Lorrie Baldevia, Principal and COO at AssuredPartners MCM, knows that some people have a preconceived notion of the insurance industry – and in her experience, it’s usually wrong. “I think it’s important for professionals considering a career move to understand that there is a stigma around insurance, a perception that it’s not exciting. But the reality is, insurance is really cool.”
“Insurance is relevant in every industry. Whether it’s tech, hospitality, banking, or even as an individual, everyone needs insurance. That’s one thing I love about my job, getting to know and build relationships with people across so many industries.”
Getting Started, Going Far
Early in her career, Lorrie knew she wanted to do financial planning. “I wanted to be successful, to help people and give them an opportunity they otherwise wouldn’t have. But I really didn’t know very many people, especially high net worth people. When you’re 21 and trying to convince people to invest in you? It’s hard.”
Lorrie started in financial services as a broker, working at a firm that required a lot of cold calling. “You’d have to cold call people at your house, and build your book by calling everybody you knew. I did a ton of it, and I realized that I hated cold calling.” She changed tactics, booking tables at trade fairs and getting much better results, though the market she was reaching didn’t provide the income she was seeking. It was during this time that she was recruited by AssuredPartners MCM, an M Member FIrm.
Preparation Meets Opportunity
“When I came to MCM, I basically did everything. I started out doing marketing support, account management and service, case design, helped on underwriting cases, and ran our 401(k) practice prior to going into our executive benefit group.”
“When I was asked to do some business development, I met with about 150 different Advisors, for coffee or lunch, over the course of one year. I equate it to dating, because you realize that of the 150, there’s only a few that you want to do business with. I weeded through the list, found five or ten firms I really wanted to work with, and looked really deeply into those organizations. Building relationships with those contacts led to other business for me.”
Lorrie’s drive paid off: 18 years after joining the firm, she’s now Principal and Chief Operating Officer at AssuredPartners MCM. “When I started in this industry, there weren’t many women like me. But I find that when you get a shot, you have to take it. You need the grit to suck up everything that comes your way and then rise above. But sometimes you can’t get there unless another leader pulls you up and gives you an opportunity.”
“I was lucky to have a mentor to help me get there. But it wasn’t easy. Someone told me that success comes when opportunity and preparation meet. I had to be prepared, because building relationships in this industry is about knowledge and expertise. Fortunately, my organization is full of best-in-class people, so I was getting advice from individuals who knew the answers. Everyone’s willing to share, which is great because you’re not on your own. As leaders, our job is to give people an opportunity, train and mentor them, and then they get an opportunity to lead.”
Three Keys for Success
In light of her own success, we asked Lorrie what traits are essential for an Advisor. “If you are considering a shift into this business, I’d say that if you are relational, entrepreneurial, and consultative, this will be a good business for you.”
“This is a relationship business, so if you already have clients and people trust the advice you give, in whatever capacity, it’s the same thing in this business. People want to work with people they like and trust.”
“Being consultative is important because that’s what you’ll be doing every day. If I was a CPA or a lawyer, I would consider the insurance industry in a significant way because that’s what insurance people do.”
“Finally, you have to be entrepreneurial. If you want flexibility, then being in our business is a good way to get that, but you have to have the drive to want to help. If you’re motivated to use these skills and help people in the process, I think you could do extremely well.”
If you’ve got the skills Lorrie describes, the Magnet Program can provide the knowledge and mentorship that will help you thrive. Learn more about the Magnet Program.