Insurance broker Emily Kenna reveals how she first learnt about financial risk from her own Mum
I am Emily Kenna and I have been a member of the insurance profession for more than 17 years, with 16 of those as an insurance broker.
Although I happened on my profession, risk had been a significant influencer in my life. My mum, who had a difficult childhood and found herself a single parent when I was nine years old and when my brother was seven, was very risk-aware.
There is not a day I would leave the house without checking every appliance was switched off and the doors were locked, as she recounted tales of houses burning down and thefts. I was taught to be very self-aware and consequently had a habit of running from one place to the next if it were late at night. I still run everywhere to this day. Finally, financial independence was something my mum avidly encouraged, as she realised the risks to her own future without it.
This is what we do as brokers – evaluate risk and advise. Insurance is just one tool to manage risk.
I enjoy my profession – evaluating the commercial risks of my clients and advising on the covers needed as well as reviewing and negotiating the policy contracts for them. What we do is very technical and challenging. It is why I am an advocate for professional qualifications and hope to achieve the ACII myself this year.
Vision and values
I hope in the coming months to reflect on experiences that have shaped me and my vision. Perhaps most notably having my two children, one with special needs, and how that changed my outlook and had a huge impact on my attitude toward mental health, wellbeing and balance, as I struggled with work and home.
My advice is to never judge – you don’t know the struggles that people are managing.
I know it is said a lot now but be kind and helpful, especially in the current climate. Last year was tough and 2021 hasn’t gotten off to a great start. Nevertheless, there is a light at the end of the tunnel – and we need to aim for it.
Vision and values are incredibly important. Professionalism, diversity and inclusion, public trust and mental health are all buzzwords in our sector right now and are included in many businesses’ visions. These are all important topics and I hope to give my views on each, as they too form part of my own vision for my business.
I believe the more these topics are promoted and encouraged across the profession, the better it will be for all. Positive change is inevitable and it is happening more and more – it is just a question of time.
Emily Kenna is director of Sense Risk Solutions