Describe your role in no more than 100 words.
I am responsible for day-to-day management of the Newcastle office within the Henderson Insurance Broking Group, as well as oversee our newly-acquired Sunderland branch. I also manage my own client portfolio, which includes firms from a range of different sectors.
What is it the company does?
The Henderson Insurance Broking Group is one of the leading insurance brokers in the UK, which operates from 15 offices throughout the country, including three in the North East. The company is made up of specialist divisions and our team of experts advise and can provide all types of insurance cover, ranging from construction and real estate to risk management and general business insurance for SMEs and multinationals.
What do you believe makes a great leader?
There are many qualities required to lead successfully, but for me, it all starts from leading by example – setting the standard of behaviours, actions and professionalism you want to see from others around you.
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
I wouldn’t say there’s been one individual challenge that stands out from others. My feeling is that the biggest challenge in what is a fast-paced and ever-changing environment, is simply keeping all of the plates spinning consistently – an art-form in itself.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Sport is my passion. After reluctantly ‘hanging up my boots’ a few years ago, I qualified as an FA Youth Football Coach to get my football fix. I also play badminton in the local Northumberland Leagues; it’s a sport I’ve played for over 30 years now.
Sunderland AFC is my team, but that’s just a different form of stress…and one which I’ve also passed on to my son, Charley!
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
My Mam will tell you it was a Bus Driver, but I’m convinced it was to be the front man of a rock band - 80’s rock is my guilty pleasure!
Any pet hates in the workplace?
I have two:
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Our growth aspiration to reach £50m turnover by 2020 is very achievable, which will further strengthen our position in the North East and also see us extending our footprint across the UK. Our approach to acquisitions will continue to be bespoke and strategic, with our clients always being at the centre of everything we do.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Understand your environment, pick your team wisely, stay curious – you’re always learning, and most of all, enjoy what you do!
Where did you start your career?
My career started back in 1985 with AA Insurance Services Ltd in Newcastle. I saw an advert for a Trainee Home Insurance Clerk, and that’s where it all began.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far.
2004-present – Henderson Insurance Brokers Ltd – joined the Group as a Director following the acquisition of FHI (Northern) Ltd in Newcastle.