Industry figures hail ‘inspiration’ and ‘genius’ BIA Achievement Award winner Steve White

Steve White

A host of insurance figures have acclaimed the Achievement Award winner at the British Insurance Awards, former British Insurance Brokers’ Association CEO Steve White.

White announced his plan to retire as CEO of Biba at the trade body’s 2023 conference  having done the job for 10 years, making him the longest-serving leader in the association’s 48-year history.

In a video shown to attendees ahead of him coming onto the stage last night, Laura Hancock, managing director of Yutree Insurance remarked how his “decade of leadership and dedication [had] inspired profound change in their profession”.

 

She added: “[Steves’s] visionary efforts and the remarkable team [he] built will have lasting impact for years to come both within the profession and the customers it serves.”

Andy Homer, executive coach and mentor at Merryck, continued: "When I was chairman of [Biba], my colleagues and I were looking for someone who really understood the broking business and felt very passionately about its future.

"[Steve] has been a quiet and effective leader and over the last 10 years or so has really delivered the goods and I feel honoured to pay him this tribute. Well done."

David Williams, experienced executive & non-executive director and chair of The Fire Protection Association, added: “When [Steve] took over as CEO he said he was going to make the business the best it could be and he absolutely achieved that.

“Transforming communication from top-to-bottom and having a real influence across the insurance market and with government; and being respected by insurers and brokers alike.”

Ola Jacob, director of business development at Descartes Underwriting and chair of Biba’s South East and London committee, said: “He is an investor in good people; he is an inspiration, respected in insurance and he is a friend of mine now. His only fault is being an Arsenal fan. [He] has left a legacy and we will try our best to carry it on.”

Paul Dickson, CEO of Innovation Broking and chair of Biba’s Financial Committee, concluded: “What you did all those years ago by taking Biba out on the road to members with the technical skills, public affairs work and broker services was genius.

“Largely thanks to you Biba is now the voice of excellence for UK brokers, brokers in the most important insurance market in the world. Pretty good; and then you retired, perfect.”

Speaking after collecting his trophy White said: “As Biba chief executive I had a number of conversations with our younger members and they spoke about imposter syndrome; and as Biba chief exec I suffered a degree of that. But this evening I have an acute case of what you might call executive imposter syndrome.

“When you look at the list of people who have won this award over the last 30 years there are some huge industry names on there. [Aviva group CEO] Amanda [Blanc] won it last year; at least two Biba chairs have won this award. It really is an illustrious list.

“To now find myself on there truly, truly humbling and I thank the [BIA] judging panel for that.”

He then added: “Let me share with you a simple football analogy. No manager ever won a major award with a poor side; it was my privilege and honour to lead a quite fantastic team at Biba over a ten year period. They did and continue to do some amazing work, not just on behalf of the members but also on behalf the larger general insurance sector.

“I did say to them before I left that any personal accolade that comes along for me is truly a testament to the fantastic work they do. So [to the] Biba team this award is coming home with you tonight and it can sit in your trophy cabinet for the foreseeable future.” 

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