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Family values: Avi Tatarka

Avi Tatarka CEO of Scott Winton Insurance Brokers

Scott Winton Insurance Brokers is built on a foundation of strong family values and lasting client loyalty. Established by the late Ron Tatarka in 1992, the business has grown into one of the largest independent insurance brokers in Australia and is now in the capable hands of his son, Avi Tatarka.

“My father started this business from scratch; literally door-knocking to sell life insurance. When I joined in 2008, he told me, ‘You’re going to have to start at the bottom and work your way up the ranks,’” Avi recalls. “And I’m lucky he did, because otherwise I would not have been nearly as prepared as I needed to be to take on the CEO role when he suddenly passed away at the beginning of this year.

Avi Tatarka, CEO of Scott Winton Insurance Brokers

“His loss was a huge challenge for me, not only on a personal level but also in terms of the business. I had to step up and reassure our staff and our clients that I was committed to carrying on my father’s legacy,” he notes.

“My father viewed all Scott Winton employees as extended family. And when he died, our employees pulled together like a family, working incredibly hard to ensure a smooth transition process. Since I’ve taken over, it’s been so satisfying to see them continue to flourish. Our valued clients have also stayed with us, and we’re now experiencing one of the most successful periods in the history of the company – an achievement I’m sure would make my father proud.”

Whether it’s dealing with small businesses or large corporations, Scott Winton is dedicated to serving the best interests of all clients through the provision of ethical and professional insurance broking services. “My father always taught me to treat every client, big or small, with the same amount of respect.”

And that approach has led to some surprising rewards. “One of my smallest clients in the manufacturing space was finding it tough due to market changes affecting their industry and on the verge of shutting operations in Australia. A few months after I met with them, I received a call with news that they had acquired another company and now, years later, they’re one of my largest accounts,” Avi states proudly. “They stayed with Scott Winton because we provided them with the highest level of service regardless of their size – it made no difference to us.”

Avi Tatarka CEO of Scott Winton Insurance Brokers

When Avi entered the insurance industry a decade ago, it was much softer than today. “Premiums were cheap and there was low risk. Now, however, the insurance industry in Australia is facing one of the most difficult environments it has ever encountered. Many insurers are pulling back and premiums are increasing across the board. Small brokers are being bought out by larger ones, and many are asking themselves, ‘Will new technology make insurance brokers redundant?’”


Avi Tatarka’s recipe for success

“In the insurance business, it’s about being flexible and going above and beyond for your client,” Avi explains, “whether that means driving down to their factory at 7pm and sitting with them until they have what they need to get back up and running in the quickest time possible, or getting into the office a few hours early to get ahead on your claims so you can give your clients a timely solution.”

Avi strongly disagrees. “It’s our job as brokers to sit down and advise our clients on risk management and property valuation so they understand the type of cover they really need. That individual service and personal connection is something you can’t get online and it’s what will see some brokers disappear and others survive. Here at Scott Winton, we consistently support our clients and, as a result, our retention rate is at 98.5%. “Client interaction is my favourite part of the job. I enjoy sitting down with them to put together a complex risk analysis and figure out the best approach to benefit my client and give them the right level of coverage.”

Scott Winton’s greatest source of new business is referrals, something that comes easily due to its unwavering commitment to client care. “We believe that a happy customer is more valuable than any advertising campaign – which is evident in that we don’t advertise at all,” he remarks.

“Referrals are the highest compliment you can receive and client retention is one of the main ways I measure success. One of the best pieces of advice my father gave me – and there were many – was to remember that the name you make for yourself is the name you’ll live with for the rest of your life.”

Professional development, ongoing training and mentoring of staff is a priority and an integral part of Scott Winton’s company philosophy, reflecting the value Avi places on every team member. “I enjoy guiding my staff and empowering them to reach their full potential. Staff and client loyalty is not automatic and can’t be taken for granted.”

“My father always taught me to treat every client – big or small – with the same amount of respect.”

Not one to boast about his achievements, Avi says he owes his accomplishments and those of the business to the leadership and mentorship of his father. Scott Winton Insurance Brokers has been listed in Business Review Weekly’s ‘Fast 100’ for three consecutive years and was ranked in Insurance Business Magazine’s Top 10 Brokerages for three consecutive years.

A regular on the Insurance Business Elite Brokers list, Avi was selected to participate in QBE’s eQuip program, which aims to develop broader capabilities in Australia’s next generation of industry leaders. Further, in recognition of his standing in the industry, he was also listed on Insurance Business Magazine’s Young Guns report.

“These successes are testament to my father’s vision and the high standards we set for ourselves here at Scott Winton,” Avi concludes.

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