An equal passion for people and problem-solving is a cornerstone for success in the insurance sector. Jimmy Tran and Robert McGregor have this quality in spades – and then some. Having recently stepped into National Equipment Breakdown roles at Sovereign Insurance, Jimmy and Robert are leading teams that put relationships first and take client solutions to new levels.
Jimmy Tran, Practice Lead, Equipment Breakdown Distribution
Approaching his 20th year in the insurance industry, Jimmy joined Sovereign’s Vancouver office in 2017 as an Underwriting Specialist after serving in various underwriting roles at other organizations. Less than a year into his position at Sovereign, he became Western Manager. In September 2022, Jimmy was named Distribution Practice Lead – Equipment Breakdown, where he is now responsible for strategic planning and overseeing broker portfolio growth nationally.
Jimmy has had many accomplishments over the past five years, which has coincided with the development and expansion of Sovereign’s Equipment Breakdown solutions in the marketplace. With a mindset to “make things happen,” Jimmy says: “Our team has been able to grow our portfolio and broker distribution network, and strike the right balance between technical account underwriting and knowledge of what it takes to support our clients.”
What Jimmy likes most about his new role is the creativity – from brand development to creating new ways to win business – and the people. “On the external people side, the great relationships myself and our team have been able to foster with our broker partners and clients is really what drives me,” Jimmy says.
And while he’s adept at leading people internally, Jimmy is also humble enough to learn from his colleagues. “I know who my go-to people are – my peers and my team – whenever I need help or resources because I don’t have all the answers,” he says.
Robert McGregor, Practice Lead, Equipment Breakdown Partnerships
For Robert, leading his own teams in Toronto and Montreal at Sovereign was an opportunity he couldn’t pass up. Robert spent his early career as a broker focused exclusively on equipment breakdown. After five years, he wanted to experience the insurance company side of the business, and joined Sovereign as an Equipment Breakdown underwriter in 2019.
Robert later moved on to a role at another company, but rejoined Sovereign in September 2022 as Equipment Breakdown Partnerships Practice Lead. In this role, Robert is responsible for managing the growth of Sovereign’s Equipment Breakdown strategic partner portfolios and MGA portfolios nationally.
“When I heard about the opportunity, what interested me most was it was a people-leadership role at a company that really values its people,” says Robert. “Being a people leader here is exciting for exactly that reason: You’re given latitude to put your direct reports first.”
Having both brokerage and underwriting experience gives Robert a unique lens on both sides of the industry. Understanding the client service cycle from a broker’s perspective, he finds his experience invaluable when crafting solutions for his clients by reviewing proposals with his ‘broker’s hat’ on. This leads to better outcomes for partners and clients by ensuring the end client is always on his mind.
Robert also prides himself on his keen desire to learn more about his clients and their industries – or as he puts it, “diving into the nitty gritty and really understanding an account.”
For both Jimmy and Robert, having that deep understanding of clients’ businesses and industries, as well as broader trends impacting equipment breakdown, is critical. That’s especially true given today’s economic environment and ongoing supply chain disruption.
“That has a large knock-on effect to equipment breakdown, where all of a sudden, a broken machine or part that should have been shipped from Europe in a week or two now takes twice or three times as long, or you just can’t get it at all,” says Robert.
To help clients and partners, Sovereign leverages the full team to help with issues like these. “We can support our partners not only through the insurance aspect, but our Risk Control and Claims team can develop an alternative solution for the broken machine or part, as an example. They are very good at problem-solving.”
Whether it’s assisting with a problem or creating an insurance plan, Sovereign has a sharp focus on creating solutions for the unique needs of Canadian businesses, not a one-size-fits-all approach – and that is a key differentiator.
“There are a lot of markets that can quote equipment breakdown, but our end goal is to have conversations about the unique aspects of our clients’ businesses, provide insights on macro trends, create value-added solutions, and build long-term partnerships,” says Jimmy.
This approach is reflective of the overall culture at Sovereign, which strongly supports its people so they may continue to protect Canadian businesses and the communities they serve.
“We’re both very excited to see where the future takes us at Sovereign,” says Robert. “There is a real transformative energy here and it’s exciting to be a part of that.”