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People power

Melbourne-based brokerage and authorised representative network McLardy McShane is growing fast – both geographically and in breadth of offerings.

But crucial to its success is the way it is approaching that expansion, with people and culture at the core of its strategy.

McLardy McShane now has 18 branches and joint ventures across Australia, with 41 corporate authorised representatives (ARs) and eight specialist divisions and associated companies.

In 2011/12 group premium income was less than $20 million, and by 2015/16 it was up to $70 million. Now it’s more than $120 million, with the AR network generating more income than the brokerage network for the first time.

Chief Executive Don McLardy tells Insurance News that a focus on “good people” dictates growth strategy, and he highlights the company’s well-documented charity endeavours as its “biggest asset”.

“We have our regional network throughout Victoria, but also in the past couple of years we’ve expanded in Sydney, we have a joint venture in Brisbane under the McLardy McShane brand, and we have just settled on a joint venture in Perth,” he says.

“We don’t go to places and try to find the person; we try and find the people first and build our business around good people.

“With the AR network, again we are attracting good ARs, building around good quality people.

“It is all about having people that add to our brand and culture and not just growing for growing’s sake. As it is turning out we are continuing to grow very strongly.”

The company has raised well over $1 million for organisations including the Reach Foundation, which aims to improve the resilience and wellbeing of young people.

Founded by Mr McLardy’s close friend, Melbourne AFL champion the late Jim Stynes, Reach and its Irish equivalent, Soar, are close to the company’s heart. But a range of other good causes, including Beyond Blue and Boys to the Bush, have also been backed.

At the end of last year, nearly 700 people attended the company’s 10th Reach luncheon in Melbourne, raising about $80,000.