Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Insurance Company Had Modest Origins

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Insurance Company Had Modest Origins

Article excerpt

Byline: Rebecca Marshall Rebecca.Marshall@scnews.com.au

SUCCESS TIPS

Integrity, tenacity, planning, modest spending in early days, be champions for your customers, invest in and respect staff and their input

HANG in there.

If you stick around in business for 30 years, like Brian Chatham and Ross Forbes, you too could spend a fair bit of your working week on the golf course.

But as both men will tell you, while this enviable lifestyle may look easy, it has not come easy to either of them.

The past three decades have included as many challenges as rewards, and the road to success has been bumpy.

The pair first met socially in 1977. The location was Cohuna in regional Victoria. They then worked together for 18 months at Orrs Insurance Services.

In this position, Mr Forbes travelled across Australia, and he quickly identified the Sunshine Coast's potential when he discovered there weren't any insurance advisers set up in the region.

He moved to Queensland and became a partner at Haycroft & Associates in 1981. He was keen to grow the business and called on Mr Chatham when he realised he needed more quality staff.

"I was excited by the offer and keen to expand my professional skills beyond the standard farm insurance procedures I was dealing with, but like many people who have relocated to the Sunshine Coast, the real clincher to move was the idea of a lifestyle by the beach," Mr Chatham said.

During the first few years on the Sunshine Coast, Mr Forbes played an integral role in uncovering an insurance scandal.

He discovered insurance applications weren't being placed with insurance companies and many clients who thought they were insured weren't. A subsequent investigation brought about changes to the laws.

"I acted out of genuine concern for not only the customers I had assisted but also out of concern for others who I was unaware of who could be in the same situation," Mr Forbes said. …

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