50-year Milestone

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A man who started his working life at the Mataura meat works has achieved the milestone of working half a century in the insurance industry.

David Ogg has spent 50 years in his chosen industry and has never stopped learning, even to the point of sitting examinations at the age of 69.

The 74-year-old said he would not even consider retiring as he had a unique way of staying young.

“I always knock 10 years off my age. I tell myself I’m 64,” Mr Ogg said.

“It’s mind over matter, I’m only a young fella,” he said.

His attitude to learning mirrored that of staying young – he never considered himself too old to learn.

At the age of 69, Mr Ogg had qualified as an authorised financial adviser after about eight months of intensive full-time study.

Mr Ogg said he was proud of the fact he had placed more than $100 million dollars of protection on his clients and as a result, in 1997 his clients received more than $10 million in additional wealth in the Colonial share issue.

The challenges and fast-paced changes in the industry had kept Mr Ogg interested in his profession.

“I love the business, I love Gore and people in it,’ he said.

One of the most basic challenges was that the position did not bring a salary with it.

“If you don’t sell you don’t eat.”

In the early days of his career there were 30 life insurance agents in Gore and one real estate agent. Now the numbers had probably reversed, he said.

“It’s absolutely amazing.”

Another change was the trend of banks and other financial institutions selling insurance, he said.

Direct marking had also become a selling tool.

“There is a lot of direct marketing.

“So it’s completely and utterly different.”

Being involved in the community and meeting people was an aspect Mr Ogg enjoyed.

He had been in business during the district’s tough financial times and those which were more prosperous.

The mid to late 1980s were particularly testing for the district, he said.

Sovereign senior business development manager Mike Doherty said the executive team and staff at Sovereign congratulated Mr Ogg for his professionalism and dedication to the financial services industry during the past 50 years and also his wife Mary for the great support she had given him.