“Stephen is genuinely fascinated by business and is excited to help others succeed. Now, he’s an embedded part of our team.”
Aaron Pannell knows oysters. He’s a marine farming technologist with over 25 years’ experience in aquaculture and the creator of FlipFarm, an innovative oyster growing system. He also knows he wasn’t happy with his business insurance provider.
“I didn’t have any confidence in them,” Aaron explains. “It felt like my policies were all over the place and they were only interested in collecting their premiums. I’m sure it would have been a nightmare to sort out if we’d needed to make a claim.”
A word of mouth recommendation brought him in contact with Stephen Doecke of Asset Insurance Partners. The first thing Aaron noticed about Stephen’s approach? “He was interested in our business. Not our insurance – our actual business.”
Now FlipFarm is confident they have the right insurance cover for all their gear and their business risks.
“No-one wants insurance, but you have to have it. You don’t make the payment and get something in your hand to show for it. It’s just a cost until you need to claim,” muses Aaron, “but because Stephen got to grips with our whole business, keeping on top of our policies is now no longer a hassle.”
Then came a pleasant surprise.
“My first reaction when I learned that Stephen runs the IQ-M Scholarship was What?! Why would he do that? But it’s smart business. If he only provided those scholarships just to get more business, it would feel bogus. Instead, Stephen is genuinely fascinated by business and is excited to help others succeed. Now, he’s an embedded part of our team.”
Aaron was a recipient of the IQ-M Scholarship at what he calls “just the right time.” The private company was beginning to grow rapidly and didn’t have the expertise it needed to readily call on, especially as it began to explore export opportunities.
“I didn’t know anything about exporting. The Icehouse Owner Manager Programme gave me the tools and connections I needed to grow our business, and the inspiration, too. The last twelve months have seen explosive growth.”
How would Aaron now describe his business insurance relationship? “Chalk and cheese. The other guys were hard to reach. Now, with Stephen, I can’t imagine ever getting rid of him!”