Price Forbes’ International CEO Greg Ferguson has been featured in the History of Parliament Trust’s 300 Years of Leadership and Innovation commemorative book and project, which launched in the late summer at a special event at the Cloisters at Westminster Abbey.
Created in partnership with St James’ House, the project was produced to coincide with the 300th anniversary of the appointment of Britain’s first prime minister, Robert Walpole, in 1721, and in the year of Her Majesty The Queen’s 95th birthday.
The publication celebrates leadership in Britain and beyond over the past 300 years, featuring professionals from a range of backgrounds and sectors.
With 25 years’ experience in insurance, Greg Ferguson was asked to share his personal and professional journey within the industry, including his insights into how innovation has shaped Price Forbes to date.
You can read Greg’s full feature article below:
When Price Forbes & Partners International CEO Greg Ferguson was job-hunting after finishing his A levels, he flipped a coin to decide whether to go for a job in banking or insurance. The coin landed on heads for insurance, which turned out to be an auspicious choice. Ferguson began his career in the City, working alongside an underwriter at Lloyds, and through that first foray into insurance, he learned the trade – meeting brokers and observing how business was done. “I still think that’s the best way to learn, regardless of what you do,” says Ferguson.
From this foundation, he moved into the broker side of the business, attracted by the dynamic nature of the role and the prospect of international travel. Ferguson then most notably spent some years at Willis Corroon and Howden specialising in casualty. Today, he has 25 years’ experience in insurance and has built up knowledge across many product lines. He specialises in complex client solutions, including working with several Fortune 500-listed clients, and joined Price Forbes in 2015 to lead the company in its growth on the international stage.
Price Forbes, which has more than 500 employees, operates in more than 100 countries and has offices in 10 major cities. It was founded in 1893 and prides itself on being an independent broker working with large national corporations, SMEs and start-ups, and in particular placing non-standard risks for large multinational companies. “We understand how to work with different clients in different territories with different requirements,” says Ferguson.
But along with his enthusiasm for working with clients in locations as diverse as Scandinavia, Latin America and the Middle East, Ferguson has a special regard for the city where he began his career. “The London market is steeped in history,” he says. “It has some of the best practitioners in the world and, to this day, stays incredibly relevant in a dynamic marketplace.”
The largest corporate brokers now are US-owned, but they have a strong presence in London. And while the industry has changed since the 1990s as many face-to-face processes have gone digital, some of the core principles remain the same, he believes. “People are business, and business is about people,” he says. “That will never change, regardless of the digitisation that is taking place in our industry and those our clients belong to.”
The key to being successful in insurance broking is quite simple, according to Ferguson. “What our company prides ourselves on is that we listen to the client,” he says. “If you listen to people, you find out where their company comes from, their culture, their business plan – you get a much broader sense not only of the risk but of the client themselves.”
This outlook has helped Price & Forbes continue its growth trajectory over the past two years, despite the impact of Covid on the industry generally. Heavy investment in a digitisation programme ahead of the pandemic contributed to the firm’s ability to weather the storm and come out stronger than before. “It is fantastic that we have been so robust through a difficult time, especially when we generate so much business through personal relationships,” says Ferguson. “Now we are about to start investing more extensively overseas as an extension to our platform.”
Read the full 300 Years of Leadership and Innovation publication.