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THE FULCRUM GROUP Q&A:
WITH Robyn Petersen

- President of the IIWC

“I am very grateful for the diverse experiences and learning opportunities which I’ve had from different people throughout my career”. 

Q: Tell us a little about yourself, and how you came to your current position in insurance.

A:I started my career in the short-term insurance industry in January 2005 in an administrative role at an insurance company. I very quickly realised the potential to progress within this industry and grabbed the opportunities to study and obtain the relevant insurance qualifications which were available. I then navigated my way through Personal Lines Underwriting to Commercial Underwriting and eventually found my forte within the distribution and business development division at a Global Insurer. The bulk of my career has been spent building and developing relationships, with a key focus on new business and retention. I joined the Lombard Broker Partners team two and a half years ago where I am currently the Regional Manager of the Western Cape office.

My passion for learning and development within our industry was the main reason for my joining the council of the Insurance Institute of the Western Cape in 2017. I have since served on the Under 35s and Events portfolios and am the current President of the IIWC.

Q: Being involved with an insurance institute suggests furthering yourself, your peers, and your industry. Which of the three is most important to you?

A: The most important of the three is the industry. My reason for joining the council was my passion for wanting to make a difference in respect of the younger professionals entering our industry as well as providing our industry with a platform and opportunity to learn and grow through networking opportunities.

Q: To which kinds of people should the insurance industry be offering career opportunities?

A: The industry should be inclusive and open to a diverse group of people. Individuals with different backgrounds, skills and experience. The various roles that our industry encompasses cover such a broad spectrum and array of career opportunities.

Q: How do you see your institute helping to make this happen?

A: One of our three core pillars is Education. We provide our industry with learning opportunities via our educational webinars. This aligns with the individual’s continuous professional development requirements that need to be met. We also facilitate a mentorship program called RISE (Redefining Individual Skills and Education), which bridges the gap in expertise between our seasoned professionals and the younger individuals who are under the age of 35 and have just entered our industry.

Q: If you had to make an elevator pitch to someone on why they should belong to an insurance institute, what would you say to them before the lift doors open and they’re gone forever?

A: Belonging to any insurance institute is critical for all insurance professionals who want to advance their careers and enhance their knowledge and skills. As a member, you have access to a range of benefits such as professional development, networking opportunities and resources that can help you stay current with industry trends and best practices. This is also accompanied by being part of a community that is not only shaping the future of the industry but also giving back to charitable causes.

Q: What innovative product or service have you seen in the insurance industry that inspires you?

A: Many insurance companies are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to improve their underwriting processes, customer service and even fraud detection capabilities. These innovations are helping insurers better understand their customers as well as better navigate the evolution of risk and how to improve the overall efficiency of their operations.

Q: No doubt you’re very proud of your institute. But is there anything you’d particularly like to improve or introduce during your tenure and make it even better?

A: Our purpose as a council is always to provide our members with value through our three core pillars which are education, networking and charities. In my term over the next two years, I hope to expand on these pillars and broaden our reach not only from a membership aspect but also through more collaborative engagements with the other local institutes. I would love to create a synergy between institutes which could result in our members and partners receiving more exposure and networking opportunities, that would also result in the charities which we support having more exposure and opportunities to benefit from.

Q: Name one person in the insurance industry who inspires you and tell us why.

A: While having a single individual who inspires me can be powerful, I am very grateful for the diverse experiences and learning opportunities which I’ve had from different people throughout my career. Being able to broaden my perspective and draw inspiration from multiple sources has impacted my career positively and moulded me as a professional. Each one’s unique insights and guidance has enriched my understanding and helped me achieve my goals.

 

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