Canadian Underwriter

Executive Outlook 2022: Shawn DeSantis, Navacord

December 23, 2021   by Canadian Underwriter Staff

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Shawn DeSantis, president and CEO, Navacord Corp.

Reflecting on 2021, three themes come to mind. First, there’s the importance of resiliency. Our colleagues and clients faced a second year dealing with COVID-19. Plus, we continued to lead teams in a work-from-home environment and faced ongoing hard market conditions.

Second was the strength and impact of data on our business and product innovation as 2021 demonstrated the power of our data bases – and using that information to create new products, programs, and preferred terms and conditions for clients.

Third, the fact that brokerage culture needs to go from good to great. The war for talent has intensified. Training, development, career opportunities, collaboration, mentoring and coaching are going to be more important than ever. Great teams don’t just happen, they’re fostered – grown.

As we think about how brokerages will change throughout 2022, the phrase “flight to quality” continues to resonate. Clients, carriers and our colleagues all expect brokerages to continue to evolve. Industry consolidation will continue but scale alone will not drive success.

Building great talent and culture will extend into 2022 as the biggest challenge for brokerages. Clients expect the highest level of technical expertise, combined with efficient and smooth customer service.

This cannot be achieved without a significant investment in talent. Brokerages need to elevate their human resource practices — adding resources and innovative recruiting strategies, building out training and development teams, supporting strong diversity and inclusion mandates, and an ESG agenda.

If Navacord plans to add over 50 new account executives to our business, we must expand beyond traditional approaches and outdated industry norms to promote a well-defined value proposition, motivate front-line leaders and increase our focus on diversity and inclusion. If you’re not ready to do that, you could very well be left behind — first by talent and then by clients.

See all the 2022 Outlooks here.