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A large helping of client service peppered with innovation are the key ingredients to Aon Corp.'s success in being one of the world's leading insurance brokers, according to one of its executive officers.
Aon was voted the best retail insurance broker in the Business Insurance 2007 Readers Choice Awards.
Within Aon's retail business in the United States over the past two years, "we've been on a journey that has been focused on three themes: winning with clients, winning with markets and simplifying the organization," said Steve McGill, chief executive officer of Aon Risk Services Americas.
Toward that end, Aon in January formed Aon Global, which brought together all the resources, capabilities, industry knowledge, technology platforms and international network of the company in "an even more focused and coordinated way to serve the major global buyers," said Mr. McGill, who also serves as CEO of the new unit.
Underpinning Aon's efforts, Mr. McGill said, is an emphasis on innovation.
Two such examples are its new "Rapid Response" claims advocacy product that was borne out of Aon's efforts following Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma in 2005; and its new three-year fixed term property/casualty product for middle-market clients.
Those efforts served as catalysts for the company's first ever "innovation challenge," where all Aon employees from around the globe compete for prizes to come up with ideas to help Aon deliver distinctive value and products and services to clients, Mr. McGill said.
Aon has earmarked $50 million to support and invest in winning ideas, which are filtered by a committee. The winners of the contest will be announced Oct. 25.
"We've narrowed down the list to 41 really compelling ideas from colleagues around the world," Mr. McGill said.
Overall, "when you look at what we're trying to do, it's recognizing this is a people business and how we harness the resources within the firm in a way that brings the best of Aon to our clients," Mr. McGill said. "It's a journey that we're very focused on and continue to work on."