Our History

3 Generations of Insurance Broking Expertise:

Mr Paul Benjamin: MBA, Post Grad Dip Mgt, Dip Ins. Broking & Acc., Fellow (AIM), Fellow (ANZIIF)

Managing Director of SME Insurance Group.

He has more than 20 years insurance industry experience but has also owned and operated businesses outside the insurance industry, this is the driving force behind our approach of talking to you in business terminology and not ‘insurance speak’. We sit on your side of the desk and use insurance where possible, to help you solve business problems that keep you awake at night.

Deputy Chairman – Insurance Brokers Board ANZIIF  (2012 – Present)
Australian & New Zealand Institute for Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). This Board represents more than 6,800 insurance brokers across Australia, New Zealand and links to 28 other countries. These insurance brokers place more than $10 Billion in premium with insurers.

Member – Insurance Brokers Claims Advisory Board at AIG Australia (May 2012 – Present)
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance organization serving customers in more than 00countries and jurisdictions.

AIG is ranked 60th in Fortune’s 2018 rankings of the top 500 US companies as measured by their total revenue.

Boating Industries Alliance Australia (Director 2012 – 2015)
Had the honour of being:
Dec 2013 – Dec 2015: Deputy Chairman

The Boating Industries Alliance Australia is peak body for the whole of the Australian marine industry. It is the alliance of the six state Boat Industry Associations, who represent more than 90% of the businesses and groups in the Australian marine industry. This industry contributes more than $12.7 Billion dollars to Australian economy.

Boating Industry Association of Victoria (Director 2010 – 2015)
Had the honour of being:
Dec 2013 – Dec 2015: President
Dec 2011 – Dec 2013: Vice President
Dec 2011 – Dec 2013: Chair of Finance Committee

BIA Victoria is the peak body representing businesses and groups in the Victorian marine industry. The Victorian marine industry contributes more than $4.5 Billion dollars to the Victorian economy, and employs more than 17,700 people.

Victorian Govt Ministerial Working Group (Executive Member 2014 & 2015)
This is a government/industry group created by the Minister for Ports, Minister for Major Projects, and Minister for Manufacturing. The Working Group is responsible for providing the Minister with advice on how to improve Victoria’s boating infrastructure in conjunction with the current and future funding priorities for the sector.

Mr Rodney L. Benjamin: OAM, BA, MA, Phd, (Fellow & Life Member) ANZIIF

Rodney Benjamin worked for Edward Lumley Group insurance brokers and underwriters, from 1948 to 1981, where he rose to be Managing Director Lumley Victoria and Director Edward Lumley Australia from 1975 – 1981. He was also Director of Operations of the National Employers Mutual Insurance Company throughout Australia, which at that time was the largest insurer of workers’ compensation in Australia.

In 1981, because of heart health problems he retired at age 51 from all positions in the Edward Lumley Group; but after recuperation he returned to business and also studied Economic History at Melbourne University from where he graduated with a Phd.

1982, he commenced a general insurance consultancy. His clients were the State Government of Victoria, Municipal Association of Victoria, WorkCover, Victorian Port Authority, State Electricity Commission of Victoria, Medical Defence Association of Victoria, Coopers & Lybrand.

1991 – 2003, he was Director and CEO of Professional Indemnity Insurance Company Australia Pty. Limited, a captive insurance company for the Medical Defence Association of Victoria.

Insurance Industry Appointments:

  • Honorary Life Member of The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance
  • President of Insurance Institute of Victoria, 1973.
  • Councillor of Australian Insurance Institute 1973 – 1981.
  • Inaugural Chairman of Victorian Advisory Board, Insurance Council of Australia, 1975.
  • Inaugural Chairman of Society of Fellows Australian Insurance Institute, 1989
  • Member of Victorian Government Workers’ Compensation Advisory Committee, 1977 – 1981
  • Chairman of Victorian Workers’ Compensation Insurers’ Committee, 1977 – 1981
  • Chairman of Insurance Council Victorian Workers’ Compensation Rating Committee, 1977 – 1981
  • Chairman of Insurance Council of Australian Workers’ Compensation Committee, 1978
  • Chief examiner, Fellowship, Australian Insurance Institute, 1973-1979.

Mr Oswald D. Benjamin

In 1902, Lloyd’s broker Bennie S. Cohen & Son (in the years to come, his son changed his name to Edward Lumley) established its first office in Australia, in Sydney. It was the first Lloyd’s broker to open a brokerage in the Australian insurance market.

In 1921, Oswald Benjamin opened in Melbourne the 2nd Australian office of Bennie S. Cohen Lloyds Broker, which became the biggest insurance broker in the Melbourne market. So successful was their placement of motor insurance that a competitor was formed in 1933, called Club Motor Insurance Agency, known today as AAMI – a highly specialised company to provide motor vehicle insurance for members of the RACV in Victoria.

He was the managing director of Bennie S. Cohen (Victoria) Pty Ltd was later re-named Edward Lumley & Sons (Victoria) Pty Ltd, until his untimely death of a heart attack in 1944, aged 64.

Edward Lumley & Sons Pty Ltd, which was later renamed Lumley Insurance Ltd, purchased by Wesfarmers Ltd in 2003 and sold in 2014 to Insurance Australia Group Limited (IAG Ltd owners of CGU Ltd).

Oswald made three other substantial contributions to Australia, he:

  • served in 1914 – 1918 war, as Sergeant with 6th Field Artillery, AIS.
  • was a foundation member of Melbourne Legacy Club.
  • was director of the Foster’s Brewing Co Ltd.

Oswald Benjamin was the youngest of 11 sons of Sir Benjamin Benjamin, who was Lord Mayor of Melbourne from 1887 to 1889.

Call 1800 SME INSURANCE (1800 763 467)


We are expert insurance brokers, allow us to review your insurance program to ensure you get the insurance cover you need to protect your business!

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