Warwick graduate Adrian - a new Business Development Manager
Can you tell us a bit about your previous work experience before joining Admiral?
During university I ran a small IT start-up company, which helped me to pay for my studies. The main learning from this experience was focusing on my clients and their needs. After university, as a software developer and project manager at a small IT company, I had the chance to work with private clients from the US and EU and gain an international experience. I further evolved my ability to look at a problem from multiple perspectives, but maintaining the same client focus. After five years, I decided to take everything to the next level. I joined TeamNet to lead projects that helped Romania to evolve its Agriculture sector by using IT. I had to learn how to lead a team, to balance the client’s needs, the company’s needs and my team members personal and professional development needs. My main motivator: each year more than one million farmers got their subsidies on time or not, depending on our performance! It was as simple as that. After six years, I decided to take yet another step closer to business and get an MBA.
How did Admiral first come to your attention?
For me, it was a step by step process to get to know the company. I was still studying for the MBA, when my school informed us about Admiral coming to campus. After a quick research about the company, I remember I was amazed by the emphasis that Admiral puts on its employees. And that made me wanting to know more both during the interview process and reading news/watching interviews with Henry, David and many other senior leaders.
When did you join Admiral?
I joined Admiral on February 16th 2015. Admiral was very flexible, interviewing me on Skype while I was in Romania, in their US headquarters (during my four months exchange period) and finally in the UK. I really appreciated this flexibility.
Tell us about your role within the Admiral Group
My official title is Business Development Manager. However, only the sky is the limit. Admiral both supports and empowers its employees to make a difference, to question the current status quo, and to drive innovation. For example, one of my first assignments is to understand how we can make better use of the telematics data both to lower our customers’ premium and improve our profits. Yes, it may seem like an impossible task. I challenged myself to look it differently, come up with possible solutions and design the tests that we can run for validating or not those solutions. Other projects could be to launch a new product, or to improve one of our many products.
What exposure have you had to the different areas of the business so far?
Admiral has an amazing process, called port of calls. Anyone can ask for a half hour meeting with someone from a department, just to have an overview of the activities being done there. Having a technical background, I prefer to dig a little bit deeper, just to understand how are they doing their job, not only what is their job. Until now I got my hands on experience in claims, marketing and telematics. I am looking forward to complete all my port of calls, with all the departments, which probably will take me six months or so. This shows how much emphasis Admiral puts first on quality, and only after that on speed.
In your opinion, is Admiral different to the other companies?
In my view, Admiral has three main differentiation factors to other companies:
First, it is true a company dedicated to its employees. From creating a very friendly and open atmosphere to giving a piece of the company to every employee, Admiral is making sure that everyone is truly happy.
Second, happy employees make happy customers. We have the best rate in the UK market for renewal clients that already had a claim with us during the year. This means they are happy with our services. And this is good for the business.
Third, I have never seen a company that makes so many efforts to give back to the community it belongs. Each and every employee is allowed to dedicate some company time to a good cause. The company itself supports different causes that help this fabulous community to evolve. Not to mention that in all these years Admiral paid almost one billion in local taxes.
What are the main influencing factors you believe to have contributed to Admiral’s success?
Probably one of the most important factors is the “inverted pyramid” philosophy. Each team leader is supporting its team members to do a better job and to develop new skills. Each manager is supporting its team leaders not only to do a good job, but to challenge different bits in order to improve the whole process. And this cuts through all the departments and roles. By helping others and sharing the know-how, we both minimize costs and improve customers’ experience. And this directly translates into increased sales and profits.
Another major success factor is the way Admiral develops and implements its strategy.
Everything is deeply rooted into data and customer validation tests. It doesn’t matter whose idea is, but what data supports that idea and what tests have been done to support the projected numbers. By doing this, Admiral minimizes inherent risks associated with launching new products or going for new markets. Minimized risks directly translate in lower costs and value being created for shareholders.
And last, but maybe the most important, Admiral created and maintained very good partnerships, especially with its reinsurers companies. By working closely with them, both at an operational level and the finance level, Admiral built a trustful and profitable relation. This allows Admiral to decide how much risk to take and how much to pass it to its reinsurers. By having this flexibility, Admiral can cope with the market and industry fluctuations.
This being said, in my view, there is no one single factor that contributes to Admiral’s success. Everything comes together, as in a symphony, to make possible this outcome. And everyone in Admiral comes together to play this beautiful symphony.