Business Leader is a rather coveted title. Most individuals in the world of entrepreneurship like the idea of being seen as a business leader. However, establishing and leading a successful company is difficult; it calls for a diverse set of skills – an undying passion for the business idea, significant management and communication abilities, the capacity to build an amazing team of employees, and a relentless desire to learn new things and gather knowledge. It is a prerequisite for any business leader to always be on the leading edge of the learning curve and have an unwavering approach to client satisfaction. Danielle Warner, the Founder and CEO of Expat Insurance is the consummate business leader. She founded this world-leading insurance company in 2009. The Singapore-based firm caters to the needs of more than thirty thousand satisfied customers.
In addition to being a successful entrepreneur, Danielle is also the author of a well-known book, Bulletproof: Building Better Employee Benefits. She was always a thoughtful leader but today, she stands tall as a successful disruptor, author and speaker as well. Danielle has blazed her own trail and made an impact on a global scale by breaking the status-quo in a stale industry. Her astonishing career and motivational words have inspired hundreds of individuals from Singapore and around the world.
A Period of Exploration
The inception of Expat Insurance was a result of Danielle’s struggle to find travel insurance for her family’s frequent trips to Asia. Additionally, Danielle left New York and her job at AIG and moved to Singapore. She subsequently witnessed the lack of coverage options for expats living in there, and as a result of which Danielle started Expat Insurance. Expat Insurance is an independent insurance brokerage firm in Singapore that tailors medical, life, home and travel insurance packages that are relevant to the globally-mobile lifestyle of expats.
Immigration restrictions and the soaring cost of living in Singapore have reduced expat relocation packages significantly in the last five years. As a result, enticing the best talent to move to Singapore has become a tougher ask than it was previously. From 2015, Expat Insurance has begun to provide premium group coverage on behalf of companies so that their best talent feels protected, secure and valued during their time in Singapore. Today, Expat Insurance offers more than two thousand products and has long-term partnerships with twenty-seven of the world’s best insurers. These products are so reliable that the relatively new and fairly small company already has more than 30,000 satisfied clients.
In 2015, the company collaborated with the French insurance giant, Siaci St. Honore to elevate the Expat Insurance brand to the international level. The tireless efforts of Danielle and her employees were recognized in August 2016 and 2017, when Expat Insurance was named as the Broker of the Year for two consecutive years at the Asian Banking and Finance Magazine Awards. From being built at the back of Danielle’s apartment room, Expat Insurance has come a long way to be known as a leading insurance provider in Singapore. The company has witnessed unprecedented success within its short span of operation and one of the prime reasons behind this can be owed to the never-ending passion of Danielle and her resolute team of professionals. Danielle recalls, “We began running out of a room in our apartment and grew quickly, which prompted us to relocate to the building where our offices are currently. Now we are an office of 30 people and still growing!”
A Visionary Leader with the Perfect Team
The financial services industry is a really tough industry in which to stand out. The right innovation at the right time is the key to success. Danielle has several family members with a background in insurance and that allowed her to understand the industry very early. It gave her the vision to grasp the right opportunity. However, she recalls that finding the right team could be problematic initially, “My biggest challenge was getting that balance exactly right and finding those people.” When handpicking every team member, Danielle makes sure that the individual can help the company to stay authentic and true to its goals. She also emphasized on the desire within the individual employee to learn, to push boundaries, and to try new things. “Every time we interview and onboard a new team member, I make sure that they watch Simon Sinek’s ‘The Power of Why’ – I’m all about the ‘Why’. It’s the focus of everything that I do as a leader and as an entrepreneur. Surrounding myself with people that also ask ‘Why?’ is essential for me,” she reveals.
Danielle believes having trust in yourself and your people is one of the best qualities of a leader; it keeps the company growing, evolving and changing. Danielle also recalls a brilliant support of her general manger that run a tight ship to bestow the company with a team of best people. She also advises other leaders to surround themselves with a team of capable people. The people who can ask themselves ‘Why?’ She believes it is the best gift that any leader can give to their team.