One of the archipelago’s largest broking houses, Aon Insurance & Reinsurance Brokers Philippines Inc., is a subsidiary of Aon plc and is a leader in providing peace of mind to all its clients in terms of risk, retirement and health solutions.

Established in 1995, it has more than 200 qualified professionals based in Manila, Cebu and Davao City, with a portfolio covering local and international companies, regulatory bodies, professional associations, and small and medium enterprises.

With almost 30 years of experience in the insurance business, Andrew Minnitt was well equipped to take over the role of CEO in 2014. “Throughout my career, I’ve been labelled a troubleshooter. I like to find challenges, take them apart, and put them back together,” he says.

“I came to Aon when it had strong forward momentum. So my role was to ensure that the team was all aligned with the same vision so that we could unlock our full potential.”

Extensive company knowledge and experience

Having already spent two years at Aon in South Africa early in his career, Andrew used his knowledge of the company and his wide-ranging experience in the industry to forge a path.

Working in Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam and the Philippines with major players including AIG, Zurich, Glenrand MIB, Lockton Companies, and Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT), Andrew quickly worked his way up to senior leadership positions – all without a university degree. “I used to regret not earning a degree because it meant I had to work that much harder to keep up and get ahead,” he comments. “But all the experience I have gained from the workforce has given me drive to get to where I want to be in my professional life.”

Andrew Minnitt, CEO of Aon Insurance Philippines

It was during his time as CEO of JLT in Thailand that Andrew recognised the need to pay greater attention to the wealth of opportunities in the health, life and benefits business. “Being in Asia – a part of the world with a huge population density – led me to this realisation,” he says.

And as soon as Andrew refocused on these areas, JLT Thailand experienced a massive turnaround. “When I came to Aon, its health and benefits business was already well positioned, with strong support from the region.

Leading the transformation

I helped the team to leverage our influence, particularly in the BPO [!business!] sector, which continues to grow each year. Three years ago, Aon Philippines was rated in the sixth broker position based on premium and commission volumes. We are now a clear number two in both sectors,” Andrew continues. “We are the strongest international broker in the Philippines and the largest and most successful broker in the health and benefits sector.”

Its parent company, Aon plc, is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement and health solutions, through more than 50,000 colleagues in 120 countries. “Our clients look to us for global insights that educate and inspire them to think differently about their business,” says Andrew.

“We employ doctors on staff locally to add credibility and expertise, and we invest approximately US$400 million globally into proprietary data and analytics, allowing us to give our clients the best advice. We’re internationally capable, but locally aware. Because of this, we have a 97 per cent client retention rate. Our clients are loyal because we foster trust.”

Influenced by time spent in the military and playing sports

Andrew’s leadership philosophy stems from his time in the South African military and on sportsfields. “I look to teamwork and strength-based leadership more than anything else. I surround myself with strong-willed people who complement what I do, rather than just trying to do it all myself,” says Andrew. “I lead by example and I’m not afraid to get my hands dirty.”

Andrew is also committed to maintaining a balance between work and play. “Filipinos are social and fun-loving people, so I host town hall meetings in a cinema near to where we do business and then we have a hot dog and watch a movie together. I pay attention to the wellbeing of my people as much as I do the top or bottom line. This is reflected in last year’s employee engagement survey where we scored 76%, the second-highest score in Aon globally. This year, we’ve set a target of 80%.

I pay attention to the wellbeing of my people as much as I do the top or bottom line.

“In terms of our future strategy, as the saying goes, ‘Why fix something if it ain’t broken?’ We’ve climbed from sixth to second position in just three years, so our tactics are working well and we will continue to refine them,” explains Andrew.

“Under the new administration, the Philippine economy is ripe with developmental opportunities, and we are focused on improving our position within the BPO sector where we have a clear differentiated offering for customers. From an idealistic standpoint, I see potential for us to add further value to the community in general health and wellness. I hope that the interventions we make with our clients and their employees will reach their families, benefiting generations to come.”