In the heart of Pampanga, a father-daughter powerhouse is leading a team of non-life account executives, underwriters, claims adjusters, engineers and customer service associates. The Pampanga branch made it as Branch of the Year 2022 in the recent awarding ceremonies held in Bohol. While the award came as a surprise to the duo, it was not a surprising result given that the team is one of the most powerful non-life providers in the area.
Team Pampanga is solid, having been led by Mr Reynaldo “Bong” Umali for decades. RDU, as Bong is fondly called, had expertise and experience in the non-life insurance industry for decades, providing the stronghold that his daughter, Caselyn “Casey” Umali needed. This experience, combined with outstanding marketing acumen, innovative approaches and fresh perspectives have made waves across the industry and cemented their status as a true powerhouse in the area.
It is not every day that you see a father-daughter tandem. And the complexity of familial relationship does not always work in leading a team. Yet RDU and Casey are able to do it, combining their unique strengths. The difference in management style was a challenge at first but the tandem is able to find a middle ground compromise that makes all decisions beneficial. It helped that RDU had a listening ear and was open to change as much as it helped that Casey had a learning attitude and an open mind.
Well-defined roles did wonders. RDU handles most of the marketing and sales activities while Casey takes care of branch operations. A smooth operation is necessary to retain partners and dealers. Casey has established a dynamic work flow that kept the branch humming productively. This enabled RDU to face the partners confidently, benefiting all the business partners as well as the branch associates.
When asked what they did to land the 2022 Branch of the Year Awards, father-daughter claims they did not do anything different. Instead, they focused on the essentials of branch operations. That meant expanding market reach, regular sales visitations, excellent branch operations, efficient and caring claims processing and making sure that the financials of the branch hit the benchmarks of excellence.
Observing the changes around them has always been a strength. Branch associates are encouraged to give suggestions and to spot opportunities. The growing affluent and millennial market in the area provided new opportunities and the duo lost no time crafting plans to strengthen their travel insurance portfolio. It was a stellar success with more than 1000% growth for 2022. They joined various travel associations and travel events, in the process gaining exposure not only as a travel insurance provider but also as a formidable car and house insurance company.
Competing with oneself more than others
RDU is a devoted family man and proud father to remarkable children. He espouses a high level of performance, integrity and hard work. Competing against oneself has been one of the tenets of his leadership. Focusing on what can be done better, competing with one’s best, evaluating points of excellence in branch operations and setting achievable but challenging goals has been a regular agenda in the tandem’s monthly meetings.
This focus on outdoing their best performance has led the team to do more, do it better and most especially, innovate for excellence.
Even success has its drawbacks and the non-life industry is an ever-changing business. While the car industry continuous to grow in sales, competition has become more aggressive. They have been offering more competitive rates that makes clients take on the bait. Cognizant of this, RDU and Casey put their 2023 plan in motion; that is, to focus on the essentials - expand market reach, regular sales visitations, excellent branch operations, efficient and caring claims processing and making sure that the financials of the branch hit the benchmarks of excellence. And to do this while competing with one’s best.
Casey claims “what separates us from the other insurance companies is our excellent aftersales and our relationship with our business partners. We make sure that our clients get the best value for the premiums they pay for their insurance policies and that our business partners feel happy with us. We shall strive to always improve ourselves – professionally and personally. Finally, like the motto of my father, RDU, we shall WORK, WORK, WORK!”