Experienced brokers should mentor newcomers to the industry says incoming IBAO president

Published: October 28, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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To spur interest in the industry and create innovation, experienced brokers must take on a mentorship role with young professionals entering the insurance industry, IBAO president-elect Brian Purcell said on Thursday.

Speaking at the Insurance Brokers Association of Canada annual convention, Purcell added local affiliates of the IBAO should implement programs that will help entice employees directly from high school and post-secondary.

“In our industry, we have many young brokers with a fresh outlook on our business, contemporary skill sets and a burning desire to succeed,” Purcell said during a speech at the Shaw Centre in Ottawa.

“Some people know me as a firefighter nicknamed Smokey,” said Purcell, who takes over in 2018 as IBAO president from Traci Boland.

“Everyone has a fire deep down inside them,” Purcell added. “It may not always be visible but when that fire is fed properly, you can see and feel that fire grow. Consider the fuel as the desires within the different stakeholders within our industry. Our consumers, our communities and our young brokers.”

Purcell believes young brokers “want to be engaged, valued and appreciated and many want to be the leaders and influencers in our business.”

A former chair for the Young Brokers Council, Purcell adds: “As experienced brokers, it is incumbent upon us to mentor and to engage these young brokers. Mentoring closes the generation gap and transfers knowledge and expertise. And it also improves employee retention”

The IBAO gives “fuel to these young brokers to get their career burning,” Purcell said, referencing the association’s educational and volunteer initiatives.

Local affiliates of the IBAO are “always in need of volunteers and the success of our association is dependent upon the affiliates and the members,” Purcell told IBAO members. “Affiliates also need to provide for their members in that affiliate. They need to provide information meetings, education opportunities, programs for recruiting high school and post secondary students and also grassroots contacts with their MPs and MPPs.”