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Broking pioneer Len Hanning dies

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broker obit 040822Prominent Australian insurance broking figure Leonard (Len) Hanning, the former CEO of brokerage Alexander Howden and CE Heath, has died at the age of 79.

Members of the industry are invited to celebrate his life and achievements at a funeral to be held in Sydney next week.

Mr Hanning was a founding partner of Fielding and Partners and Miller and Associates, which became construction-focused broker MA Risk Solutions and was sold to Coverforce in 2013.

He is survived by his wife Brenda and sons Matthew, Simon and Daniel.

Eldest son Matthew tells his father grew up in London’s east end where he won a scholarship to a grammar school but was encouraged by his parents to leave school at age 16.

"He looked at the paper and there was a job in a bank and a job at an insurance broker. The job of the insurance broker paid a shilling more per week,” Mr Hanning said.

In 1968, married with one child, the young family moved to Australia, where Mr Hanning became a keen Parramatta Eels supporter, seeking better opportunity.

"Without the right accent, he just felt that was going to be a headwind. Everything was driven by a desire to provide for the family in a way he had not had. To begin with, I think they were sleeping on sun lounges and eating off milk crates and getting the bus on weekends.”

Len’s success allowed him to enjoy frequent travel, including several safaris in Africa, and he was well known in London insurance circles.

“Dad was smart, he had good leadership skills, he was resilient with the ups and downs of corporate life,” Mr Hanning said.

“He was a sort of cockney character, you know liked to dress well, but was good with clients – originated during the day and then was creative in how to structure risk and place it into the insurance market of an evening in London.”

The funeral service will be held at 10am on Tuesday at St Clements Anglican Church, 144 Raglan Street, Mosman.