AFL Corporate Broker Warren Lai took the reins as Chair of the Worldwide Broker Network Young Professionals Group in February 2019. Here are his thoughts on key talking points for 2019, and a call to action for WBN members.
With over 100 members in 100 countries around the globe, the Worldwide Broker Network (WBN) is the world’s largest fully integrated network of independent insurance brokers, collectively handling over US$50 billion in premium.
The WBN Young Professionals Group consists of around 120 future insurance leaders. We caught up with Warren Lai, the new Chair of the Group, to find out how the next generation are shaping the future for this innovative and dynamic global network.
How long have you been involved with the WBN and the Young Professionals Group in particular?
I’ve been working with WBN partners since I started at AFL in 2015. My first conference and involvement in the Young Professionals Group was in October 2016, when the WBN Global Conference was held in Singapore.
What young insurance professionals expect to gain from taking part in the Group?
The most important part of any WBN conference is always meeting face-to-face with the partners from around the world that deal with on a day to day basis, and the relationships you build with one another. Taking part in the WBN Young Professionals Group is also an invaluable experience as you get to meet many top-level executives who are willing to share their insights and knowledge.
What’s on the cards for 2019 in terms of key dates, talking points and strategy for the Group?
It’s WBN’s 30th anniversary this year so there will be lots happening at the April and October conferences – it’s a very exciting time to be involved in the network. The Young Professionals Group is also planning a leadership development programme which includes sessions at the global conferences as well as a programme of useful webinars throughout the year.
What do you think are the biggest challenges facing young professionals in the market today?
From my point of view, the biggest challenge that we have to face is also an opportunity – the rapidly developing digital environment and advancing technology. The current and upcoming generation of brokers need to work together to develop solutions that address the disruptive challenges that new technology presents and also spot and embrace the opportunities.
Critical to this will be working with young insurance professionals to improve their traditional insurance knowledge/ skills, and learn about the new and upcoming technologies.
Do you have a call to action for the insurance industry from the perspective of a young professional?
My call to action would be for today’s leaders to give the young professionals more opportunities to put their ideas forward and to take on responsibilities. They will thrive off the challenge!
AFL is a proud member of the WBN. Find out more about the network and the benefits of membership.