Ian McWalter worked for Technical Assessing Pty Ltd from 1991 until he was one week shy of twenty years at the company. In 2011 he left to start FT Adjusting along with co-worker Lesley Thompson. It’s a company which specialises in Construction and Engineering claims arising under Contract Works, Professional Indemnity and Product and Public Liability policies.
Last week I was lucky enough to sit down with Director Ian to pick his brains and have a quick chat about FT Adjusting.
Is FT Adjusting very different from other loss adjusting companies?
Ian: As much as you might think, you’re never going to get total buy-in from everybody. The best you can hope for, I think, is that if you can be five or ten percent different – that’s enough. To think that you’re going to be radically different doesn’t work, and never will. What distinguishes people, companies et al, are generally small, but important things.
Ultimately, it’s really down to the individuals who work in the company and probably more so the people outside of the company who can comment on that. I can say that I’ve tried it run it in a slightly different manner; this is a very open, flat structure. It’s a small team, but companies – and certainly the people who run companies – have a tendency to want to keep all the information to themselves. This company has a total open book policy, warts and all – you don’t often find companies running on that basis.
What are some of the values that FT Adjusting promotes?
Ian: We try and promote transparency – try and promote that everybody’s in it together. It’s teamwork but there can also be a danger in overemphasis on teamwork; as an individual you have to be responsible for yourself and your actions. Similarly with competitiveness – there’s no point in being competitive within your own organisation, because you’re placing your competitiveness in the wrong place.
The one thing I’d say is, having worked in a corporate organisation for eleven years, in a small private practice for twenty years and in my own business for five years and a half years, I can say that I work twice as hard for half as much in my own business, but I’m twice as happy.
Thoughts by Ian McWalter
Words by Skye Jamieson