BMP - Business Made Personal-logo

BMP - Business Made Personal

Business & Economics Podcasts

We speak to Insurance industry icons who have been there, done that and seen the movie to find out what worked for them and what challenges they faced. It’s a must-listen for anyone interested in learning from the best and seeking to enhance their careers.




We speak to Insurance industry icons who have been there, done that and seen the movie to find out what worked for them and what challenges they faced. It’s a must-listen for anyone interested in learning from the best and seeking to enhance their careers.




Episode 97 - Katrina Shanks

"Your footprint should be bigger than yourself." Influenced by a grandmother and father, both of whom devoted their time to public service, Katrina Shanks has established a huge presence public presence in New Zealand and, as a recent migrant to Australia, hopes to continue that work in her new role as CEO of ANZIIF.


Wrapping Up 2023

The Business Made Personal team wishes to thank all those who have supported the podcast series, including our fabulous guests, our awesome listeners, and those wonderful people who have taken the time to provide us with their suggestions. How to Connect with Mark: Email:


Episode 96 - Tim Fairbrother

"I learnt pretty quickly when I was young that nothing great comes without hard work." A professional rugby player for 13 years, Tim looks back on that time - a time when he says, “You earn really good money, you don't even have to buy running shoes or lunch”, what it taught him and how he was able to apply it in his business journey.


Episode 95 - Isabelle Kwek

"I think women have a tendency to need to feel confident about what they do before they step into an opportunity." Sitting in law school, going to lectures, and learning about the law, Isabell was uncertain as to what her career would look like. She knew she was not interested in attending Court, and that’s when fate stepped in. A brief experience in the insurance industry convinced her that she wanted to make a difference in people's lives, and she has not looked back since.


Episode 94 - Heather Blanco

"I wasn't going to let anyone prevent me from getting to where I wanted to be." Being challenged as a young female by a plethora of difficult personalities, Heather has had to learn the sometimes difficult art of standing up and calling people out. Having now worked out her own strengths and immersed herself in education, Heather believes she is in an excellent position to provide support to her team as well as others facing similar challenges.


Episode 93 - Deborah McBrearty

"One of the biggest challenges for me was being made redundant because the world economy had collapsed." Finding herself as a solo parent in London with two small children caused Deborah to reevaluate life. Most would have moved back home to New Zealand for the safety of family and friends, but Deborah decided to pack up and move herself and her two small children to take up a role in Barcelona, much to the surprise of her boss. Deborah’s view on life: you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and find new opportunities because your best performance is still ahead of you.


Episode 92 - Tim Rafton

"I was never going to let the wheelchair define my life!" With a strong belief that being number 1 amongst a cohort of inconsistent performers is not something to aspire to, Tim’s number one priority and belief is that if we change the speed at which we settle insurance claims, we would change the perception of insurance for the general public.


Episode 91 - Anita Lane

"It changes your DNA when you have to build and grow your business with no safety net." Working as a box girl at Lloyds, taught Anita that being young and female was something to be proud of and embrace wholeheartedly. It was also instrumental in developing her power of observational behaviour and becoming intuitive and resilient, which has stood her in good stead as she co-founded underwriting agency Solution Underwriting.


Episode 90 - Nick McLardy

"Get in front of people and ask stupid questions!" A career in insurance means Nick is able to indulge his passion for traveling as well as expand his capabilities within the business environment. To date, his biggest challenge has been that of managing people - he is quick to add that it is a good challenge.


Episode 89 - Tanushree Arora-Sopori

"Do not jump into whatever you get. Think of what you love and what you want to do." With parents who were a teacher and an accountant and living in Agra (India), Tanushree and her University sweetheart (now husband) created a dream to migrate to Australia whilst they were in their 20s. Having achieved that dream but then finding that her destiny was being ‘ruled’ by Organisations, Tanushree decided to take her future into her own hands and set up her own insurance broking business with her husband.


Episode 88 - Dale Smith

"I used to think that wealth was a measure of success but you soon realise that that’s not the case." By his own admission, whilst he trained as an Accountant, Dale knew it wasn't the career for him, however, that grounding gave him insight into how numbers work and the early warning signs in business to be aware of. His trajectory from Accountant to entrepreneur wasn’t always an easy one and Dale speaks of some of the sacrifices and costs involved in following his dreams.


Episode 87 - Tetiana George

"It's important to be able to make mistakes." In February 2022, Tetiana’s world turned from very rosy and optimistic to a very dark place. With her home Country, Ukraine being invaded and suffering pre-natal depression, starting a new business was a struggle. Feeling she just needed to survive and find pleasure in the small things in life gave Tetiana the momentum to get back to being the center of energy, so she could lead people and inspire them.


Episode 86 - Drew Schnehage

"Step up. Step out and put yourself out there." From running a modeling school at age 25 to creating a career in the corporate world including commencing an underwriting agency at 32, Drew Schnehage has been goal-driven from a young age. She explains why and the lessons she has learned along her journey.


Episode 85 - Aimee Henderson

"The only way you learn and grow is to push yourself into those uncomfortable situations and do it anyway." Having experienced the life insurance and general insurance industries, has given Aimee a real passion for what she does best - assisting people when they need her the most. This was never clearer to her than when, six months after joining a Broker, the Christchurch earthquake hit and she and her lead Broker were front and center in decisions that impacted people's business and personal lives. The lessons learned she has never forgotten.


Episode 84 - Peter Klemt

"Always make time for your passion whatever that may be." Reflecting on a family tragedy that has impacted him deeply, Peter Klemt is mindful of the fact that post-COVID, we no longer have that separation between our professional and personal lives. He speaks openly about the challenges he and his family have faced as well as the changing ‘new world’ of work and the support required for people to be their very best.


Episode 83 - Clifton Warren

"You don't just renew accounts - you renew relationships!" The original Founders of insurance businesses are retiring and this is creating a sales void and sales knowledge gap. When it comes to relationship development, we have not been innovative enough. The business environment is much more complex today and the professional today needs to be able to have innovative conversations, relate to the client, and share ideas as to how they can assist the business. This, in turn, delivers value and gives the insurance professional options as to how to service clients in the future.


Episode 82 - Sarah Lyons

"You're probably more capable than you think you are and you will probably go further than you think you can." It doesn't matter if you don't get it right the first time. You learn a lot more by not succeeding immediately says Sarah Lyons. In the early part of her career, Sarah would question if she was good enough. In commenting on her turning point, she refers to one of her Mentors whose belief in her and her desire not to let him down surpassed where she thought she could go.


Episode 81 - Kirk Populin

"There are so many pathways insurance can take you to." With a family history of hard work in labour related industries as concreters and bricklayers, Kirk Populin’s family wanted him to develop a career that was significantly different from theirs. His journey has taken him from financial planning to life insurance, insurance education, underwriting, and finally insurance broking. The one common thread - is Kirk’s ability to develop relationships and establish supportive networks.


Episode 80 - Jasmin Gabrielli

"I think as women we need to be more confident and believe in ourselves a bit more and push ourselves a bit more." Moving from Mt Gambier to Adelaide to Melbourne meant that Jasmin had to reinvent not just her business and personal network but most importantly herself. That journey has not always been an easy one. A love of what she does due to her relationship with clients and helping them with their problems and providing great advice is what motivates Jasmin and has helped her overcome those challenges.


Episode 79 - Tryan Christos

"I truly believe this deep down that the insurance industry is the best industry to be in." As a young Managing Director, Tryan Christos has not been ‘gifted’ his position in the family business. The pressure of having the whole family put a lot of trust in him and being able to prove to people who he is and show them they can trust him is, according to Tryan, hands down the hardest thing he has ever done.