Stuck in a lift with an Underwriter | Brenton Fielder

We caught up with Senior Underwriter Brenton Fielder to see what makes him tick…

Tell us a bit about being an Underwriter?
I find underwriting an interesting job, especially with Berkley Insurance Australia. It’s a good mix between engrossing, challenging and dare I say it, fun! We have a good mix of people within our team, not only in Melbourne, but nationwide which makes for interesting conversations when we’re all able to get together.

How do you like your coffee?
I’ve never been a coffee drinker. Much prefer a black tea!

What is your biggest achievement to date – personal or professional?
Ever since I was quite young I’ve always wanted to go to Iceland and stand on top of one of their volcanoes and swim in the Blue Lagoon. In 2016 I did just that. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. Landing in a helicopter on top of a volcano and swimming in the soothing warm waters of the Blue Lagoon, putting on mud face masks from the lagoon floor while sipping cocktails completely exceeded my expectations. Highly recommended. I can’t wait to get back there.

What does a typical day look like for you and what are you currently working on?
Pre COVID-19 my day consisted of gym in the morning then ride to work, get creative with my underwriting during the day finished off by a ride home. In the evenings it’s a mix of quiet times at home with my 67 plants (yes, I’m a plant dad), dinner with friends, movies and playing the Nintendo Switch. On weekends I like to try to get out as much as possible by doing day trips to explore more of Victoria, hitting the beaches in the warmer months or just hanging with friends in the sun.

Now my home is my office, the gyms are closed and we’re only allowed outside for an hour a day. I try to get out in the mornings for a run or a workout in the park. This has proven difficult and challenging during the chilly winter Melbourne mornings but we have all had to adapt to different things in our own ways. On one had I’m one of the lucky ones because I live alone and have no distractions so am able to focus on my work. On the other hand I’m not so lucky because I live alone and have no distractions. I can see my “office” from everywhere in my apartment including my bed. Hopefully, if we all do the right thing, we can get back to some kind of “new normal” and start to have physical contact with friends, family and loved ones again.

What are three words to describe Berkley Insurance Australia?

What is something people in insurance have to deal with that you want to fix?
Professional and financial lines are a technical corner of the commercial broking market which is becoming more essential and sometimes a contractual requirement for business’ to carry on their daily business activities. This space is very different from general business lines and brokers and underwriters need to work together to overcome these challenges to create the best outcomes for clients/insureds. Looking to be an educator in this space assists brokers to navigate the unique nature of professional lines where they may have had minimal experience with these products.

What do you like most about working with brokers?
Interacting with my clients. Whether it be by email or phone, a meeting in an office or lunch at a nice restaurant. Focusing on building strong, trusting and genuine relationships helps all of us get our jobs done in a professional and friendly manner. Having previously been a broker, I understand a lot of the stress and pressures broker go through and this helps me tailor my service to the individual and the specific task at hand. Knowing that I’ve helped someone understand a particular clause in our wording, successfully explaining how a risk is assessed or assisting a broker get a deal across the line makes me happy.

When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
Only a couple of weeks ago, which was quite refreshing considering the level of lockdown Melbourne is experiencing at present. I was on a House Party chat with some old, dear friends from around the country, reminiscing about past times and the silly things we used to do. I can’t go into detail but I’m sure we can all relate. Good times!

What podcasts or books are listening/reading right now?
I just finished Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and started Dirty Music by Tim Winton which has been adapted into a film and is due to hit cinemas any day now. GO AND SEE IT!

What is your guilty pleasure?
Gold Kit Kat. I’d like to say that I don’t eat a whole family sized portion in one sitting but I’d be lying…