Following the success of previous Rising Stars in Insurance Seminars, ANZIIF is pleased to announce the return of this event as a virtual seminar and workshop.
In this interactive event, to be held on 22 Jul 2021, a panel of the industry’s leading insurance professionals will share their industry knowledge to increase attendees’ practical skills and confidence on their career trajectory.
Daniel Sirone, Sedgwick’s Head of Claims and Building Services, will be part of the expert panel.
He completed a Bachelor of Economics in Social Science (Human Resources Management and Services) at the University of Sydney in 2002.
Sirone joined the insurance industry in 2005 as a HR Business Partner, supporting a domestic motor & home claims business within a large Australian insurer.
After eighteen months, he was inspired to approach the claims leaders about joining their business, and feels very fortunate to have them open to sponsoring his career change.
Since then, Sirone has held various senior operational, claims leadership and project roles with Wesfarmers and Insurance Australia Group (IAG).
He joined Sedgwick (formerly Cunningham Lindsey) in 2015 as the Head of Claims Solutions, before becoming the Head of Building Consultancy Division in 2018.
In 2020, he moved to his new role at Sedgwick’s, overseeing the claims management, building consultancy and repair solutions divisions across Australia.
A SOLID GROUNDING
Sirone believes that his most recent roles have only been possible because of the solid grounding he gained in the early stages of his insurance industry career.
‘I was so fortunate in my early career to be supported by a number of people who took the time to coach and mentor me, as well as back me for opportunities,' he says.
'I believe they did this because they recognised my willingness to own my career and development and to roll up my sleeves,’ he says.
Sirone is motivated to pay it forward.
He takes great satisfaction in developing staff skillsets and seeing them promoted to bigger-and-better opportunities. He welcomes the opportunity to share his advice and valuable experience and to assist Rising Stars to achieve their professional goals.
TAKING A CHANCE ON YOURSELF
He’d like to encourage people starting out to be open to change and take the opportunity to be involved in activities that may not necessarily be within their current 'swim lane'.
As the industry continues to evolve and transform, change will be inevitable.
‘Being open to projects, initiatives, and extracurricular activities not only broadens your exposure to new and different people, it creates new learning opportunities and helps you to diversify your experience,' he suggests.
'It also helps you to remain nimble and agile to change. My observation is that those who succeed and grow generally show strong ability to handle change.'
ATTRACTION AND RETENTION
Asked about how to attract and retain young people in insurance, Sirone responds ‘We have to change the notion that no one chooses to go into insurance, they just fall into it.
'The reality is, the insurance industry offers such a wide variety of experiences, challenges and opportunities to grow and it’s a brilliant industry for ambitious people to be part of.’
He adds that the industry has to find a way to undo the perceptions that ‘insurance rips people of’ and ‘insurance is really boring’.
‘Not only does the industry genuinely serve a noble purpose in helping people in their time of need, it also has the breadth and scope for people to learn, grow and develop,’ he says.
A PLACE TO GROW
Sirone argues that the insurance industry is a logical sector for people to start and grow their careers and his advice is that the industry do more to educate, inform and create awareness of itself, starting in high schools and then TAFEs and universities.
‘The work that ANZIIF and other bodies do to create this awareness and understanding is really positive and should be supported more widely by the industry,’ he says.
He challenges individual companies to play their part in attracting young talent. At Sedgwick for example, a program is being developed to bring new colleagues into the industry and then create a pathway for them to develop and progress into different roles or more senior roles.
‘We feel this is crucial to ensure the ongoing sustainability of skilled and experienced people capable of supporting the industry and their customers,’ he says.
Sirone observes that leadership is a role that people often want but don’t really appreciate or understand.
He says a true leader thinks about others first and works for the greater good. He also feels that leaders have to be prepared to step up and be accountable for themselves and their team.
‘They have to set the standard and be prepared to reflect it,’ he says.
‘Being genuine, authentic and at times vulnerable may not be easy or natural but leaders today are watched carefully by everyone around them and it’s crucial to build meaningful connections with everyone in your business, regardless of their position, status or seniority,’ he says.
TAKING PEOPLE ON THE JOURNEY
Sirone maintains that collaboration, engagement and enabling people to be part of the decision making process and resulting solutions is a sustainable way for leaders to operate.
Sirone’s top tips for anyone starting out in the industry include:
- Build a network of contacts, both within the organisation you have joined and the broader industry. There are so many talented, experienced people at varying levels who will be happy to support, guide, coach and mentor you.
- Take every opportunity to learn and grow, get involved in initiatives, put your hand up for projects, speak with your direct leader and make sure they know you are keen to develop your skillset.
- Remain open to change and be prepared to go out of your comfort zone. If you can do this, the benefits will far outweigh any pain.
- Have fun! The industry works hard no doubt, but the professional relationships and friendships that you’ll create will balance out the hard work.
Sirone is looking forward to sharing his wisdom at the Rising Stars event. Make sure you’re there.