Introducing Marjorie Adejumo, our new Head of Regional Development

Marjorie

We employ a team of regional motor insurance experts to traverse the land building relationships with brokers – wherever they’re based – and ensuring we’re giving them the support they need. At the head of this team is Marjorie Adejumo; we caught up with her to hear her perspective on the market and why she believes insurance is still very much a people business…

Tell us about your role at ERS?

It’s a new role for me and an amazing opportunity for me to connect with brokers across the country. I began my career in general insurance as a regional business development manager, so in some ways I’ve come full circle.

The ERS Regional Development team is incredibly experienced – each individual is an expert on their own region and there’s amazing synergy when we all come together to share ideas. I’m here to support the Regional Development Managers and provide strategic direction, ensuring we are flexible enough to meet brokers’ specific needs while also delivering consistency across each region.

What sort of brokers are ERS looking to target?

We’re a motor-only, broker-only insurer and work with brokers to ensure they deliver the best and accurate advice on ERS’ products. Crucially, we want to engage with brokers that recognise the value of specialist insurance, experienced underwriters and those that make recommendations that will better serve their customers’ needs.

In your opinion, what are brokers really looking for in a motor insurer?

There isn’t a one size fits all requirement as brokers come in all shapes and sizes! At ERS, the brokers we are most aligned to want to meet regularly, they want to be able to have a two-way dialogue, plan future development together and be kept in the loop on our news. In short it goes beyond the purely transactional, it’s fostering a sense of partnership.

What is it that makes ERS stand out in the market?

Well there aren’t very many motor-only insurers to start with, but I’d certainly say we stand out as specialists in our field because our team has a huge amount of passion and enthusiasm for specialist vehicles, you can ask us a question about mods, supercars or the latest combine harvester and we’ll have someone who will know the answer.

I’d describe us as an insurance boutique. We’re not too big, we have a flat structure so that decisions can be made quickly, and we’re happier taking on policies that many other much bigger insurers can’t because we have the underwriting experience and expertise to understand the risks. There aren’t many insurers that have an appetite to write a high-risk driver, hyper car, classic, tank or modified ice-cream van. At ERS, the quirkier the risk is, the better.

Brokers also love that we’re A+-rated which helps them protect their customers and their own reputation by placing business with ERS without having anything to worry about.

How has the market changed since you began working in the industry?

The biggest change I’ve seen is in the speed of decision-making. Customers want decisions in minutes or hours, rather than days, so we’re constantly looking at ways in which we can make our business more agile and responsive to brokers that need information in a hurry – such as the launch of eTrade, which nearly half our brokers have already been able to instantly quote and bind many of our specialist products.

Of course, you can’t price everything online - a great example being supercars, which are too specialist to quote online, but still need a rapid turnaround time, often because the customer is already on the way to the dealership to pick up the car by the time they get around to calling their broker! We turn those quotes around in around 2 hours, which helps broker’s get their clients on the road fast.

What other trends are you seeing right now?

I’ve been pleased with the work I’ve seen around diversity in our industry. It’s important that everyone is treated equally, but also that people are allowed to stand out. There’s less face-to-face interaction in the industry these days, with so much interaction driven via technology, you need to have impact when you do meet people.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

I’d say the trickiest part is keeping the team functioning well as a team, because they’re all remotely based. Whilst we meet once a month physically, not being together all the time makes it harder to build connections, share best practice or market intel, so we rely on technology to overcome the distance – whether that’s Skype, text, or LinkedIn, or good old-fashioned phones calls as we drive around the country.

What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt along the way?

Firstly, I’ve learnt that everyone develops at a different pace, and similarly, everyone is capable of learning something new or developing new skills – it’s never too late. I grew-up in Ghana after moving there from England at an early age. When I returned from Ghana it took me a while before I got to grips with my environment and started to flourish.

Secondly, if you’re going to lead or succeed in any area of business, you need to accept that, for all of your hard work and dedication, at times it will still feel like you’re not getting anywhere. In those moments, it’s important not to be frustrated – you need to keep doing the things that you know to be right, and trust that it’ll will deliver results in the end.

What’s the biggest opportunity for ERS in the year ahead?

I think there’s huge potential for us to write a far wider range of products with our brokers than we currently do just by reaching out through our Regional Development team and letting brokers know about everything we do. We’re speaking to so many brokers now who want to know more about all the products we offer and to work with us more closely. We’re hosting product focused events in regions all around the UK, bringing our products and propositions to life with our lunch and learn workshops, using webinars to keep our brokers fully updated. This is building great interest from our brokers and creating so many opportunities to trade through the rest of this year and into 2020.

What are your passions and pastimes outside of working hours?

My spare time is largely taken up in activities with my family or shuttling my kids to various activities and parties. I love city breaks, and enjoy HIIT, yoga or Pilates – usually before everyone else in my house wakes up!

If you weren’t in the motor insurance business, what would your dream job be?

I’d love to work in education, supporting women and children in developing countries to create better futures for themselves.

Looking for specialist motor insurance? Find your local Regional Development Manager here.

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