Crawford’s new APAC chairman is mindful of need to attract talent and cope with cultural challenges

Richard Martin (pictured) believes that the markets in Hong Kong, Singapore “and other regional hubs” are now as sophisticated as any in the world.

“The challenges are purely cultural and dependent upon local customs,” the new chairman of Crawford & Company in Asia-Pacific told StrategicRISK.

“For example, Japanese risks always include a nominal layer placed with local insurers so it’s incumbent upon adjusters like ourselves to be capable of working on these cross-border idiosyncrasies. This is no different to handling claims syndicated across multiple insurers or on a state by state basis in America.”

Martin spoke to SR shortly after moving from his previous role as the loss adjuster’s APAC chief executive to the position of regional chairman. He will continue to be a member of Crawford’s Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific executive leadership and global senior management teams.

The key challenge for Crawford as it aims to facilitate growth, Martin said, was to continue attracting and retaining talent.

“We have been successful in this by offering smart, motivated people the opportunity to work on complex, multi-party projects that challenge them in every conceivable way,” he said.

“In recent years by attracting and building our talent pool of global claims professionals, Crawford has shown that it has the infrastructure to be able to respond, in numbers, to historic events like the Thailand floods, Typhoon Haiyan or the Japanese earthquake and tsunami – frequently as multiple events occur simultaneously around the world.”

Crawford & Company has made several other senior management changes in its Asia-Pacific operations. Former chief executive at Cunningham Lindsey International Chris Panes has joined the Asia group as executive director, while Andrew Bart, who has been serving as chief executive for Australia, has been appointed as chief executive Pacific.

During the Australian bushfire emergency in October 2013, Bart was responsible for the allocation of resources for clients affected by the disaster. During this period he praised the work of emergency services personnel, which he said had prevented “what otherwise would have been a far more devastating situation, both in terms of property loss and human cost”.