Marathon head demitting office
BY JULY 1, 2023, Marathon Insurance Brokers, MIB, will have a new leader. Levar Smith, the present CEO, will have the title of president and CEO. Outgoing Executive Chairman Richard Burgher said the MIB board has already signed off on the...
BY JULY 1, 2023, Marathon Insurance Brokers, MIB, will have a new leader. Levar Smith, the present CEO, will have the title of president and CEO.
Outgoing Executive Chairman Richard Burgher said the MIB board has already signed off on the transition.
Burgher will remain as chairman, but will totally hand over day-to-day operational management to Smith.
Burgher said his job of building MIB into a key player in the insurance industry is done and now that the company has an eye on Caribbean expansion, it is the right time to hand over the reins.
“If not now, then when? There is a degree of confidence that resides in that person that has been tested over and over again and that is what I’m doing in passing the baton on,” Burgher said, when the Financial Gleaner contacted him.
Whispers of the impending transition started circulating in November 2022, just after the company pulled the wrappers off a $200-million, three-year project that pits MIB as the only company that offers a comparison shopping option.
“The company is the undisputed technological leader in the Caribbean and with that we’ve developed an exemplary record of delivering above-average or even world-class customer service,” Burgher said, noting that Marathon has managed to drive down insurance premiums by allowing clients to do comparison shopping.
Typically, people buying insurance would go directly to any one of the 11 general insurance companies operating or link with one of the many brokers, agencies or agents who act as intermediaries. The customer would then be left only with the deal offered to them on the spot or benefiting from the ‘best deal’ worked out by the intermediary. MIB invested almost $200 million in developing an online platform.
The new system allows for comparison shopping for insurance premiums for any class of vehicle, including commercial, PPV, private or motorbikes. The company previously launched another online platform, MIBinsure.
“The company has kept the increase in motor insurance quotations in check because it has forced competition among all the players,” Burgher said, adding that the next frontier is the Caribbean.
He said Marathon will be leveraging technology to penetrate the wider Caribbean market.
“The technological innovation that we’re about to deliver using AI and natural language technology will be unbelievable when we launch it,” Burgher said, as he nodded to Smith’s coming tenure when more will be revealed.
He said the company will be keeping prices affordable by using its technological base to target customers at the retail consumer base level.
Burgher said he will be remaining as chairman of the board. For the immediate future, he sid he will be promoting community entrepreneurship.“I want to teach the young persons in the community who may not be vested with strong academic credentials, that being in business is a prerequisite to wealth creation in Jamaica,” he said.
MIB is not a publicly listed company and is therefore not required to publicise its financials. Burgher maintains that “the company has done extremely well financially, over the 30 years” that he has been at the helm.