The long-time boss continued: “That’s the really cool strategic stuff that’s about to unfold, and we spent five years laying the foundation of what we’ve got today. We’ve got some work to dial in from an optimisation perspective, and that’ll be Eben’s core focus in his role as CEO.
“And I’ll be working with those customers and strategic partners – current strategic partners and new ones that don’t even know about us just yet – in making sure that we’re taking this new operating model to market in a way that can really benefit some of these insurance carriers and partners. So, [I’m] really, really excited.”
For the solution-orientated leader, he’s the best person to be out there with partners, sharing the CCC narrative with them. After all, the business is arguably his life’s work.
“It’s something I’m really passionate about,” said Siemsen, pointing to the task of making sure that the opportunity to partner with CCC is well understood. “It helps me bring to life the story of what we’ve built. And there are some incredible progressive partners out there that are really looking to partner more deeply. I want to be on the forefront of that, in talking to them and working with them over the next few years.”
Lifting the lid on his replacement’s appointment, Siemsen revealed that le Roux’s arrival last year was all part of the leadership roadmap at CCC, which is headquartered in Sydney and also operates in New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States. The promoted executive came onboard in April 2020 as chief commercial officer before taking on the chief operating officer position, as well as the role of managing director for all geographies except the US, last September.
Siemsen told Insurance Business: “From day one from when I met Eben in Johannesburg on one of our trips, that was one of the reasons I originally spoke to him – was to set up for this succession planning. I’d certainly been on the lookout for the right type of person to support our global growth; a suitable successor that understood both the business and the culture.”
Part of le Roux’s remit as new group CEO will be stakeholder management, an element of the job that Siemsen said he has enjoyed and where he has had most of his learnings over the years.
“Eben will take that mantle now,” noted the former professional footy player who two decades ago did not envisage he’d be at the helm of a multi-country, multi-product, and multi-service group. “Obviously being the largest shareholder I’ll still be part of the board, but I’ve been very fortunate to be afforded the opportunity to create the type of role where I’m taking the best of those elements forward.”
Siemsen, who will still be “deeply connected” with all of CCC’s business units and geographies in terms of value creation, added that the organisation – however technological it has become – remains a people business where culture matters.
“As we continue to expand and grow,” he asserted, “holding on to those cultural elements that made this entrepreneurial business what it is today is going to be a really, really important piece. And I’ve already seen in the work that [le Roux] does and the trust that he fosters and the camaraderie and the shoulder-to-shoulder approach that he engages with, that he’ll certainly fly that flag.”