Delta Spotlight - Ben Gainsford
Given the nature of the festive season, a job interview on Christmas Eve may not be the best of ideas. That didn’t stop Ben Gainsford from giving it a go, resulting in his first position in - and introduction to - the insurance industry. Turns out he has a talent for it, and Ben quickly built on initial experiences in broker support and then claims to soon move into underwriting. When his mid-20s rolled around, Ben opted for ‘the big OE’ in London, where he met his partner while also working with international insurer QBE.
A return to New Zealand together with his English rose saw Ben taking up a position with QBE in an office building subsequently destroyed in the Christchurch earthquakes. “That was interesting,” he recalls, “As we in the local insurance industry were both dealing with the major catastrophe at home whilst also dealing with it at every touch at work. Seeing how the insurance industry works in an area-wide disaster from a claims and subsequent underwriting perspective was very valuable, but hopefully a once in a career experience.”
When the opportunity to join Delta Insurance came up, he jumped. “The company has great people and a great reputation. In engagements with brokers, they all said ‘if you’re going into underwriting, Delta is where you want to be. When the market respects and likes a company, you can be sure they must be doing it right”.
Ben takes a long-term view of the insurance market, which moves in cycles. And, of course, the measure of success for an underwriter is generating returns on investment, while building a book of satisfied brokers and customers. “It’s about balancing competing interests and achieving sustainability.”
Describing himself as on the rollercoaster ride of being a ‘day one tragic’ Warriors fan, a small life-style blocker, and a hands-on parent to a 12-year old daughter, Ben also enjoys keeping fit with a spot of touch rugby in summer.