Val Baker award winner returns from life-changing trip

Regional Queensland broker and NIBA member, Karen Hardy of ACME Insurance Brokers, has returned from an all-expenses-paid professional development trip to London, after winning Gold Seal’s 2017 Valerie Baker Memorial Award.

As part of the prize Lloyd’s Australia provided Hardy with a seat on Lloyd’s Global Development Centre Autumn Worldwide Program (Innovation and Emerging Risk) in London.

She has shared some takeaways from the trip, “I cannot begin to tell you everything that I learnt on the program as it would take up too much space, but here are some of my key takeaways; the sheer size and capacity of the market is overwhelming, there are more people in [the Lloyd’s] building than residents in my town (again overwhelming), Lloyd’s is extremely proactive in research and development. Innovation is key to ongoing success and opportunity abounds if you have the tenacity to take it.”

The annual award recognises excellence in professional practice in the General Insurance intermediary sector. Hardy has spent 21 years at the helm of the Tully based brokerage and impressed the award judges with her deeply loyal client base and her contribution to the industry.

The development program took place over a week in the iconic Lloyd’s building in London with 37 attendees from 17 countries. It focused on innovation and emerging risks and included a range of activities from presentations and workshops to spending some time on the underwriting floor seeing business being placed face to face.

Hardy added, “I would highly recommend this program to others – for me, this was a career highlight and I truly believe that anyone with an interest in our industry and/or their future within it should attend. The connections made and opportunities presented are invaluable and the content challenges attendees to think outside the square – how emerging risk will impact their communities, territories and the world.”

Applications are now open for the 2018 Val Baker Awards and will close on 1 March 2018. If you feel you fulfil the brief, or you know a high achiever who does, your nomination for this award will strengthen their career in accordance with their talent.