Lindsay Kerr embodies the Abbott difference – that special collection of personal qualities, professionalism, passion and care you can’t quite put your finger on, but you recognise when you experience it.
He’s exactly the sort of person you want on your team.
A long-time insurance professional, Lindsay’s career spans more than 50 years. Starting as a young man in Christchurch, he worked for various underwriters, insurers and brokerages, including a ten-year stint at NZI, before starting his own brokerage in 1991, Lindsay Kerr Insurance Services, based in Rangiora and servicing North Canterbury.
From one man, a landline and a typewriter, Lindsay quickly built the business off the back of his well-earned reputation as someone you could trust to get the job done.
He made some executive decisions along the way, selling majority shares in his business to Maritime and General Insurance Brokers in 1997, and then to I C Frith & Associates in 2000. Each alliance allowed Lindsay greater leverage with insurers and underwriters on behalf of his clients.
In 2018, I C Frith merged with the Abbott Group of companies to give each business coveted nationwide presence. But beyond the geographic spread, it was also a ‘meeting of minds’. The two teams had very similar cultures and prize relationship-based client servicing from cover to claim.
Although he’s not one to talk himself up, he’s definitely one to show up. His community and sporting involvement in Rangiora and the Waimakariri district is proof of a life-long love of his local community. And sport.
Last year, Lindsay won a hat-trick of awards including the Garry Frew Memorial Trophy for Outstanding Contribution to Provincial Sports Journalism at the 2017 Sport New Zealand Sir Terry McLean National Sports Journalism Awards for a lifetime of committed sports journalism, including motor racing, which started during his time as a Sports Reporter for the Christchurch Star in the 1980-90s; a New Zealander of the year Local Hero Award in recognition of his commitment to sport in North Canterbury and motor racing writing; and a Waimakariri Community Service Award for services to sport.
His dedication to local sport includes a 30-year plus commitment to the Canterbury Country Cricket Association as a coach, manager and umpire, and in his current role as Chairman.
Impressively, Lindsay also researched and wrote two celebratory texts – the 150-year history of the Rangiora Cricket Club 150 Not Out and the 50-year history of the Canterbury Cricket Association Out in the Country: the First 50.
Lindsay has also gained a regular following over 23 years as a local sports reporter for the Northern Outlook and through his radio slot on NewsTalk ZB reporting on local rugby.
He is also a commentator at the Mike Pero Motorsport Park (formerly Ruapuna Raceway), and wrote the recently released ‘Ruapuna the First 50’, a scrapbook-styled book celebrating Ruapuna’s motor racing history.
And as if all that wasn’t reason enough to scoop several awards last year, Lindsay also spent fifteen years on the organising committee for the Ashley Forest Rally Sprint, and was involved in the Rangiora Lions Club for 14 years, holding the role of President 2008-2009.
Lindsay has followed his passions and taken them to the next level by getting involved – sharing his time, enthusiasm and energy.
He doesn’t do anything by halves and he certainly doesn’t do anything for the recognition. He does it because that’s who he is. It’s what makes him such an outstanding contributor to his profession, his community and the sporting codes he loves.
He says if he’s learned one thing over the years, it’s that people relate to people and no matter what you do, if you give it your all and do the right thing by people, you’ll earn their respect, their trust, and their loyalty.
A good, old- fashioned straight-up sense of decency, according to Lindsay, goes a very long way.
We know that when Lindsay finally bids us farewell to pursue his many interests outside insurance, we will miss him greatly, as will the many good people of Rangiora and North Canterbury who have trusted him explicitly with their businesses, their livelihoods, and their homes for decades.
But, as always, we’ll have a plan when he does eventually retire, and you can bet Lindsay will be part of that plan. Our people really do make the difference, so we don’t let them go lightly!