are going to come for brokers, underwriting agencies and insurers. Using up-to-the-minute research, he’ll provide valuable insights into how insurance must adapt to capitalise on the challenges of a more complex world.

Technology: new tech v old tech, what the industry wants and what to expect

Panel discussion featuring Paul George, MD, MGA; Frank Costigan, MD, SafetyCulture Care; Simon Agar, Director, Zap Central; Jamie Smith, former CIO Hollard
Technology, particularly insurtech, is at the forefront of insurance industry efforts to be more effective, efficient and nimble in meeting the expectations of a more demanding customer base. But is insurtech moving fast enough? Is it too fragmented and piecemeal, and what developments are around the corner that could revolutionise the entire industry? These experts come from different parts of insurtech, and they have the answers.

A vision for the future of Australian insurance

Greg Mullins, CEO, Envest 
Stand by for a tell-it-like-it-is speaker who’s not afraid to pinpoint where insurance and insurance people fall short of their potential. Greg Mullins is a compelling speaker who’ll offer advice on how to make the insurance experience smoother and more effective, and better suited to profit from future uncertainties. Greg had 20 years’ insurance experience when he set up Envest, a broking network that also invests in and nurtures brokerages. His success came from doing things better. You’ll be inspired by this plain-speaking and passionate insurance professional.

The year ahead: where are we going?

Panel discussion featuring Catherine Carlyon, CEO, Axa XL; Jenny Bax, CEO, UAC; Mike Emmett, CEO, AUB; Jarrod Hill, Head of Intermediated Business, IAG; Tony Robinson, MD, PSC; Gary Seymour, Chairman CBN
What have you learned today? How will the new business, social and political changes sweeping the world shape the immediate future for insurance? We won’t succeed without adapting. Our expert leaders from a variety of distribution channels react to today’s presentations and give their own perspectives on what 2024 will bring.