From trainee broker to group CEO: ABL Group boss looks back

Maurice Boyd, the Aon McMillen alumnus who became group chief executive at Abbey Bond Lovis (ABL Group) last year after previously serving as managing director – could have been an interior architect.

Here the broking boss tells Insurance Business how his first-ever interview changed his fate, what his source of pride is in his years in the industry as well as his vision for the Global Risk Partners firm.

How did your insurance career begin?
By chance! I was literally about to start university when I was approached by a friend who already worked in the insurance world. A Belfast broker was looking to recruit A-level school leavers. I had never been to an interview before, so thought I would attend for the interview experience. I was offered the job as a trainee broker, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In your nearly 15 years at ABL Group, what are you most proud of?
Going from a standing start with no clients to building a team with clients’ interests to the fore, and developing a culture within Abbey Bond Lovis of professionalism, wellbeing, and fun.

In terms of challenges, what have been the biggest for you?
ABL was established as a new start brokerage in 2004. The challenge has been breaking into and then developing a strong brand in a long established insurance broker market in Northern Ireland.

As group chief executive, what do you envision for ABL Group?
Continued organic and growth through acquisition. Our latest acquisition was Digney Grant in August last year. The ABL Group consists of individual trading entities, but the key to our success has been and will continue to be operating with a single business rhythm.

If you were to leave insurance for another industry, which one and why? 
I love live music and the concert experience. Apart from the music, the other thing that stands out for me is the use of lighting. I would love to be a lighting designer on the road with bands.

Name one thing your peers probably don’t know about you.
Before accepting my job as a trainee insurance broker I was days away from starting a degree in interior architecture and three-dimensional design at Ulster University, Belfast.