The journey to corporate trainer and risk advice consultant
I graduated from Oxford University with a law degree in July 1977, and by November 1978 I was working as a commission only life insurance broker in the City of London!
Over the next 10 years (from the age of 23 to 33), I built a personal client base of around 400 clients and recruited, trained, motivated and managed a team of 14 brokers from scratch.
Then in 1989, the company I was working for in the UK decided to open an office in Sydney and asked for volunteers to set it up and run it, of which I was one of 12.
Between May 1989 and December 1990 we recruited approximately 150 brand new financial advisers, mostly with no experience in sales or financial services, which clearly created a huge need for insurance training. Keen for a new challenge, I volunteered for the task.
From the early 90s, therefore, I designed and delivered numerous training courses – initially for new advisers in the area of generic sales/communication skills, and then more advanced courses in the same soft skills training area for more experienced advisers. Over time, in my adviser role I decided to specialize in the risk advice area, and so I developed more specialized training programmes around the risk advice process, still focusing primarily on the engagement skills, and also helping financial planners to understand better the role of protection in a financial plan and how to position it with clients.
By 2004, I had become a Director of Training in a large dealer group and I felt like I was back in the corporate mould I had jumped out of some 25 years ago, and I decided to go back to doing the two things I had discovered I had the most passion for, namely helping clients with their personal protection requirements and helping financial advisers do a better job for their clients.
My risk advice training and consulting business has now been operating for about 9 years and has proved most beneficial for thousands of financial advisers, mortgage brokers, and retail sales consultants, to the point that it now takes up most of my time, but I do also maintain my role as a specialist risk adviser for my personal clients.
The subject matter of my workshops/sessions/presentations is best separated into two categories, namely Risk Advice (Insurance Advice) Specific Engagement Skills and Generic Sales/Communication Skills or Soft Skills Training. Examples of some of the more popular topics can be found on the website under Risk and Generic Skills, but subject matter can always be tailored to any particular client’s requirements, so as to make it specifically relevant to their business.