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Keep up to date with broker insights for the quarter

CGU EDGE - August 2021

1. A message from Damien Gallagher

With much of Australia in various states of restriction or lockdown, I’m reminded of how much our lives and ways of working have changed. Looking back over the past 18 months we are still trying to navigate an evolving world and stay positive in the face of ongoing social and economic uncertainty.

Watching the constant media updates makes us feel like we’re in a never-ending bad news cycle, testing even the most resilient among us. But we only need to look around us for the stories humanity and hope to know that we will come out the other side, with life eventually resuming a sense of normality. Wherever you are located, I sincerely hope that this message finds you and your family safe and well and looking optimistically towards the future.

As you may be aware, CGU has been working through some changes in our operating model. I am pleased to share our new structure has been finalised, with appointments for IIA relationships team members now confirmed. In the weeks ahead you will be hearing from your newly appointed relationship partners, who I know are looking forward to meeting their broker partners and commence planning for a successful year ahead. With Pegah Vaghaye’s leadership team now in place, I’d also like to introduce you to them in a series of Fast Five interviews.

It’s also hard to believe it’s been six months since we launched our first Broker Pulse Survey. We received an overwhelming response with some clear themes coming through about how we can improve your experience. The results have been shared within our business, with action plans underway to address areas of improvement. We’ll continue to share our progress with you and look forward to your participation in future rounds, so that we can regularly measure how we’re tracking.

We also have other positive news to share in this edition of EDGE. We have optimised our ARN process for 15T Business Pak products and our UBuild2 quoting platform also continues to grow from strength to strength, streamlining the process of quoting and binding our C&E products.

On behalf of all of us at CGU I want to recognise our broker partners for your resilience and patience during another challenging year. Amongst so much change and uncertainty, you have my assurance that our teams are well set up to deliver the service, support, products, and technical expertise you have come to expect from CGU.

Best Regards,

Damien Gallagher.

2. Build the right protection with UBUILD2

UBuild2, our enhanced online tool allows you to quote and bind your clients’ residential and commercial building risks with the most streamlined of processes. It provides you with a simpler, more intuitive experience, saving you time, whilst ensuring the right level of protection.

Available 24/7 on the CGU Broker Portal, UBuild2 lets you generate immediate policy schedules for periods of up to 18 months for individual contracts up to $5M, with an annual turnover of up to $20M.

With more flexibility than ever, you have the choice of deductibles and tailored commission levels, coupled with competitive rates across our targeted market segments.

UBuild2 provides simple navigation for a user-friendly experience every time. Now providing self-serve Certificate of Currently and schedule documents, inclusive of the new policy number, you will save time when quoting and binding the business.

Brokers around the country continue to be impressed by the ease and intuitiveness of the tool…

“For the SME space UBuild2 is a perfect tool, allowing you to generate instant quotes for Owner/Builders, Single Projects & Annual Policies for our Construction Clients. Simple to use with minimal underwriting questions allowing this quote & bind facility to be very efficient. The ability to change commission rate, assists when attacking an Account for a more competitive premium option”. Sharon Smith, Ballina Insurance Brokers

Contact your Broker Relationship Partner today to find out how you can access UBuild2.


In early May, we launched our first Broker survey - BrokerPulse. Measuring broker experience across all touchpoints of your journey within our business, BrokerPulse will help us to better understand what we do well, not so well, and importantly guide us towards making meaningful improvements.

Thank you to our broker partners who participated in the survey, adding your voice to a strong response rate that has already provided us with rich insights. We are in the process of analysing the data in detail to assist in prioritisation of actions and initiatives.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will continue to communicate the outcomes of our findings, asking you to participate in future rounds so that we can continuously measure our progress.

Keep your eyes out for your next survey invitation, which will be hitting your inboxes on in October. Please keep your feedback coming, knowing that we’re busily working behind the scenes to build the best possible intermediated experience for you.

4. Lockdown tips from CGU to you

If you’re feeling tired of being confined to the same four walls of your home, you’re not alone. Human beings are inherently social creatures, so it’s only natural to feel fatigued or a bit foggy during extended periods of isolation.

Now more than ever, it’s important to take care of yourself and help your friends and family do the same.

So, if confinement is taking a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing, here are some top tips from our team to help you combat the stay-at-home blues and keep you healthy and happy during lockdown.

Lockdown tips from a couple of the CGU team…

Scott Gangell, Manager, National Broker Groups

Try new recipes

My family have a ritual now – we try a minimum of one new meal a week to expand our recipe repertoire. We also started teaching our children how to cook their favourite meals, but this is still a work in progress!

Meditate your mind

I am a big believer in mindfulness after I learnt all about it in a leadership course a few years back. My daily mediation routine gives me focus and really sets me up for the day. It certainly helps me get through the stresses that lockdown puts on us.

Take a break

I’ve been getting outside (while abiding by lockdown rules, of course) to enjoy walks with my wife and kids each afternoon. Stepping away from my screens to get outside gives me a break from my work day, plus it allows me to spend some quality time with my family in the evenings.


Tiana Luvale, Communications & Engagement Specialist

Step outside

Being in lockdown doesn’t mean you have to stay indoors 24/7. Get some sunlight and go for a walk or relax in your backyard or on your balcony with a cup of tea. Schedule time for physical activity outside every day. For me personally, moving my body helps me calm my mind.

Create a playlist

Be entertained and uplifted by listening to interesting podcasts that feed your brain or create a music playlist that gets you moving and grooving.

Get organised

Engage in some serious home de-cluttering by getting ahead on spring cleaning. From wardrobes and cupboards to drawers, I find organising stuff to be very satisfying.

If you’ve been struggling with being in lockdown or feeling anxious and sad for more than two weeks, it’s time to get help.

There are free health services available to you that you can access from home and remain completely anonymous. You can call Lifeline on 13 11 14 for 24/7 counselling and support. If phone calls aren’t your thing, log onto eHeadspace from 9am to 1am to chat to a health clinician.

If you think a friend or loved one needs help, check out the Black Dog Institute, Head to Health or Headspace for support.

5. Fast 5 with our 5 Broker Group Managers

This month’s Fast 5 is with the fabulous 5 Managers of our major Broking Group partners. Get to know the team looking after many of your team!

  • Melissa Starfield - Manager, Broker Group - Gallagher

    1. Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your role.

      Manager, Broker Group – Gallagher.

      My role is to lead the Gallagher broker relationship team, execute on our strategic partnership initiatives, whilst delivering profitable growth across our National Broker Partnership, Gallagher. Gallagher are a global insurer, based in Chicago USA. Within Australia they have $1.5B GWP, of which CGU holds $105M, what an opportunity.

      We have a dedicated team of Broker Relationship Partners nationally, who engage & connect with the Gallagher brokers & leaders.

    2. What do you enjoy most about working at CGU?

      I’ve been with IAG for 13 years, since joining Lumley in 2008. I actually started my insurance career with SGIC, in 2000 before venturing into a Steadfast Broker business in 2006.

      I was delighted to return to Relationship & Underwriting management, moving from Lumley into CGU.

      I must say aside from the great culture & opportunities at IAG, I do love the people across our divisions. I’ve been fortunate to visit multiple states in my CGU career, and everywhere I go, the teams are CGU proud, loyal and determined to see the success of the CGU brand. And don’t forget our brokers, they too are CGU proud and I love connecting with our Broker Partners.

    3. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

      It’s a great question, and one that probably needs more consideration. I don’t really have an answer, but I want to acknowledge that the industry has been very supportive of Diversity, working parents, flexible work arrangements and education/training. As a mum returning to work, managing the challenges of school & child-care & throw in a divorce throughout these stages of my life, I was fortunate to have great support, guidance and flexibility by my wonderful leaders, over the years. We are very fortunate at IAG to have this, just ask your friends and family, as we know many are not offered the same opportunity.

    4. Name 3 things you enjoy doing outside of work.

      Attending my kids sports incl AFL, Soccer & my Cheer Mum duties.
      Running, talking about running, buying running attire & planning “runcations”.
      Socialising with my friends and family. I have a very large Maltese family.

    5. What’s your latest Netflix or Stan binge?

      How many hours have you got… Animal Kingdom, Grace & Frankie, Shits Creek, Virgin River, Ozark, Dynasty, Dead to Me and give me any of The Real Housewives with a box of Popcorn and I’m set.

  • Mark Dye - Manager, Broker Group - Marsh

    1. Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your role.

      I have over 20 years’ experience working in the insurance industry. Originally working in England in a claim’s capacity, I relocated to Australia where I have held several positions covering Claims, Underwriting and Relationship Management. In my current role as Manager, Broker Relationships, I manage the national relationship between CGU and Marsh.

      In this role I am responsible for creating and delivering the national strategy to the state-based relationships across the partnership, connecting the best of CGU with the right areas of our strategic partner. It’s not all work, work, work!

      My beautiful family keep me on my toes running to basketball, swimming and keeping our new puppy, Luna (black lab) entertained. Unfortunately, the pandemic has gotten in the way of my soccer career so not playing currently but I enjoy following the Premier League and other competitions and I am a big Norwich City FC fan – my home team!

    2. What do you enjoy most about working at CGU?

      The people – I have had the honour of working with some fantastic colleagues over my journey with CGU making my time with the company both very enjoyable and rewarding!

    3. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

      My decision to leave England and come to Australia for a working- holiday. This forced me outside of my comfort zone by meeting new people and exploring new job opportunities.

    4. Name 3 things you enjoy doing outside of work.

      Playing/watching soccer, spending time with family and catching up with friends.

    5. What’s your latest Netflix or Stan binge?

      I really like the documentaries and my kids love anything animal related so have watched a lot of David Attenborough! I now also have a chance to relive my childhood by watching Masters of the Universe: Revelation (He-Man) with my kids

  • Dean Storey - Manager, Broker Group - AON

    1. Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your role.

      Started with the organisation in February 1998, working for Commercial Union in the North Sydney office looking after domestic claims. After a few years in claims I moved into Commercial Underwriting and soon after into Business Development and Distribution. In 2010, I was given the opportunity to work interstate and was the State Sales Manager for Tasmania for 5 years before returning to Sydney. My current role is Manager, Broker Relationships looking after Aon - who have over $200M in GWP within the IAG group and 35 Branches across the country.

    2. What do you enjoy most about working at CGU?

      Our People plus being part of the IAG group – an ASX Top 50 listed company and the largest insurer in Australia.

    3. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

      The ability to work for the company in another state and Jim Karafilis had a big influence in that decision.

    4. Name 3 things you enjoy doing outside of work.

      Playing competitive golf & cricket when I can – but most of all taking my wife & 3 young kids to Brookvale Oval to support the Mighty Manly Sea-Eagles.

    5. What’s your latest Netflix or Stan binge?

      Tiger Woods Documentary.

  • Stephen Frenkel - Manager, Broker Group - AustBrokers

    1. Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your role.

      I reside in Melbourne with my wife of 26 years Jodie and my two sons Mason (25) & Ethan (22). I have worked in General Insurance for 21 years all of which has been with CGU. My role as National Broker Manager focuses on mutual growth, relationships, strategic planning and delivery in partnership with the Austbrokers network.

    2. What do you enjoy most about working at CGU?

      CGU has presented me with an opportunity to develop various skills and qualities which have been transferable across all facets of work and life. I have met many amazing people over my 21 year journey working at CGU both internally and externally and have developed many professional and personal relationships from my association with the industry.

    3. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

      I have been fortunate enough to have had many great leaders, coaches and mentors throughout my career who have all helped shape my journey to date.

    4. Name 3 things you enjoy doing outside of work.

      Fitness (resistance training), Horse Owner/Racing Industry and spending quality time with family and friends

    5. What’s your latest Netflix or Stan binge?

      Mr In-between

  • Sean Pietersz - Manager, Broker Group - Steadfast

    1. Tell us a little bit about your yourself and your role.

      I’m the National Manager for Steadfast relationship where I manage a team of seven very experienced Broker Relationship Partners across all states who service all our key Steadfast network brokers. I’ve been with CGU for over 25 years in multiple roles but mostly dealing in the intermediated division whether that be in underwriting or distribution.

    2. What do you enjoy most about working at CGU?

      The scale of the organisation, what it stands for to our people, customers and the community, and the variety it provides. I have worked with and currently work with some great people which makes going to work everyday something to look forward to.

      I always look to learn something new every day, and with working at CGU where there is always activity, this allows me to fulfil that goal

    3. Who or what has been the greatest influence on your career?

      It’s the people who have been the greatest influence over my career and there have been so many across my time at CGU. I’ve had some amazing managers, and even to this day, even though some don’t work at CGU anymore, I still lean on them for advice. But I would have to say the biggest influence for me would be my Dad. He was an insurance veteran, he got me my first job in the industry, and still takes an active interest in what I am working on today.

    4. Name 3 things you enjoy doing outside of work.

      - Spending time with my wife and 3 children and getting involved with all their activities
      - Keeping fit and healthy
      - Trying to master the art of golf

    5. What’s your latest Netflix or Stan binge?

      I’m not a big TV watcher, and it does take me a long time to get through a series, however over the last few months I have been getting through ‘Queen of the South’ on Netflix