I, like most people I talk to in the Insurance market, fell into Insurance when I was 21. I was working in retail at the time to fuel my busy social lifestyle and didn’t really have a clue at what I actually wanted to spend the rest of my career doing… Until I saw a job advertisement for a Trainee Insurance Advisor role at Endsleigh. I didn’t know anything about Insurance but thought the skills they were looking for were up my street – good at communicating, familiar with IT, keen to learn etc.
Obviously, I got the job and spent two enjoyable years with Endsleigh who taught me about personal lines insurance and how to sell. I got quite good at this and was regularly in their top 20 sales people across their UK wide, 3-400 strong sales team.
I then moved to Policy Master (now SSP) working in their Insurance marketing group called MasterPlan which was a pre-curser to networks, delivering more competitive products and higher commission for members.
Masterplan was sold to Towergate early in 2000 which is where my career started to take shape (thanks Towergate!) I stayed with Towergate for 6 years working in Ops and then Sales. They must have seen some potential in me as I was invited to join the pilot of their Leadership training program over an 18-month period (which I successfully passed).
I was clocking up the miles at Towergate, covering an area from Stoke to the South Coast and as I was planning to settle down and start a family I wanted to move closer to home and also develop my commercial insurance skills.
I joined Allianz as a Senior Business Developer late in 2005 and managed to come top of their sales table in 2006, winning the use of a Z4 for the summer which was cool. I was also entered into the Allianz talent pool as a result of my Business Development performance and reputation I was developing in the Birmingham market.
I really enjoyed working for Allianz, fantastic organisation that liked to invest in its talent pool.
However, in 2007 I was approached to discuss a new Business Development Management role for Brit Insurance in their newly established Birmingham branch. This turned out to be one of the most enjoyable times in my career. A very people focused entrepreneurial insurance businesses employing very talented people. We grew the Insurance Branch from c£6m Net Premium Income to over £24m in just over 4 years.
It was a real shock when the business was sold but this prompted the start of my digital journey.
I took a role to gain product and marketing experience, joining Comparison Creator, an innovative Comparison Software House that specialised in developing white label panels and quote journeys for the big aggregators.
My role was Product and Marketing Manager. I was given an initial project of developing an equine Insurance panel and customer journey for Horse and Hound Magazine. Sadly, the insurance site is no longer trading however at the time it was the first site of its type and was pretty successful for Horse and Hound and the panel.
I really enjoyed this role but was approached to join Aviva as a Business Development Manager for their East Midlands branch. I clearly made an impact as in my first 6 months as I won the National New Comer of the Year award which was presented by the UK CEO at the time, Janice Deakin. Whilst this was only a short stint, I really enjoyed working for Aviva.
However, I did regret moving away from my previous Product and Marketing role and when I was asked to consider a role in JLT’s Thistle business, working as a Product and Sales Manager for a number of its niche insurance products I jumped at the chance.
I spent just under 2 years there and learned a lot about niche schemes and product development. I was involved in the development of a number of SME schemes and the management and review of a few large existing schemes. I was promoted to Head of Commercial Schemes shortly before I left the business.
I then joined Open GI to learn more about insurance technology as Head of Insurer Relations for their Personal Lines team. I spent just under 4 years in the role and built a solid understanding of real time pricing, Insurer Hosted Pricing, Data Enrichment and how to do (& not do) Agile.
This brings me to my current position:
What I do:
My broad insurance and digital experience helps me focus on the intersection of insurance, technology and data to assist Insurance Organisations with their custom software and data needs.
I lead the Insurance Practice for Software Solved, a Custom Software & Data consultancy in the Insurance Sector. We specialise in Risk Consulting where our solutions include back office and workflow management, data analytics, data capture, client portal, client self-assessments and integration with other software and data systems.
I have created and now lead, Software Solved’s innovative new InsurTech, called SurveyorTech which provides brokers, insurers, risk consultants and claims professionals with the software to host live stream surveys, develop 360° risk walk-throughs, annotate risk observation and more using a combination of an App and Client portal.
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