Michael was admitted as an attorney in 1995. He is currently a Councillor of the Law Society of the Northern Provinces. He previously Chaired Disciplinary Enquiries and sat on the Societies Fee Assessment Committee. He is a past Chairperson of the Gauteng Law Council and past, youngest ever at then age 30, Chairperson of the Johannesburg Attorneys Association.
Michael has been published or quoted in various newspapers and magazines, appeared on television shows as well as hosted and appeared on various radio shows on various radio stations.
Michael has three degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand – namely his BA where he majored in 3 subjects including English and International Relations, his LLB and most recently his LLM (Masters) which he obtained in Tax Law.
Michael’s interests outside of law include sports such as rugby, international affairs and horse racing. He is a National Director of the Racing Association and owns, amongst others, Sabina Park, Bold Achiever, Festive Occasion and Soul Master. He is registered with the Jockey Club as a breeder. He also has a keen interest in financial markets and is a voracious reader.
Michael de Broglio
YOU HAVE TO GET THE CLIENTS, YOU HAVE TO MAKE THEM HAPPY AND YOU HAVE TO GROW YOUR WORD OF MOUTH IF YOU ARE TO ACHIEVE SUCCESS AND ULTIMATELY MAKE A PROFIT.
PLEASE GIVE A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE COMPANY, ITS CURRENT PRODUCTS AND/OR SERVICES, AND WHICH MARKETS IT CATERS TO.
De Broglio Inc. is a law firm handling Road Accident Fund claims, personal injury claims and medical negligence claims. We assist people from all walks of life and handle cases that extend from smaller injuries all the way through to injuries that warrant settlements of millions.
AMBITIONS AND MOTIVATIONS ARE COMPLEX; WHAT HAS DRIVEN YOU IN THE PAST, AND WHAT DRIVES YOU NOW THAT YOU HAVE ACHIEVED SUCCESS?
I simply want my firm to be the top firm when it comes to personal injury matters, producing the best results and giving clients the best service. If we can stay ahead of the competition, and constantly improve, we can remain at No 1.
RUNNING A COMPANY IN THE PRESENT ENVIRONMENT CAN BE QUITE CHALLENGING YET YOU HAVE MET HIGH CRITERIA ENTRY LEVEL FOR THE TOP PERFORMING COMPANIES PUBLICATION. TELL US WHY YOU THINK YOU HAVE ACHIEVED SUCH POSITIVE RESULTS?
I would like to believe that it is because we’ve been innovative, that we have done things before others, that we have continued to lead over the years and that, within the company, the overarching goal is about how we can make the experience better for our clients. This focus includes explaining to clients properly how things work and streamlining the various processes as much as possible – bearing in mind that with court processes that is not always possible.
DEFINE YOUR MANAGEMENT STRATEGY AND HOW HAS IT ASSISTED IN ACHIEVING YOUR GOALS?
I have a distinct management style of running things the way I see best, with various procedures and staff manuals, but always making myself available to input from the experts we work with. It is important to take advice from people that specialise in their fields and I make sure we work with the best medical experts, advocates, and, most importantly, make time to listen to my staff and our clients.
I believe an open door policy is best and ensure that clients are given my personal contact details even when they are dealing with other experienced members of my staff. In addition, input from staff members is gathered monthly in staff surveys, as to what recommendations and suggestions they have to improve the service of the company, as well as what areas they would like additional training in. Finally, I invest heavily in regular training and lecture sessions for staff as well as, knowledge is key.
IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, WHICH COMES FIRST:
PEOPLE OR PROFIT?
You cannot have profit without people, so in my opinion people come first. You have to get the clients, you have to make them happy and you have to grow your word of mouth if you are to achieve success and ultimately make profit. Thrill your clients, provide them with service and updates on a level that your competitors cannot match, and the profits will certainly follow.
ACHIEVING YOUR LEVEL OF SUCCESS HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN CONSIDERED A STRESSFUL JOURNEY, – IS THAT THE CASE, AND HOW DO YOU MANAGE IT?
I cannot say that I manage stress well. I would certainly appreciate tips and advice from anybody who says they have a handle on it. I love competitive golf, which is a stress in another way, but it certainly helps to relax me. I believe that the more stressed you are, the more you need to exercise and so I do try to go to gym three or four times a week, as well as to walk regularly and ride my bicycle. I certainly need to get a better grip on stress before it does kill me.
IN YOUR ROLE AS THE NEW CEO, WHAT ARE YOUR STRATEGIES TO SUSTAIN YOUR BUSINESS DURING THESE TRYING TIMES?
I think that all the focuses that I have mentioned above come into play in hard times. People appreciate good service, value for their money and knowledge that they are in good hands.
HOW IMPORTANT DO YOU REGARD INNOVATION
I believe innovation is crucial in an ever-advancing technological world. I have made a huge investment in IT that has allowed us to have a system, second to none, in terms of having all the facts of the case at our fingertips, and being able to keep clients advised all of the time.
WHAT SKILLS DO YOU THINK LEADERS OF THEFUTURE ARE GOING TO NEED?
How do you identify those leaders in your business? I look for people with people skills and I look for people who can learn and grow as well as implement systems. You don’t have to be the brightest person intellectually to do a good job, but in law a leader needs to be able to produce quality work without mistakes and to certainly not make the same mistake again.
IT IS HARD ENOUGH TO ATTRACT GOOD TALENT, LET ALONE RETAIN IT. PLEASE ELABORATE ON ANY STRATEGIES YOU EMPLOY IN YOUR FIRM.
It is difficult to attract good talent. At de Broglio Inc., we focus on training staff to ensure they are well informed and can do their job with confidence. We are always open to providing promotions to those who prove their diligence and hard work.
DO YOU BELIEVE THERE IS STILL ROOM FOR ENTREPRENEURIAL FLAIR IN BUSINESS? AND HOW IMPORTANT IS IT TO BUSINESS?
I believe entrepreneurs bring with them new ideas and strategies that keep existing businesses on their toes.
PLEASE IDENTIFY THREE KEY POINTS TO SOMEONE EMBARKING ON FULFILLING A
I think it is important to always have a handle on what is going on in the business in every area, to always look to educate yourself further and to admit that you are human and can make mistakes as well – just don’t make them twice.
IF YOU COULD ADVISE GOVERNMENT ON POLICY, WHAT CRITICAL SUGGESTION WOULD YOU MAKE RIGHT NOW?
I would say that we need to loosen the labour regulations in South Africa. We have one of the highest unemployment rates in the world, and some of the strictest and most restrictive laws.
Employers should be able to relieve non-performers from their duties more easily than they can at present, and without the pressing, and often economically unviable, option of having to make payouts to do so.
Processes need to be followed in order to ensure fairness, but the current process means that most companies, when faced with a choice of either giving
the underperforming employee two months’ salary or paying a lawyer to fight the