“I had an opportunity four years ago to head up a start-up backed by a Californian broker”, says Nick who’s previously worked for some of the world’s leading insurance brokers.
Nick shares how left a broker where he had everything available to him to start London-based Costero Brokers with a blank sheet of paper.
Garnering support from his insurance network as well those outside of the sector, Nick challenged himself to build something new with the backing of Heffernan Insurance and cites his biggest career achievement as scaling from 1-35 employees, making two acquisitions and building & mentoring talented people.
“As a small broker, you have no pre-conceived restrictions”, says Nick who also highlights the benefits of a flexible team with varied industry experience. “We need to walk, talk, look like a client. We can’t serve a client, if we don’t understand the client.”
Nick talks about being overlooked in the past and emphasises the importance of keeping your network, but says, “If the situation isn’t right where you are, move on!”
Nick shares his passion for succession planning and diversifying the pipeline of talent coming in to the industry, maintaining that insurance needs to look at attracting those from other sectors.
Talking through the skills that he demands and expects in those joining the Costero team. “Accountability is key. We want people to be their own person and feel responsible for what they bring.”
Nick expresses his biggest frustration with recruitment. “One of the toughest things is meeting talented people who have never considered this sector before.”
In conclusion, Nick encourages us to challenge ourselves, take risks and build our network. “If you have the aptitude, take the leap.”