Liam Helps You Manage Risk With Affordable and Comprehensive Solutions
What’s your story?
In the 1980’s, I made trips to Fragrant Harbour to visit my Aunt and Uncle, and fell in love with Hong Kong. In 2003, I was able to secure a position in the insurance industry so I could move here.
During my time in Hong Kong, I worked for several insurance companies and brokerage firms until 2015, when I felt called to set up my own insurance brokerage company, Trusted Union, Hong Kong’s trusted independent insurance brokerage firm.
What excites you most about your industry?
What excites me most about this industry is working with clients. I love learning and problem solving, so when I meet a new client, I take the time to learn about their business and life as part of the “needs analysis” process. From there, we work to co-create tailored insurance solutions. Oftentimes, things happen along the way, and that’s where I get to use my problem-solving skills. Whether it is helping businesses address risk exposure, or negotiating custom insurance programs for individuals, the process of solving problems fuels my excitement to better serve and inform our clients.
What’s your connection to Asia?
Growing up in the United Kingdom, I’ve always had a connection to Asia. I’ve been to many Asian destinations but when I arrived in Hong Kong, I knew this was the place I would eventually start my business. And, Trusted Union has been in business for over 4 years now.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Hong Kong of course. It’s not called the Gateway to the East for no reason. It’s the perfect blend of East and West with a fair and transparent legal system, free economy, solid infrastructure, business-friendly environment, and direct physical and financial links to nearly every part of the world. It also affords access to great local talent. Singapore is a close second, though, for sure.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“No one is more dangerously insane than one who is sane all the time: he is like a steel bridge without flexibility, and the order of his life is rigid and brittle.” – Alan Watts
I’m sure everyone will have their own interpretation, but it reminds me to not be so rigid and uptight all the time. In life and in business, being flexible and more easygoing makes you more durable. Life is a marathon not a sprint.
Who inspires you?
My daughter and my team. We had a baby recently, and it sounds cliche, but things change once you have a family. My team inspires me every day to be a better leader. We have a pretty flat culture at Trusted Union and nobody is afraid to tell me I’m wrong about something.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I recently learnt that Pangaea was not the first supercontinent before the continents were arranged the way we know them today. Despite what we all learned in grade school, there were actually 10 or more supercontinents before Pangaea.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I don’t know if I would do anything differently. I’ve certainly made mistakes, but the things I’ve done wrong have brought me to where I am today, and I’m quite proud of my accomplishments. I believe people shouldn’t live with regrets, but ought to be self-reflective and continuously strive to improve.
How do you unwind?
I like to cycle. As dense and as bustling as Hong Kong is, things just sort of fall away when you cycle. There are tons of beautiful trails and things to see by bicycle. It is a sport I highly recommend for locals and tourists alike. Skip the MTR and try cycling to work from time to time.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Bali, because it’s nearly the polar opposite of Hong Kong. Relaxing on the beach, under the shade of palm trees with a cold drink in hand, just melts the stress away. Can’t stay there too long though, because I’d never want to leave.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Blitzscaling: The Lightning-fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies,” by Ried Hoffman and Chris Yeh. Even if you don’t intend to build the next Amazon, Facebook, Airbnb, Tencent, or Xiaomi, there are important lessons about how to build a scalable business as well as how to manage when things are changing at a breakneck speed.
Shameless plug for your business:
Our main goal, as your insurance broker, is to design and deliver affordable and comprehensive insurance solutions to help protect you from some of the risks of tomorrow.
Whether you’re an expat, local, or business owner, we have key relationships with over 40 multinational insurance partners and access to a full range of property & casualty and life & health products, to design the perfect insurance program for your needs.
How can people connect with you?
People can connect with me through social media: Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, or email me directly at [email protected]. Our website is another great resource for our live chat and blog content/explainers on all things insurance https://www.trustedunion.com/
This interview is part of the ‘Callum Connects’ series of more than 500 interviews
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’ and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.