Your Broker Expo 2020 Speakers
Siân has been writing about the insurance sector since 2014 and is currently editor of Insurance Age.
Director of content
Author and the former Enterprise Editor of The Sunday Times
Rachel Bridge is an author and the former Enterprise Editor of The Sunday Times, where she interviewed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs for her How I Made It column. She also examined key issues for SMEs in the paper's Small Business and Startup pages.
Rachel started out at the Investors Chronicle and the London Evening Standard as a business reporter. Moving to The Times she became Australia correspondent and then France correspondent, before moving back to business for the Mail on Sunday, The Sunday Times and then The Telegraph.
Rachel has written numerous books, including Already Brilliant: Play to Your Strength in Work and Life which shares insights on building the career that you want and setting yourself the right goals. As a seasoned performer, Rachel turned one of her books, How To Make a Million Before Lunch, into a one-woman show at the Edinburgh Fringe. The audience were taken on a whistle-stop tour of what the world’s most successful people were doing between 5am and 1pm. Her second show Ambition, a humorous take on achieving goals, was also taken to the Fringe a few years later.
In speeches, Rachel focuses on everything - the pitfalls, mistakes, challenges, rewards and lessons experienced by every entrepreneur. She looks at the different requirements that make a company successful, whether it’s fostering ‘intrapreneurship’ in a large organisation or creating effective structures for a small new business.
Special Guest Speaker
To be announced soon!
Institute of Fiscal Studies
Paul Johnson is director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) and member of the Committee on Climate Change. The institute is widely considered the leading independent economic research and analysis organisation in the country.
Paul has published and broadcast extensively on various issues in the economics of public policy including tax, welfare, inequality and poverty, pensions, education, climate change and public finances. He is the author of major books on pensions, tax and inequality and is a regular contributor to news and current affairs programmes across the UK broadcast media.
As well as a previous spell at the IFS in the 1990s (including a period as deputy director) Paul has been chief economist at the Department for Education and director of public spending in HM Treasury. At the Treasury his responsibilities included public sector pay and pensions and climate change policy. In the latter role he worked closely with Nicholas Stern on his review of the economics of climate change. Other positions include a period as head of economics at the Financial Service Authority and as a senior associate with Frontier Economics.
Paul was also deputy head of the Government Economic Service. He served on the council of the Economic and Social Research Council and was elected to the council of the Royal Economic Society. He was a founder council member of the Pensions Policy Institute and has led a review into the policy of pensions auto-enrolment.
Other roles and bodies Paul has been involved in include the council of the Family and Parenting Institute, the Pension Provision Group, the Commission on taxation and citizenship, the Youth Justice Commission and the Commission on Living Standards.
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.
Group chief executive officer
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 of Aston Lark he now leads a business with circa 1,500 staff operating from offices across the UK and Ireland and writing approximately £650m of gross written premium. Aston Lark is backed by the merchant banking division of Goldman Sachs alongside Bowmark Capital LLP.
Peter is also non-executive chairman at Hastings Insurance Services Ltd, the broker arm of Hastings Direct, and up until recently served as chairman of the Large Brokers’ Advisory Board at the British Insurance Brokers Insurance Association (BIBA). He is currently Deputy President of the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Peter lives in Colchester with his wife, Sue, and has three children aged 21, 19 and 14 and his hobbies include cycling, golf, shooting and watching rugby.
CVO and Founder
With over 40 years of experience in the insurance industry, Mark has been a jack of all trades, a Lloyds Underwriter, Lloyds Broker, general Insurance Broker, the list is endless.
Mark has been the entrepreneur setting up and selling a number of highly successful insurance businesses and is the founder of Be Wiser Insurance, the leading independent insurance brand.
Alistair is Chief Executive Officer for Marsh’s UK Corporate business, which provides risk management advice, insurance brokerage and claims advocacy services to mid-size and large organisations through its network of UK offices.
In this role Alistair is responsible for over 650 colleagues across the UK driving strategy, execution and overall growth of Marsh’s Corporate business.
He is also a member of Marsh’s UK Executive Committee and is a main Board Director of Marsh Limited.
Alistair has over 23 years of experience in the insurance industry. He began his career in 1995 working as an underwriter in the London insurance market and has spent the last 19 years in insurance broking.
Alistair joined Marsh 12 years ago and has held a number of leadership roles including Regional Director for Southern Region in the UK, and he spent five years as Head of Sales for Asia based in Singapore. Before his current position, he most recently spent two years as Chief Executive Officer & President Director for Marsh Indonesia and Chief Corporate Officer, MMC Indonesia located in Jakarta.
Alistair holds a BA(Hons) Financial Services from UWE, Bristol, and is CII qualified
The Plan Group
After graduating from Manchester University with a first class degree in 2003, Grant launched a successful media career. In 2006 Grant was tempted back into the family insurance business by the challenge of overhauling the company’s marketing activities. Having worked at TPG to support his education, Grant already had a thorough understanding of the workings of both the company and the industry.
Grant quickly removed the firm’s reliance on traditional marketing channels offering diminishing returns and established it as a forward thinking, digitally minded broker. Working within a small, close knit and dynamic management team Grant has played a significant role in developing TPG’s overall business strategy. In November 2017, after 11 years as Marketing Director, Grant stepped up to become Group MD with a remit to deliver significant growth.
Insurance Broker, Cyber Insurance Proponent, Director
UK Global Broking Group Ltd
Whilst I am a third-generation Insurance Broker, with a passion for my clients and the industry. However, I nearly became a game ranger.
Whist training in South Africa I once fell into a pride of lions to save a dog, but that's a story for another day....
My first job in insurance was sitting behind a desk in Stanningly near Leeds dealing with customers who would walk in to arrange their home and motor insurance I have enjoyed dealing with people and helping them find a solution for their insurance needs.
In the last 15 years I have been immersed in a great number of different areas the insurance industry has to offer in the UK and around the world. I have dealt with individuals protecting their most precious assets to large corporations with complex insurance programmes. I have worked around the UK, dealt with London Insurers and worked for 5 years in Australia where I headed up the Aerospace division of an international brokerage. Most recently I have been specialising in Cyber and the risks posed by the increased use of technology in our everyday lives.
I am now involved in a company where passion for clients and excellence in approach are the maxims that we work by.
In my spare time I still try and enjoy playing the odd game of rugby or cricket and avoid putting my head in the lion's jaws.
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.
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.
Senior Account Handler
Churchill Insurance Consultants Ltd.
Why are you involved in iCAN?: I am involved in iCAN to help tackle the lack of representation of leaders from culturally diverse backgrounds, lack of multicultural specific Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s) and lack of role models from a multicultural background. Also to work with mentors and interract with like minded individuals who see the benefit of a diverse and inclusive industry.
Willis Towers Watson Networks
Sara Fardon is the Managing Director of Willis Towers Watson Networks, a position she has held since 2011. Sara has had a distinguished career in insurance working within household names, before joining Willis Towers Watson. Sara then took the helm at their Network division as it was starting out and has guided it to deliver over £400 million GWP into the markets.
Sara invests in the future: she ensured Networks was the first Network to achieve Chartered Status and proudly continue to hold this recognition. As Network celebrated 20 years of delivering to its Network Members, Sara has embraced the digital future pushing Networks to the forefront of this opportunity.
She is keen to ensure her Network delivers solutions for the independent insurance broker of tomorrow and deploys the resources of Willis Towers Watson to back her Network.
In addition to her all-encompassing role within the Network Sara is a member of the BIBA Networks and MGA Advisory committee, and a very active member of the Worshipful Company of Insurers.
Away from work Sara is a very active volunteer in her local community and relaxes at her allotment turning new season produce into delicious dishes.
Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion
Yvonne is the Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Hays plc, with over 23 years professional recruitment experience.
Yvonne spearheads Hays’ commitment to being recruiting experts by ensuring that our major recruitment linked activities and insights are designed to positively promote and create more diverse workforces and inclusive workplace cultures. Working directly with customers, in partnership with subject matter experts, community groups, and through colleagues, Yvonne has been responsible for creating and curating a suite of resources designed to inform, support and enable our customers to progress their D&I linked commitments and navigate their careers.
Yvonne is the national specialism director for Hays Human Resources, the largest HR specialist recruiter in the UK. She is responsible for the HR national strategy within this high growth and pivotal specialism consisting of over 70 consultants across 45 locations. Yvonne is also the national specialism director for Hays Legal and Hays Company Secretarial, a team of over 35 experts across 7 locations.
Recently Yvonne was featured in the SIA 2019 Global Power 150 Women in Staffing list, which recognises the female leaders and influencers in the global market space. Prior to joining Hays, Yvonne initially trained and qualified as a litigation lawyer with international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.
Head of Compliance and Training
British Insurance Brokers’ Association
David has over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry and since 2002 has focused on insurance broking compliance. During that time David led a group's firms through authorisation, as well as providing technical compliance advice to a number of firms, from the international to the very small, on UK regulations.
David is able to bring a 'regulatory mindset' to his role at BIBA (which he took up in August 2013) having spent a number of years at the Financial Services Authority where he focused on insurance broker supervision.
British Insurance Brokers Association