As CEO of Mississauga, Ontario-based Nacora International Insurance Brokers Canada, Dianna Fioravanti has full responsibility for all activities necessary to manage the business nationally. Since joining the company in June 2014, she has been working to ensure that the company brand communicates what “a hidden jewel” Nacora is.
1. Know what makes you unique
One reason Dianna Fioravanti chose to become CEO of Nacora International Insurance Brokers Canada was the company’s unique positioning in the insurance market. With 80 percent of its business in commercial insurance, it has expertise that most generalist brokers—who tend to focus on personal insurance and dabble in commercial—don’t. The company also provides financial stability to insurer partners in a way not many brokers can. It’s wholly owned by global logistics company Kuehne + Nagel International AG, which means there’s no conflict of interest. Brokerages often allow an insurance company to have equity in their businesses, Fioravanti explains, and then direct their clients to a particular insurance company, which may not be in a client’s best interests. “But our insurer partners know they’ll have the best chance of all the business coming in the door without bias because we’re not owned by an insurer,” she says. “Our clients will rest assured that we are finding the best solution for their business, both long and short term.”
2. Have a specialty
“We’re branding ourselves as an innovative commercial boutique, specializing in areas most brokers have shied away from,” Fioravanti says. Nacora offers a leading marine-cargo program and accounts-receivable insurance, conducting audits for large customers regarding how they offer and manage credit for their customers. Professional-liability and aviation insurance are also pillars of Nacora’s strategy.
3. Leverage your relationships
Although Nacora has developed its business independently, it still holds a strong business pipeline coming from its relationship with Kuehne + Nagel. Nacora provides insurance and risk-management programs to businesses that need to ship products or raw materials by air, rail, sea, or land, and it also provides warehousing solutions. Nacora, under a branded program, internally underwrites that risk and adjusts claims via an advanced insurance-management system. “We are positioned today as a leading provider of cargo insurance because of our relationship with Kuehne + Nagel and the development of innovative end-to-end supply-chain solutions,” Fioravanti says.
4. Package programs to fit your customers
“Nacora is a hidden jewel in Canada,” Fioravanti says. “It has unlimited potential in a number of areas—including transportation—and it has seasoned staff who deliver a wonderful experience to its customers with very strong retention. But it’s never been packaged internally or externally as such.”
Last year, when building strategy with the company’s leadership team, Fioravanti read a book about Starbucks called Leading the Starbucks Way: 5 Principles for Connecting with Your Customers, Your Products, and Your People. In it, author Joseph Michelli explains that Starbucks isn’t in the coffee business serving people but rather in the people business serving coffee. Fioravanti brought that notion to Nacora.
“Years ago, insurance involved a quote in a lengthy document with a stack of endorsements,” she says. “That has to go away because we, too, are in the people business, serving customers with innovative solutions to protect their business. So now we’re working to offer each customer choices in the framework of their desire for value, human contact, and an extraordinary experience that will protect and drive more profit to their bottom line.”
5. Build your brand internally
The foundation of delivering extraordinary experiences every day is built internally, says Fioravanti. To that end, the company has done significant internal training to build its desired culture. Nacora has also encouraged employees to align their personal brands with the company’s brand. “When potential clients look for a broker, they often spend more time researching the salesperson than they do the company,” Fioravanti says. “A lot of our focus this year has been on personal brand development. We’re creating professional bios for all customer-facing professionals, updating their LinkedIn profiles—essentially ensuring that everything that touches the outside aligns with our brand.”
6. Be experts
Nacora has hired national leaders who are experts in their market segments, and when customers have questions about a specialized topic—say, trade credit—the topic-expert resource is brought in at a moment’s notice to share his or her expertise. The company has also established a mentorship program, which is essential to not just delivering expertise now but doing so in the future. “Many experts in the market segments we serve are aging, and such experts aren’t readily available in the marketplace,” Fioravanti says. “So breeding our own experts is key to the company’s succession plan.”