Broker Exchange Speakers

2020 speakers page

Ida Axling

News Editor

Insurance Age

Hailing from Sweden, Ida worked as a news reporter and sub-editor at a regional newspaper before making the decision to move to England in September 2013.

She undertook a year-long master of arts in international journalism at City University London and joined Insurance Age as a reporter in October 2014.

She was recognised by the British Insurance Brokers' Association in its 2015 awards ceremony scooping highly commended in the newcomer to insurance journalism category.

Siân Barton


Insurance Age

Siân has been writing about the insurance sector since 2014 and is currently editor of Insurance Age.



Jonathan Swift

director of content

Insurance Post

Paul Johnson

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.

Rachel Bridge

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.

Eliza Manningham-Buller

Former Head of Britain’s Security Service (MI5)

Eliza Manningham-Buller headed Britain’s Security Service (MI5) from 2002 to 2007, leading the organisation though substantial change in the wake of 9/11 and the threat from Al-Qaeda. During her time at the helm MI5 doubled in size, opened eight new offices and altered its approach to the professional development of staff with the establishment of a training academy.

Earlier in her career, Eliza led the Service’s investigation into the Lockerbie bombing. She served in Washington during the first Gulf war, returning to establish MI5’s intelligence effort against the Provisional IRA in mainland Britain. She joined the board and assumed lead responsibility for work on Irish terrorism, surveillance, technical collection, finance and IT before becoming Deputy Director General in charge of intelligence operations.

In presentations Eliza draws on her experience in the most demanding of environments to stress the need for leaders in any walk of life to engage in frank dialogue and invite criticism: “Do not try to be something you’re not, take responsibility for your team and remember that praising people takes seconds and can make an enormous difference. And don’t forget that humour can be found even in the most awful situations.”

Eliza Manningham-Buller is an active cross-bench Peer serving on numerous committees including the Science and Technology Committee, and the Chair of the Wellcome Trust, the world’s second largest non-governmental provider (behind the Gates Foundation) of funds for scientific research. She was also chosen to deliver the prestigious BBC Reith Lectures and her analysis of the theme Securing Freedom formed the basis of her book of the same title.

Maryam Abdullah


Situation Hub Ltd

Maryam Abdullah BSc FIA is the CEO of Situation Hub Limited, a consultancy working on capital solutions and development projects in Africa. She’s a qualified Actuary and currently leads the Scenario Modelling team at the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries’ COVID-19 Action Taskforce. She recently co-authored a report COVID-19 and Future Pandemic Scenario Modelling for P&C Insurers and Reinsurers. Most of her 20 year career was spent in the London Market as an Actuary and a reinsurance broker. Her last role was at Gallagher Re as Head of Capital. Previously she worked at Guy Carpenter, Beach and Associates, Liberty Syndicates and Markel. She has worked extensively on reinsurance product development, Solvency II, catastrophe risk, pandemic risk, cyber risk, and structured capital transactions. Maryam studied Economics (BSc) at University College London.

Abbhi Bala


Gallagher’s UK-wide Multi-Ethnicity Racial Alliance

Abbhi Bala is Finance Director for Gallagher Re, having joined the original Capsicum Re business in April 2015 as a senior business partner before being promoted to her current role 15 months later. A Chartered Accountant since 2011, Abbhi made the move into the insurance industry shortly after qualifying, joining Direct Line Group as a finance business partner in 2012 before her move to the City and Capsicum Re three years later. As FD Abbhi holds overall responsibility for all financial decisions across Gallagher’s reinsurance division, including P&L management, recruitment decisions and approvals, management of complex tax advice and the delivery of complex board presentations as well as financial modelling. A passionate supporter and champion of inclusion and diversity in the workplace, Abbhi is co-founder of the reinsurance division’s Ally-In network and Chair of Gallagher’s UK-wide Multi-Ethnicity Racial Alliance.

Tom Bartleet


Erskine Murray

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.

Giles Baxter

Chief Information Officer

Open GI

Giles is the Chief Information Officer at Open GI, a specialised provider of software for the general insurance industry. Giles leads a team of technologists responsible for creating and developing Open GI’s market leading innovative platforms.

Giles joined Open GI earlier in 2020 and brings a vast amount of enterprise technology development experience coupled with strong expertise in cyber and consumer focussed tech-based propositions. Prior to Open GI, Giles has held multiple executive roles across the tech and insurance industry including Arthur J Gallagher, RSA, Acturis and Accenture leading various IT, cyber and technology initiatives across the globe.

Branko Bjelobaba

Principal and Owner

Branko Ltd.


Branko’s insurance career started in Luton in 1987 and has worked across the sector since then and has had it easy for the last 16 years being self employed.  He has a quirky (odd) presentation style and has been told on many occasions that he is the only person in the world who can make compliance sound interesting (not that hard is it!!??).  He has spoken at virtually all the CII’s local institute dinners (was 12 stone when he started) and has never used the same joke on more than 100 occasions.

Branko was Thomson Reuters Compliance Personality of the Year 2012 and in 2017 received the London Market Outstanding Contribution to Legal and Compliance Award.  He also is a proud recipient of the CII’s Bridgewater Award which is the highest award a member can receive for exceptional service.

He joined the Luton & St Albans CII council in 1991 and has never left and has been president on three occasions and just loved being dinner secretary.  He is now Regional Forum Rep.

He was Vice-President of the CII from 2008 to 2014 and became a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers and a Freeman of the City of London in 2002.


Peter Blanc

Group CEO

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.

Mark Bower-Dyke

CVO and Founder

Be Wiser

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.

Sarah Brodie

Policy Adviser - Property Insurance

Association of British Insurers

Sarah Brodie is a Policy Adviser in the General Insurance team as the Association of British Insurers. She is responsible for property and travel insurance. Sarah helped lead the ABI response to the November floods in 2019 and Storms Ciara, Dennis and Jorge earlier this year working with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Environment Agency and other stakeholders.


Ian Donaldson


Atlanta Group

As CEO of Atlanta Group, Ian leads a 2,000 people strong digital business that arranges two million policies on behalf of its customers.
Atlanta proudly houses several leading customer facing brands including Swinton, Carole Nash and Autonet. 

Ian co-founded Autonet aged 24 and led the business through a defining period of organic growth and throughout its becoming part of the Ardonagh Group in 2017.  A former semi-professional football player, Ian continues to coach youth football at Kidsgrove Athletic FC.

Ian was named Broker Personality of the Year at the UK Broker Awards in September 2019.

Matt Drinkwater

Cyber & Financial Lines Underwriting Manager


Andy Fairchild


Applied Systems Europe

Bio to come shortly ....

Sara Fardon

Managing Director

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.

Alistair Fraser


Marsh Corporate

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

Rebecca Fuller

Head of EMEA - Managing Director

Duff and Phelps

Grant Georgiades

The Plan Group

Managing Director

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.

Sophie Glasson

Head of Risk

Aston Lark

Graham Goodman

Head of Marketing and Digital

Willis Towers Watson Networks

Julia Graham

Technical Director


Karen Graves


Independent Women in Insurance Network (iWIN)

Karen has been working in the Lloyd’s and London market for over 30 years, starting her career in the compliance arena, moving on to a COO and then a CEO role within the Lloyd’s market for an established Lloyd’s Managing Agency. She is the Senior Independent Director for the USAA Limited and USAA SA and a Trustee of the CII’s Education & Training Trust.

Karen’s career includes working in the reinsurance and insurance sector, and has direct experience in operational leadership, oversight and coordination of EMEA offices, Internal Controls, Operational Risk Management, Regulatory Relationships, Property Affairs, Compliance and working with business divisions on new projects from a strategic perspective. Her experience includes establishing offices overseas, taking part in EU College of Supervisors meetings and rolling out compliance processes, with a particular emphasis on corporate governance.

Karen is a Freeman of the City of London, a member of the Worshipful Company of Insurers and Chair of the Independent Women in Insurance Network (iWIN). As a supporter of educational diversity Karen is a Trustee of the Education & Training Trust CII and is a keen painter and member of the Lloyd’s Art Group. Age and educational diversity are of particular interest and she often takes part in presentations and conferences on these topics, along with being an ally to LGBTQ colleagues.

Eliot Hayes

Head of Corporate

Close Brothers Premium Finance

A highly proven and driven senior manager with over 18 years of sales experience within the financial services sector. As a professional leader with a strong track record of delivering results in a B2B environment my strength lies in defining strategy and executing effectively for substantial results through the development of high performing teams. An ability to engage and influence across multiple functions at all levels including executive boards. 

Richard Hodson

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. 

Peter Holmes

Technical Specialist - Business Interruption, Continuity Management, Supply Chain & Cyber


Allison Hughes

Head Of Distribution

Peach Pi

Business development professional with over 30 years experience in the insurance industry. Responsible for the growth and distribution strategy for NPAI. Skilled in strategy development, sales leadership, and strategic account management. 

Janthana Kaenprakhamroy

CEO and Founder


Janthana is the CEO and Founder of Tapoly, one of the first on-demand insurance platforms for the gig economy in Europe, and winner of Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018. She is listed by Forbes as number 6 of the Top 100 Women Founders to watch, and is among the Top Ten Insurtech Female Influencers according to The Insurance Institute. Janthana is a chartered accountant and former internal audit director at top-tier investment banks.

Mandy Kisbee

Commercial Director


During my career I have worked for both Insurer and brokers which  I feel gives me a good perspective for seeing matters from both sides of the fence or poacher come gamekeeper!  Having returned to broking in 2008 I am now the Commercial Director of an independent community centric broker, responsible for the overall running of the business, including staff, clients and insurers.  In addition I still keep my hand in the movement of the market by keeping a book of clients.  In addition I am the regional councillor for Broker Network members for the South East and London which keeps brokers very much in contact with each other, helping and supporting independent local brokers, who I believe are still very much at the heart of the insurance landscape.

Simon Mabb

Group Managing Director

Romero Insurance

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. 

Kath Mainon

CEO - Claims Solution

Davies Group

Kath is a Chartered Insurer with more than 20 years’ experience in the claims sector. Kath joined Davies in 2014, following the acquisition of MFS. Prior to that Kath worked as Head of Claims Handling for DAC Beachcroft after heading up the development of the TCS Claims outsourcing business for Endsleigh Insurance. Kath has in-depth experience of all aspects of commercial and retail motor claims including corporate and the Lloyds’ market. In recent years Kath has been a keen sponsor and advocate for the introduction of technology and innovation into Davies claims handling.

Jon Maury

Vice President International Operations


Jon Maury heads up Zywave’s international division and is a tenured software business executive with 25+ years’ experience building and transforming successful commercial teams. Jon’s experience managing tech businesses in both the US & European markets has led to his passion for supporting businesses in their digital transformation journey. Jon lives in London with his family and is a long standing Fulham F.C fan!

Marcus Meredith

Geo Specialty Head of Political Violence and Terrorism Division

Ardonagh Group

Bio to come shortly.  In the meantime, please see the speaker's LinkedIn profile here.

Suzy Middleton

Deputy CEO

SEIB Insurance Brokers

Deputy CEO of a niche scheme broker who commenced her career in the early 90’s. Obtaining her fellowship in 2010. Winner of the Women in Insurance Awards Insurance Broker of the Year 2019. Suzy started her career in a high street broker working across all size broking houses. In her current position she controls over £40m GWP with a high profit margin. This is a dynamic niche scheme business with over 80% DA business, this continues to grow organically year on year. The team are actively pursuing acquisitions in sectors that fit the business vision.

Ashwin Mistry OBE

Executive Chairman

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. 

Pauline Miller

Head of Talent Development and Inclusion

Lloyd’s Corporation

Pauline Miller is Head of Talent Development and Inclusion for Lloyd’s Corporation and leads a team of Talent Development and Diversity and Inclusion professionals to create and implement talent, learning and development programmes that enables employees at all levels to develop and perform their best within Lloyd’s and the Lloyd’s market.

As part of her remit Pauline provides strategic leadership and support for [email protected]’s the committee for Diversity and Inclusion to support Lloyd’s and the Lloyd’s market. Most notably since joining Lloyd’s Pauline has led Dive In, the festival for Diversity and Inclusion across the insurance sector globally. With more than twenty years in HR split across Learning and Development and Diversity and Inclusion, Pauline is highly regarded as a change agent and expert in her field. Pauline has led and implemented numerous global projects including employee engagement, consultancy for HR, building inclusive cultures and unconscious bias.

Prior to joining Lloyd’s, Pauline held positions at State Street, Barclays Wealth and Barclays Capital within Diversity and Talent Development. Pauline currently sits as an advisory board member for the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up organisation, a grass roots campaign focusing on empowerment for girls. Pauline is an active member of her local community and is passionate about supporting girls and young women at the early stages of their career serving as an active mentor and role model.

Paul J. Mills

Product Development Manager

Willis Tower Watson Networks

Paul joined the company in 2011, working for the Willis Towers Watson Networks Team to continue development of the Network Policy Wordings.

He has 33 years experience in the insurance industry, 22 of them as an underwriter and 11 on the national broking side. Main experience in property and liability classes dealing in large accounts for property owners, the construction industry, the care industry, and even used to dabble in the pluvious market. He is married to Liz, a motor trade broker, and has a 22 year old Son called Scott, who has to date managed to avoid working in Insurance.      

Paul is continuing the work on Network Wordings and providing technical support, bespoke training, webinars, and face to face workshops to Network Member Brokers on claims, wording issues, and general risk management issues. He also holds a ‘Webclinic’ on Wednesday mornings for therapy and support on insurance issues.

Gareth Mutema

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.

Michael Phillips

Director of Premium Finance

BNP Paribas Personal Finance

Eliot Powell

Chief Transformation Officer

Howden Broking Group & Dual

Eliot has built retail business models and since joining Hyperion has undertaken the role of Managing Director Howden UK General Insurance and Chief Revenue Officer, Hyperion X. In the new role as Chief Transformation Officer of Howden Broking Group and Dual, the focus is on leading change strategies that enable the business to deliver growth, efficiency, sustainability, differentiation but primarily great client outcomes.

Bundeep Singh Rangar



Bundeep Singh Rangar, CEO PremFina, is a recognised fintech entrepreneur, investor and dealmaker. He has helped raise more than $500 million in equity and debt funding over nearly two decades for companies in the UK, Europe,  Canada and India. He celebrated his last $36 million Series A equity and debt raise for his latest venture via a pilgrimage to Burning Man in the Nevada desert. Often quoted as a Blockchain expert, Bundeep provides commentary on fintech for the BBC, CNBC, CNN and Sky, some of which can be viewed at



Paul Rich

MOTOSI Consulting


A senior London Market operations professional, with varied and extensive experience and a proven track record of managing high level, complex, multi-tiered relationships. My understanding of insurance markets, in particular, the Lloyd’s and London market is comprehensive, coupled with extensive experience of managing strategic business relationships internationally.

I am well versed at delivering results through a structured and consistent approach to stakeholder management, understanding the nuances of the market landscape and make up and ever mindful to engage the market with tact and in a pragmatic and empathetic manner.

SME in and key skills and delivery experience:

Delegated Authority Operations
Target Operating Models
Process Design and Implementation
Change Management
Delivery of Central Service Operations
Stakeholder Management 

John Read

Regional Managing Director

Willis Tower Watson Networks

Andrew Reid

Head of Claims

Home & Legacy

With over 30 years broking experience, in both underwriting and claims, and almost 20 years in high net worth insurance; Andrew is a personal lines specialist with a passion for making sure policyholders have the best possible customer experience. As Head of Claims at high net worth specialist, Home & Legacy, Andrew focusses on efficiency and technical excellence to maintain exceptionally high claims service standards from his award-winning team. Andrew has a keen interest in using technology in insurance – from e-trading to claims – but always in scenarios when it adds benefit to customers.

Fay Reinhold-Shor

UK Manager


Fay Reinhold-Shor leads the Zywave UK team and works with Commercial Insurance Brokerages across the United Kingdom in support of their growth and retention. After spending over a decade working in business to business sales, Fay understands what truly drives person to person engagement and the importance in today’s age of bringing powerful content into the interactions that a brokerage has with it’s customers. Over the years Fay has worked with CEOs of some of the largest brokerages in the UK, supporting and advising them on ways to efficiently and effectively build content into their customer interactions in order to win more business, and retain more clients. Fay lives in Derbyshire with her family and in her spare time is enjoying renovating her Victorian home.

Dr David Rubens

Executive Director

Institute of Strategic Risk Management

Dr David Rubens is Executive Director of the Institute of Strategic Risk Management. He established his first consultancy in London in 1992, is a Chartered Security Professional (CSyP) and has served two terms as a Main Board Director of the UK Security Institute. He holds a Doctorate in Security & Risk Management from the University of Portsmouth, his thesis exploring non-hierarchical models of strategic management at the extremes of organisational complexity, including issues of capability development, decision-making and multi-agency interoperability in hyper-complex situations such as natural disasters, corporate failures and government-level crisis management scenarios. David was a member of the UK Black Sky / Black Start programme looking at the development of a multi-disciplinary framework for the theoretical modelling and the creation of practical responses within a UK context for a Black Sky / Black Start extended critical national infrastructure failure, and is currently a member of the National Preparedness Commission under Lord Toby Harris.

David established the Institute of Strategic Risk Management (ISRM) in October 2018. Since then it has become recognised as a major institute in the sector, with International Chapters in 16 countries across SE Asia, Middle East, US, Australasia and Eastern Europe, and a vibrant network of academic, research and think-tank institutions.

Claire Russell

CEO of Mental Health in Business | Director of Perry Appleton

Claire has had a corporate career spanning 20 years, having managed and directed businesses in the financial services sector since she was just 20 years old.

This has given her a very broad business knowledge and a great deal of experience in facing and overcoming the challenges that all business owners face at some time in their business careers. Latterly, since selling her Insurance business, she has worked in a consultancy capacity as a strategic development director, helping businesses to look at all areas of development of their business.

Claire started to use some of her time to help others as a volunteer with Samaritans, after experiencing a difficult period in her life. She realised that she wanted to use her skills and experiential knowledge to help other people facing difficult times; and in particular, mental health issues. This led her to undergo various additional training programs via Samaritans, Mental Health First Aid England and as a Coach; to begin volunteering and working privately with people; and to start speaking candidly about issues relating to mental health and suicide.

In March 2018 Claire experienced a double tragedy- the loss of her partner due to suicide and shortly after the loss of their unborn child. Experiencing loss like this has made Claire all the more determined to take her experience, training and knowledge and help as many people as possible. Her vision is to lead a global shift in attitudes towards mental  health and suicide.

In the last few years, having become increasingly concerned by the growing epidemic of mental health problems, she has become passionate about helping to effect change by educating people, by breaking down taboos and opening up the conversation about mental health.

Claire leads our program development, delivers training and coaching; and is a prolific speaker. She continues to be a committed volunteer, giving much of her time to her local Samaritans branch.

As well as being a listening volunteer with The Samaritans, Claire is also qualified as a Mental Health First Aider and CLARITY Practitioner

Paul Salter

Chief Product Officer


A dynamic, commercially-focused leader in the field of underwriting personal lines insurance with strong entrepreneurial traits. Strong leadership skills in Change Management, with the proven ability to deliver several key projects concurrently. Excellent relationship management across the UK Personal Lines arena.

Key Skills
*Chartered Change Management Practitioner with experience in leading significant programmes.
*Proven Product Development Experience with a passion to improve the delivery and accuracy of pricing in the motor market.
*Strong Analytical Skills.
*Confident Communicator across all levels with an empathy for the needs of both Underwriters and Intermediaries.
*Extensive experience and knowledge of competitor analysis and research. 

Brett Sainty


BLW Insurance Brokers

Yvonne Smyth

Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion

Hays Recruitment

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.

David Sparkes

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.

Andy Talbot

Head of Sales


Andy has led the highly successful sales function since the ground-breaking legal expenses MGA was established in 2006. The team focuses on partnerships with insurers and brokers to provide flexible bespoke covers and has won the ‘Legal Expenses Team of the Year’ at the Underwriting Service Awards for five consecutive years.

Having previously worked for a Lloyds broker and as a SME underwriter, he has nearly 20 years’ experience in the HNW legal expenses insurance market. Andy understands the high levels of service required to succeed in this competitive market and works hard with the solicitors chosen to represent claimants to ensure they adhere to enhanced service levels.

Clare Walkeden


Auburn Consultancy

Clare is a qualified Coach, working in the Wellbeing & Performance space, who has long believed that we can live and work in a way more beneficial to mind and body  - because happy people perform better, in life and business.

A highly experienced Consultant working across the spectrum of Communications & Marketing, including internal and external comms, campaigns, content planning and commercial partnerships. Specialising in understanding and building brand within organisations.

A qualified Coach, in the wellbeing and performance space, helping individuals and businesses perform better through a culture of communication, collaboration and collective wellbeing. Specialising in outdoor coaching, including ‘walk and talk’ for increased benefits in creativity, wellbeing, and fitness.

Previous & Current Clients:

Pilates Gallery: Providing marcomms support to this boutique start up, to ensure clear messaging and brand representation for the audience,

SSD - Facilitating and delivering a program of change for the business, including development coaching, brand review and repositioning, marcomms planning and social media management.

British Eventing (Governing Body): Working across sports marketing, commercial strategy, rights holder management, commercial partnerships, research, stakeholder and client relations.

EmpoweredKids TV: Raising Brand awareness, building partnerships with relevant and dynamic brands that can support EmpoweredKids TV as a growing platform of psychological, neurological & coaching research.

Bolesworth Estate: Marcomms Manager across estate activities, including promotion of the International equestrian events, raising the profile of the estate and its commercial activities.

Volantary / Pro Bono:

Help For Children (UK) Board Director - grant maker to child abuse prevention and treatment organisations. Leading the Profile Sub Committee, tasked with raising the profile of Charity in the UK, developing and running the annual Cycling Challenge events.

Abianda Board Director - A London based, social enterprise, working with young women affected by gangs and county lines. Supporting on PR / Media Relations, Internal Communications and organisational change.

Steve White

Chief Executive

British Insurance Brokers Association

Lisa Whittleton


Illuminate VR Services Ltd

Lisa has a Psychology background and set up Illuminate VR as she recognised, through her experience as a Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant and Trainer, the stigma surrounding mental health in the workplace and was keen to influence this positively.

We work with SMEs in the Midlands region who value their staff and recognise that happy employees are more productive and engaged. We can help you to create a positive culture surrounding mental health, and build a resilient workforce through a range of training and consultancy support, suited to your needs.

We are passionate about supporting your teams to be proactive so that you can prevent issues from arising and keep your staff thriving and reaching their potential.

We can ensure you meet government guidelines to be transparent about the support you provide in the area of mental health, being both morally and legally compliant.

- Are your employees at a high risk of stress?
- Are staff members sometimes there in body but not in mind?
- Do you have managers who lack confidence talking about sensitive issues?
- Do you have high absence rates / turnover?

Would your company benefit from:
- Building resilience?
- A clearer wellbeing strategy
- Staff support to stay or return to work?
- Manager upskilling on the topic of mental health
- Mental Health First Aid training

Illuminate was set up in 2013 in order to reach and support SMEs in the West Midlands, and we now deliver a range of face to face and online services across the UK. The training has both a practical and theoretical basis as we believe that people will gain the most from training which they can practically apply to the workplace rather than coming from a purely clinical perspective.

We have worked with a range of public and private sector organisations, as well as supporting companies in the not-for-profit sector including Orbit Group, Amnesty International and Raspberry Pi Foundation. We are currently increasing our number of clients in the creative and tech industries who we have seen often work in highly pressured environments.

A bit about me...
I've always been interested in what makes people tick, and social/positive psychology, largely shaped by experiences growing up with close family members struggling with their mental health. Mental health is a subject I am so passionate about, and I feel grateful to be working in a field that makes a positive difference to businesses and individuals every day. I am always looking out for new associates to join the growing team so get in touch if you would like to get involved.