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Episode 25

Simon Weaver

“I had no idea that I would find such an opportunity to build relationships, travel the world, understand different industries and for me to develop skills.”

Educated as a Plant Biologist, Simon Weaver has had quite the journey having chosen to relocate from the UK to Hong Kong and now settling in Australia. In this podcast, Simon candidly discusses the attributes that have seen him head-hunted by a number of high profile businesses throughout the world. A self-proclaimed advocate of making sure he did not have a rigid career plan, he believes that “you can afford a few side steps, you can afford a few mis-steps and you can even afford a change of direction as long as you’re willing to (embrace) diverse experiences.”

Simon is also a firm believer in transparency with Clients particularly when it comes to broker remuneration as it is, in his opinion, critical to enabling Brokers to articulate their value to Clients.

Accredited for 0.75 CIP points per episode

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About Simon Weaver:

  • Born near Manchester in UK. Still a tragic Manchester City fan
  • Parents had never travelled overseas. One much older sister who has coincidentally lived in almost all the countries I have, but now returned to UK where all my direct family are. Wife’s family in Mauritius and here in Aus.
  • My degree obviously had no direct link to insurance/finance
  • Started in insurance in 1988 with a Royal Insurance graduate programme in their City branch – I’d been keen to move to London and this was the first job I interviewed for so took it with no intent to pursue a career in the industry
  • Immediately on finishing 18m graduate course I moved into insurance broking in a small Lloyd’s broker RMB specialising in aquaculture (a very minor link to parts of my degree)
  • Then moved to a UK retail broker Fenchurch (subsequently bought and now part of AJG in UK) and started servicing my own client portfolio; a mix of industrial and sports clients
  • My now wife didn’t want to live in UK so I got a role with JLT in HK in 1996 through a contact and ended up managing a team looking after multinational clients. I then ran a larger global team servicing JLT’s parent company Jardine Matheson that was HQ’d in HK
  • Ended up being the youngest CEO of JLT HK after some management changes but had no prior interest in running the business
  • In 2003 was asked to move to lead JLT Indonesia which had been stagnant for some years. Had some success and moved to Singapore to be head of JLT SEAsia in 2007
  • Lead JLT Asia’s new business, all their Asia Specialty lines and SEAsia for several years
  • Was kicked out of JLT by new Asia CEO in 2013
  • After reflecting on lessons learned I became new CEO for Miller in Asia. Expected that to be a lifetime role
  • Miller sold to Willis in 2015 and was asked to move into Willis as head of SAsia which was not part of my plan
  • A few weeks later Willis combined with Towers Watson and I was made head of Willis broking business across Asia (15 countries) and had to integrate Willis and TW in Singapore
  • After 3 years came to Sydney end of 2018 to be drive growth here as head of Australasia running the broking and consulting businesses ie Willis and TW.
  • Just last November Asia was added back into my remit so still head of Australasia and again the broking business in Asia