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Tributes pour in for Steve Ball

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Messages of condolence and tributes for JLT Australia Chairman Steve Ball are pouring into the company’s Sydney headquarters following his death in the UK on Friday.

insuranceNEWS.com.au reported in a Breaking News bulletin this morning that Mr Ball, who was 59, died of a massive heart attack while on a visit to Britain.

One of the most respected and well-liked brokers in the industry, Mr Ball was known as a trusted professional and a passionate advocate for broker education.

He was a long-serving participant in broking affairs through the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA), which today pledged to ensure his contribution to the association and the industry is remembered.

JLT Australia CEO Leo Demer says the industry response to news of Mr Ball’s death has been “overwhelming”.

“I couldn’t count the number of messages,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “Messages from our competitors and supporters have been pouring in. Steve was incredibly well known and highly regarded, and it’s uplifting to see how people can put aside their competitive instincts at a time like this. We really appreciate their sentiments.”

Mr Demer says Mr Ball’s wife Maureen, who was accompanying him on his UK visit, is being supported by JLT human resources specialists in London.

Ms Ball is MD of Finserv Consulting in Sydney and the couple have two children.

Mr Demer says Group CEO Dominic Burke has been in touch to express his condolences and offer support.

Mr Ball joined the industry in 1971 at Edward Lumley & Sons in Sydney.

Following service in Sydney, country NSW, London and the Middle East, he moved back to Sydney in 1982 to join Jardine Glanville, a predecessor company of JLT.

He became Chairman of JLT Australia in 2013.

Mr Ball was a director of NIBA for 12 years and was president in 2004-06. He also served for 10 years as chairman of the national education committee, eight as chairman of the professional indemnity committee and 10 as a director on the finance committee.

Before joining the NIBA board he was a member of the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance NSW education committee for 11 years, and was president of the NSW branch in 1999.

He was made NSW qualified practising insurance broker of the year in 1997, and was awarded the Lex McKeown Trophy by NIBA in 2008 for services to the association and broking.

NIBA CEO Dallas Booth says the association’s staff, the broking community and the wider industry have been “deeply saddened” by the loss of Mr Ball.

“Steve, as a director of NIBA and then as president, made a very significant contribution to the association,” he told insuranceNEWS.com.au. “He provided us with great wisdom and counsel over a long period. He was a terrific champion of education and training for brokers.

“His contribution to the industry was incredible. It’s a terribly sad loss and we owe him an enormous debt of gratitude. We are already working to find a way of honouring and recognising his contribution to the association and the industry.”