Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Record Breaking Explorer
In 1984 the Guinness Book of Records described Sir Ranulph as the "World's Greatest Living Explorer". He was awarded the Sultan of Oman's Bravery Medal in 1970, the Polar Medal with bar from the Queen, the Explorers Club of New York Medal in 1983, the Royal Scottish Geographical Society's Founder's Medal in 1984, and both he and his first wife received the Polar Medal in 1987. He has received an Honorary Doctorate of Science.
In 1993 he was awarded an OBE for "human endeavour and charitable services". He has led 22 major expeditions to remote parts of the world including to both Poles. He is the author of over 15 books including The Feather Men, a UK No1 Best Seller, Fit For Life plus an autobiography.
During the last 40 years his astonishing feats of physical and mental endurance have claimed 10 expeditionary world records.
Each of his expeditions is designed to raise money for charitable causes. To date, they have raised over £14.2 million and Ran has been named as the UK's top celebrity fundraiser by JustGiving.
His exploration feats include:
1979/1982 The first person (with Charles Burton) to reach both Poles; The first person (with Charles Burton) to cross Antarctica and the Arctic Ocean; The first person (with Charles Burton) to circumnavigate earth on its polar axis.
1986 Achieved to Furthest North record for unsupported polar travel.
1991 Led the Ubar expedition which uncovered the long lost Atlantis of the sands, frankincense centre of the world; Broke his own Furthest North record for unsupported polar travel.
1993 Led the first unsupported crossing of Antarctica (with Mike Stroud); Achieved the longest unsupported polar journey in history (with Mike Stroud).
1980/1993 First man to reach the South Pole twice. First man to cross the Antarctic Continent twice. Setting off from Berkner Island with Dr. Mike Stroud in 1993. This expedition broke three world records and raised £1 million for charity.
In 2003, only months after recovering from a triple heart bypass, Sir Ranulph completed the 7X7X7 challenge: Completing 7 marathons on 7 continents in 7 days and in 2007 faced up to his own life long fear of heights by successfully scaling the North Face of the Eiger.
In 2009, at the third attempt, Sir Ranulph became the oldest Britain to climb Everest and was named by JustGiving as the UK's top celebrity fundraiser in 2009 and 2010, having raised more than £2.5 million for Marie Curie Cancer Care over the two years.
Since Everest he has gone on to climb Mount Kosciuszko, Australasia (climbed in 2015 - the same year he completed the Marathon Des Sables, the toughest footrace on earth!), Mount Elbrus, Europe (climbed in 2016) and Mount Vinson, Antarctica (climbed in 2016). It is his intention to complete Mount Aconcagua in South America, Mount Carstenz in Indonesia and Mount Denali in North America in order to become the first person to have crossed both polar ice caps - Antarctica and the Arctic - and climb the highest mountain on each continent.
He has appeared in numerous TV programmes, publications and books and even advised the Top Gear team on surviving the Arctic, having been a successful "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car".
Photo accredited to Chris Winter
Alan joined Simply Business in September 2016 as the Chief Commercial Officer. He previously spent 12 years at Hiscox where his career spanned underwriting, operations and leadership roles, most latterly as the Sales Director UK & Ireland. He started his insurance career as a trainee with Royal & Sun Alliance.
CEO and Co-Founder
Andy is the CEO of Concirrus, the market leader in advanced data analytics. Andy has established himself as a thought-leader specialising in delivering value to all areas of the insurance market using technology for dynamic portfolio management. Andy has a proven track record in executive management, telematics, big data and insurance with extensive experience in fast-growth business strategies, turnarounds, and M&A. Andy has spent many years working with insurers across both commercial and personal lines to transform their businesses through the adoption of technology.
Prior to Concirrus, Andy was Managing Director at Trimble Navigation where he expanded the business across Europe, America and Asia through both organic and acquisitive growth. He has enjoyed a career working in Europe, America and Asia. Andrew also holds non-executive directorships and chairman roles and performs regular consulting with the VC and PE industry.
Andy loves a bit of healthy competition and is a regular competitor in the weekend Parkrun – watch out, he’s quick over 5kms!
Ashwin Mistry OBE
Brokerbility Holdings and BHIB Insurance Brokers
Born in East Africa and arrived in this country at the age of 7 happily married to Mina with 2 children. I have over 40 years experience in general insurance and broking, starting my career at Guardian Royal Exchange at 17 and first becoming a Director at Brett and Randall in 1983.
Following B&R’s organic success, I helped establish Brokerbility Ltd in 2006. The broking group is now a major independent group in the UK, trading as Brokerbility Holdings Insurance Brokers Ltd (BHIB).
After leading the Management buy out in November 2009 I assumed the position of Chairman for the group whilst maintaining a book of clients for BHIB Ltd, as well as my responsibilities to the Brokerbility Holdings.
Originally from the banking industry, Bob joined the Group in 2009 and became CEO in 2017. Backed by PE firm Livingbridge, he led a successful MBO of the group in September 2018. The retail side of the business, Coversure is primarily a franchise operation, with almost 100 offices in the UK. It offers entrepreneurial brokers the chance to run their own business in a marketplace where it is becoming increasingly difficult to set up small independent businesses. More recently, Coversure’s unique blend of support and products has meant that it’s become a good home for existing broker businesses looking for a stable and compliant future. Jensten Group Ltd also owns wholesale businesses Policyfast and CUL, offering a wide range of commercial products to the wider broker market via their own software house Datamatters.
When not working, Bob loves spending quality time with his family. When they don’t have time to spend with him, Bob can be found listening to great music and following his beloved Arsenal.
Head of Risk and Compliance
Head of Mid-Market
Dave joined Aviva on 1st June 2017, to develop and accelerate their growth ambitions in the UK Mid-Market space. Dave previously worked for Zurich, most recently as Director of UK Regional Business, and prior to that held roles as the Head of Real Estate and Head of Corporate for Zurich’s UK business.
Married to Elaine , with two girls, Gaby (24) and Holly (17). He’s an avid Manchester United fan and loves playing golf (badly!), running, going to the gym and travelling.
Eva is CEO and co-founder of Bewica. Bewica has been founded to help small businesses be more cyber secure with insurance as well as automated risk assessments and advice. Bewica has built a suite of tools to enable brokers to sell cyber insurance, including broker portal, white label and API integration. Prior to Bewica, Eva was Head of Claims for a UK insurer
Chief Operating Officer
Graham started his insurance career with RSA and subsequently AXA . After a series of senior positions, he joined Stuart Alexander in 2002 and was part of the management team that negotiated their sale to Axa in 2007 and the ultimate creation of Bluefin where he held the position of Managing Director. Since 2014 Graham has held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Hamilton Fraser, a specialist broker in the private rented and cosmetic & aesthetic treatment sectors
Prior to Hamilton Fraser, Graham worked as a consultant for a variety of businesses including Aviva, Bollington & Jelf.
Graham is also a Non-Executive Director at Rural & Commercial Holdings, part of the Primary Group
Graham enjoys spending time with his family - 3 children and 3 grandkids. He also enjoys travelling, cycling, skiing, music festivals, good food & wine and reminiscing about the glory years at Leeds United 1965-75, 1990-1993, 1999-2003…..and 2019
Helen is the Commercial Manager of Ataraxia, a unique succession support business for UK General Insurance Brokers. Coming from a Finance and broking background, Helen works exclusively in the independent broker space. Utilising her commercial broking experience to support the business, which has achieved over 40 brokerage succession plans during the the last 10 years. Observing that “one size doesn’t generally fit all” Helen applies “bespoke” planning to the succession dilemma. Helping brokers to identify ambition, gently release capital and construct a robust business plan to protect all the vital elements of a brokerage.
Referred to as the Scheme Specialist and a Leading Light from the world of Schemes by Insurance Age Magazine, John likes to remind us that he wrote the original implementation spec for Chip and Pin in the UK and that he runs the biggest Microsoft user group this side of the Atlantic, NxtGenUG. More recently John has become a mentor for the Lloyds Innovation Lab, an initiative to help start ups connect with the right people in the industry.
Laurence Hunter, Insurance Lead at Laka
Laka are creating the digital mutual insurer of the future by rearranging the insurance value chain in favour of the customer.
Prior to Laka Laurence had a career as broker in and around the Lloyd’s market and then most recently in the M&A team at Willis Towers Watson
Martyn is the Managing Director of Aon’s Affinity business in the UK, who concentrate in providing insurance solutions for consumers and SME businesses. Martyn has worked in the financial services for over 20 years, with experience ranging from start-up and SME through to Global businesses at an executive level. Martyn’s current focus is on high growth sectors, including the gig/ sharing economy, working with Insurtech providers to offer insurance that can help enable growth.
Martyn has 40 years’ experience in the General Insurance market, having held positions with Cornhill, Bishopsgate/Fortis and Zenith he moved into broking 20 years ago with Marsh heading up their Bancassurance SME business before establishing Group Direct in 2001 which then became Brightside Plc on a reverse takeover in 2008. Having been running all Broking operations he then became CEO in 2012. After being thwarted in an attempt to take the business private in 2014 he left and joined Markerstudy Group as Commercial Director managing all external relationships whilst also overseeing the Insurance Broking and Affinity divisions. He established Holman Advisory Ltd in 2017 and is currently a Non Exec Director at Insurance Software provider Open GI and niche Telematics Insurer Smart Driver Insurance whilst also consulting for Legal Protection Group, Amber management and Pukka Insurance.
Cyber & Financial Lines Underwriting Manager
With over 20 years’ experience in the insurance industry, Matt began his career underwriting cargo and freight insurance at Commercial Union, where he spent 3 years before joining NMU in 2000. Having spent 6 years as a Development Underwriter and 10 years as the Regional Manager in the North of England, he is now NMU’s Cyber & Financial Lines Underwriting Manager. Since his transition to Cyber, he has gained valuable experience and knowledge in this ever evolving class of business by working closely with NMU’s parent company, Munich Re, developing a SME cyber product which NMU successfully launched in May 2019.
Centor Insurance and Risk Management
Neil Walton has been a practicing insurance broker involved in both the Lloyds and Company markets for over 30 years. A Director of Centor and its predecessor business since 1996.
C.E.O. and the majority shareholder of Centor Insurance and Risk Management since performing an MBO in 2004. Centor are an old Investor in People Accredited business and have placed in the top 10 “Great Places To Work” (under 50 employees) for the last 8 years.
Centor employees 45 staff across Commercial, Corporate, Real Estate,
Private Client and Employee Benefit lines, and has a premium income of £28 million Based in the City of London with a strong Exec and Non Exec Board, Centor have grown year on year by meticulous strategy planning and the fostering of long term relationships and successful JV’s. Centor are multiple industry award winners, including British Insurance Awards – Commercial Insurance Broker of the year, 2016 and 2017, Broker of the year at the Commercial Insurance awards 2017 & Broker Claims team of the year at the Insurance Times Claims excellence awards 2017.
Group Managing Director
J.M. Glendinning Group
Managing Director – JM Glendinning Group Limited – December 2012 – present day
Managing Director – Broker Network Limited – December 2008 – Dec 2012
Managing Director – Towergate Professional Risks – May 2006 – December 2008
Nick started at Eagle Star in 1989. Following a move to Newcastle in 1999 he joined Alfred Blackmore Group. In 2005 he joined Towergate and over 7 years enjoyed several roles including running Towergate’s Network Division.
In 2012 Nick decided to return to his broking roots by joining JM Glendinning Group as Managing Director. Over the last few years he has taken income from £2m to over £6m and established a group with 8 businesses and 7 offices. JM Glendinning is now rated in the Top 75 brokers in the UK.
Out of work Nick’s time is spent with his wife and 2 children, painting, golfing and gardening.
CEO Retail Specialty
Aston Lark Group
After starting his career in motor underwriting, Peter switched to broking, and eventually led a management buy-out of the UK commercial division of Farr in 2000 which he then named FMW Risk Services Ltd. He grew this business to approximately £25m gross written premium before selling the business in December 2007 to Oval. In 2012 Peter was appointed Chief Executive of Oval and he ran the business through until its eventual sale to Arthur J. Gallagher which completed in April 2014.
In May 2015 Peter concluded a management buy-in of Aston Scott and then led the merger with Lark Group in 2017. As Group CEO he now leads a business with over 700 staff across 21 locations in the UK and Ireland that writes over £300m of gross written premium.
Peter is also non-executive chairman at Hastings Insurance Services Ltd, the broker arm of Hastings Direct, and is chairman of the Large Brokers’ Advisory Board at the British Insurance Brokers Insurance Association (BIBA).
Peter has just concluded a 9-year term as a trustee of the Essex Community Foundation which is an independent charitable trust improving the quality of life of people in Essex by investing and distributing funds on behalf of a wide range of donors. Essex Community Foundation looks after over £40m worth of endowed funds and awards thousands of grants each year to a variety of voluntary organisations and projects.
Peter lives in Colchester with his wife, Sue, and has three children aged 18, 17 and 12 and his hobbies include padel tennis, tennis, swimming, shooting, golf and watching rugby.
Ray brings over 25 years of insurance sector experience to the team. Prior to joining Freedom, Ray was Head of Operations at Ageas’ insurance sales service for affinity & brand partners where he was instrumental in driving technological advances.
During this period Ray was responsible for leading the successful migration of multiple affinity brands to Ageas, including Toyota, John Lewis, AIG and General Motors.
Ray’s strengths lie in strategic development of the operation, focusing on continuous improvement, process design, regulation and governance, effective planning, sales performance and award-winning service delivery.
Willis Towers Watson Networks
Sara is the Managing Director of the Willis Networks. Her twenty eight years in the insurance industry comprises both network and insurer experience. Sara’s passionate approach has redefined the Willis Networks market-leading proposition; she has set them on a new course, reaffirmed the networks as the most professional in the market and strengthened the members’ collective voice. Sara is FCII, Chartered Insurance Broker, Chartered Manager and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. She is keen to engage in wider industry issues and joined the CII board in March 2013.
Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation
Having spent 15 years working in retail and software, Simon made the move into the insurance industry last year, taking up the role of Head of Digital Strategy and Innovation at iGO4. With vast experience working in digital development, such as Head of Digital Development at Wm Morrison’s and as Co-Founder of cloud SaaS platform Elevaate, Simon has brought his skills in technology and marketing to iGO4 to help cement its position as a customer focused and innovative company.
Visit the IGO4 website
Group Managing Director
Simon is the Group Managing Director of The Romero Group a leading regional UK independent insurance broking group which includes Romero Insurance Brokers, Club Insure, NDML, JSV Events and Booking Protect with group commission income of circa £14.5m. Simon has over 25 years experience in the commercial insurance business and working with Founder and Group CEO Justin Romero-Trigo has led the development of The Romero Group to be one of the fastest organic growing and multi award winning group of companies in the UK. Simon has spoken all over the world about developing exceptional customer service propositions and the use of customer testimonials and reviews to boost customer confidence. Having previously worked for AXA Insurance UK in various senior management roles around the UK regions.
Anthony Jones and Arlington Insurance
Steve joined Anthony Jones and Arlington Insurance Services as a director from Zurich Insurance, where he spent 29 years in a variety of leadership positions within its UK General Insurance business. Steve was responsible for developing Zurich’s major corporate customer proposition and as head of its corporate business segment.
Steve had considerable expertise in sales and distribution within general insurance and with broker and customer propositions. Since his shift from insurer to broker he has focused on digital transformation and online visibility within the SME space.
He is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and a member of the Insurance Brokers Standards Committee within the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA).
Chief Information Officer
Steve is an award-winning and highly regarded, board-level business transformation executive who has global-scale experience in M&A and Separation as well as building and restructuring systems, teams and processes within the Insurance, Construction, Professional Services, Banking, Telecommunications, Retail, and Payments industries. He has significant experience in the Private Equity area having worked in a number of PE-backed businesses creating exceptional results. He has a proven track record of being successful in high complexity, badly broken environments where his steady-hand, strong stakeholder management, open communications style combined with hard-won vision and pragmatic strategy are essential characteristics.
He is the author of "What Every CIO Wants" a unique insight into the mind and motivations of senior IT and business managers. As a subject matter expert is credited as the initiator of the Data Centre Maturity Model adopted by the Green Grid. He holds patents in IT cooling technology.
Head of Corporate and Mid-Market Client Relationship Management
Tom is the CEO and owner of Erskine Murray Insurance Brokers. Erskine Murray’s foundations were laid around 40 years ago and now has 3 offices and coverage across England specialising in Business insurance, High Net Worth, and Employee Benefits. Erskine Murray control around £30m of premium and have more than 70 staff.
Prior to acquiring his own broker, Tom spent 20 years at Willis. His roles included broking large international property clients in the London market and leading Willis’ global terrorism business. He was the CEO of their US wholesale division in London and Bermuda, leading placement in the USA with a 2 year secondment to NY, returning to lead the SME segment globally. His final role was to lead placement for the International division controlling £7.5bn of premium.
Tom was educated at Haileybury College and the University of Manchester where he graduated with a 2.1 in Economics. Married with 3 teenage boys he is a keen skier and dog walker and sports enthusiast with his children. Unusually he enjoys insurance and is a big fan of technology at home and in the office.