Danielle Warner is a disruptor driven to make an impact on a global scale by breaking the status-quo in the financial services industry. From the very beginning of Expat Insurance when she was a girl with an idea, she has been a true believer in her purpose. It is not what Danielle does but why she does what she does that has made her and the business a success. Danielle has been dubbed “The Power Woman of Protection”, she dares to be different and is powered by purpose.
Insurance is in her blood. Danielle’s mother, her aunts, her cousins and her husband are all in the insurance world, and it is all she has ever known. When she navigated her way from New York to Singapore 12 years ago, she struggled to find travel insurance. As Danielle settled into Singapore, everyone she met echoed the same sentiments and frustrations about finding the right protection. It became obvious to her there was a gap in the market. Establishing Expat Insurance seemed to be the solution to all that uncertainty, not just for Danielle but also the community. Helping to navigate people through their search for insurance was a natural fit for her and creating a way to this for others was her calling.
Expat Insurance turns an auspicious eight years old in August 2017. As Founder & CEO, Danielle has led the company to a dominant leadership position in the insurance industry. From the beginning, the firm has focused on working in partnership with clients to understand their needs, build benefits that protect and then recommend and launch bespoke service solutions to help take care of people. Danielle believes that as insurance professionals, the job comes with a responsibility to build a bridge between the technical complexity of the industry and the people who need protection. Her focus and the focus of the industry should be about people. Not premium, not profits and certainly not paperwork! This remains unchanged since Danielle founded the business all those years ago.
Since the beginning, there has been significant changes in the growth of Expat Insurance, the team and the client base. In the early days, the brokerage served the Private Client community, taking care of people and their families, one at a time. In 2013, Expat Insurance received an independent broking license and set out to establish capabilities in the corporate space, launching an Employee Benefits Team. Growing in this direction allowed Expat Insurance to begin to make an impact for more people on a global scale. The firm’s growth in size and scale did not lead the business away from its core client base. The firm has always maintained a niche approach and is selective about the clients they work with to ensure that there is a commitment to provide the very best of what they do. Danielle believes that understanding a client’s pain points deeply and personally allows the business to solve problems in a unique and creative way.
As a leader, Danielle is the one at the forefront of the business creating energy, inspiration and championing the vision to become a reality. She hails leadership as inspiring people and ideas, about fuelling people’s fires and igniting an energy in them they didn’t even know existed. Building a team of believers is the source of much of her personal fulfilment and satisfaction. Danielle asks everyone who joins her team to walk beside her and her vision. Expat Insurance has taken a unique path with regard to hiring practices in order to maintain alignment with the brand’s vision – Danielle’s vision. The firm looks everywhere but the industry itself to hire talent. It is investment from leadership and the team which allows the business to maintain such a radical talent strategy. Recruitment, onboarding and training practices are constantly being crafted to ensure new joiners gain all the technical skills and tools of the trade to walk their new professional path with passion. It has been a worthwhile investment for the firm.
Expat Insurance has led the way for the industry and most recently her brokerage was named “Singapore Broker of the Year” at the Asia Banking & Finance Awards in both 2016 and 2017 and garnered the Indochina Enterprise Award of “Best Broker 2017” by Worldwide Business Review.
Memorable moments have been omnipresent in Danielle’s career since early in her entrepreneurial journey. She shares that hard work every day has attracted luck, reward and success in many forms. In 2016, Expat Insurance welcomed a new era by joining forces with MSH International and Siaci Saint Honoré Group. The firm was acquired and became part of a group with a global footprint, another huge leap in the evolution of the business. The acquisition marked a significant milestone in her entrepreneurial journey. It’s one of Danielle’s headline personal and professional achievements.
Danielle’s leadership and vision for the company have received awards, accolades and honours since very early on in the business. The Singapore Business Review named Danielle Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs and Leaders to Watch in 2016. Habile listed her as one of 25 Inspiring Women Entrepreneurs in Singapore. The Finder named her inaugural Expatpreneur of the Year 2017. She is the darling of Expat Living Magazine, who refer to her as an ‘Insurance Mogul’. She has been featured in Straits Times, Asia Banking & Finance Magazine, Insurance Business Asia, Global Health Insider, The Orient and Asian Entrepreneur. Danielle was honoured to grace the cover of Insights Business Magazine for “The 50 Most Empowering Women in Business” feature in August 2017.
Danielle is an author, publishing all her insights and knowledge in BULLETPROOF: Building Better Employee Benefits. The book provides insider info, shares client stories and teaches a five-step blueprint to help HR and business leaders successfully structure, launch and integrate an engaging employee benefits solution. Danielle is also an active public speaker and believes in sharing her message about how to build and scale a business while crafting your own journey powered by purpose.
When it comes to sharing advice with other Founders, Danielle always encourages people to consider small businesses as a living, breathing being which evolves each and every day. She encourages entrepreneurs to listen to what you know, be forever curious and imagine what you can do to transform your business to create a bigger, more positive impact.
Danielle remains powered by a responsibility to restore original intention and integrity back to an industry which has lost its way. She feels that so many in the industry have lost the capacity to empathize and speak in layman’s terms. As a whole, the financial service industry has become legendary for being complex, tedious and sometimes shady. Transformation is required across the entire industry: from insurance to banking, brokers, traders, money markets, regulators, policy makers and governments. Danielle believes it’s time for a renaissance – a rebirth – in order to restore the industry to its original intention. This rebirth is also required for the industry to stay relevant and meaningful in the hearts and minds of our customers. She considers it her responsibility to disrupt the status quo and promote this change, to make a ripple which might open the door for others to join her.