An Act of Kindness

Already a major global player, Aon Canada focuses on the next big thing--giving back to the community

World-renowned insurance product and service provider, Aon Corporation is planning for the future–and it looks bright. The brokerage, which dates back to the 1860s and has since grown to include over 500 offices in 120 countries, is focused on its marketing initiatives and volunteer opportunities.

In Canada, Aon employs over 1,400 people throughout 26 offices.

Marketing Goals

In June 2010, Aon launched a new marketing campaign and partnered with Manchester United football club. Aon’s branding now appears on the jerseys of the English Premier League team. Ultimately, this one idea changed the way the company viewed its marketing schemes and charitable activities, says Christine Lithgow, chief broking officer at Aon Canada.

Christine Lithgow Chief Broking Officer for Aon Canada

“Manchester United has a great philosophy of giving back to the community. We’ve done that too in the past, but never on a global scale.”

The partnership with Manchester United prompted Aon to expand its volunteer initiatives. On the same day the sponsorship came into effect, the firm held Aon United Global Day, where employees across the world volunteered their time.

In Calgary, for example, Aon staff helped paint a local school. A contractor had originally estimated the job at about CDN $50,000. Thanks to Aon employees, the school was painted in three days and the only cost was their time, as well as paint supplies.

Globally, Aon employees volunteered for a total 7,774 hours. Additionally, the firm donated CDN$146,000 to local charities, with about CDN$10,000 coming from Aon Canada.

Client Needs

Aon recently revamped its client-focused model. Aon Client Promise was launched in 2009 and is based on an understanding of the client’s risk issues.

The model is built on ten pillars: a focus on optimizing total cost at risk, a program designed around client needs, a dedicated team and world of resources, local access to the best markets in the world, constant investment in new ideas and solutions, the strength of one of the world’s leading brokers on the clients’ side, powerful benchmarking, award-winning service whenever required, client feedback driving performance, and an open and honest dialogue about value and price.

Manchester United"s new look Aon"s branding is featured on the English Premier League team"s jerseys this year.

“We’ve had overwhelming positive feedback from our clients,” says Lithgow.

Next Steps

The current soft market is an ongoing challenge, says Lithgow.

In response, Aon has developed Global Risk Insight Platform (GRIP), which Lithgow calls “the world’s leading global repository of insurance placement information-it’s a real-time web-based platform which captures reports on all of Aon’s trading activity,” she says. “This allows [the company] to understand what is happening in the marketplace–whether rates are increasing or decreasing. It also allows us to benchmark similar risks for limits and deductibles and premiums.”

Aon has also invested heavily in the professional development of its brokers. “Leaders of Tomorrow” is Aon’s national program held annually and open to younger talent. Participants are given projects to work on as part of a team. If the projects are viable they are implemented in the field. An example is Benefits Solutions, which focuses on crossing different lines of the company in order to provide a “one-stop shop” for all risk management needs including human capital, explains Lithgow.

© Copyright 2010 Rogers Publishing Ltd. This article first appeared in the September 2010 edition of Canadian Insurance Top Broker magazine.

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