Director of content
Chief executive officer
Ant Middle has been Chief Executive Officer of Ageas UK and a member of the international Ageas Group Management Committee since June 2020.
Since joining Ageas in 2014, Ant has played an instrumental role in further strengthening Ageas’s relationships with brokers and partners, as well as building its profile with customers through his position as Managing Director of Partnerships and, more recently, Chief Customer Officer.
Ant has more than 25 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has held a number of senior positions in the general, health and life insurance sectors.
LV= GI Retail
Heather has over 25 years’ experience in Financial Services across a range of leadership roles covering direct distribution, operational leadership, customer experience, brand, marketing and digital.
At LV= General Insurance and previously at Aviva, Heather led significant change in the organisations, moving the customer interactions and services to digital first. This has involved cultural change at the heart of the organisation.
Heather leads LV=’s Retail General Insurance business, ensuring full engagement of our people in the vision so that they can understand it, challenge it and ultimately be trusted to deliver it.
Managing director - UK general insurance
Richard Coleman is Managing Director of UK General Insurance at Ecclesiastical Insurance, having joined in February 2020. He started his career as a graduate trainee at Eagle Star in 1997. Following its acquisition by Zurich he held a variety of roles spanning nearly 20 years, with the majority of those in general management roles including Head of Navigators & General (Zurich’s yacht insurance business), leadership of Personal Lines Broker and SME within Zurich’s Broker Division and Managing Director of Zurich’s UK Commercial Broker business. Previous to joining Ecclesiastical, he was European Director & Global Head of Insurance & Assistance at Collinson and advisor to Insurtech company, Cytora.
UK&I managing director
Claire has worked in insurance for over 30 years, starting her career with Cornhill before moving to Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty where she undertook a mixture of underwriting and operations leadership roles, both on a local basis in UK and France and in more recent years in Global roles as Global Head of Operations and Global Practice Leader, Allianz Multinational. She joined HDI Global SE in March 2019 as Managing Director for UK and Ireland.
Claire is a liveryman in the Worshipful Company of Insurers, Chair or iWin, Ambassador for ISC and an advocate for diversity and inclusion in all forms.
Chief executive - UK
Chief executive officer
Jon was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Allianz Holdings plc and Allianz Insurance plc in 2013. Allianz Holdings incorporates LV= General Insurance Group (LVGIG) and the General Insurance Division of Legal & General (L&G GI), following the acquisition in January 2020.
Previous roles within Allianz include General Manager of Allianz Retail between 2007 and 2013, and Director, Claims from 2003, when he joined the company. He is a law graduate of Cambridge University and a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute. Jon is also Chairman of the Association of British Insurers.
Chief Operating Officer
Steve Dukes is Confused.com’s COO. His expertise in business growth and technology spans almost two decades, having worked in senior roles at Commuter Club and Dollar Financial. At Confused.com, Steve marries new technology with customer needs by developing propositions which ensure the industry keeps evolving.
Chief executive officer, UK
Cristina Nestares is Chief Executive Officer of Admiral, a UK market leader of Car, Home, Van and Travel insurance and renowned Great Place to Work. Cristina joined Admiral Group in 2005 following the completion of her MBA at INSEAD Business School. She began her Admiral career by founding Admiral’s Spanish Insurance operation (Admiral Seguros) which she successfully ran for 7 years. Cristina then expanded her remit, managing both the group’s Insurance and Price Comparison businesses in France, Italy and Spain, before taking on her current role of Admiral UK CEO in 2016. In total, Cristina has over 18 years’ international experience predominantly gained within the financial service sector, with other areas including consulting and non-profit organisations, and has recently completed an Advanced Management Programme at Harvard University.
Head of incubation underwriting
Head of terrorism specialty & reinsurer relationships London
Chief operating officer
Charles joined Gallagher in early 2016 to lead the delivery of an extensive change programme in the UK, focused on the strategic and effective integration of businesses and the creation of a scalable platform after a period of acquisition-led growth.
He was appointed UK Operations Director in November of that year, to head up Gallagher’s continued investment in the governance and operating models of its UK businesses to maximise their operational effectiveness.
In 2019, Charles transitioned to the broader role of Chief Operations Officer having successfully driven through the major programme of transformational change and holds responsibility for technology, real estate, claims, digital, offshore, procurement, change delivery and markets.
Charles’ 30-year insurance career has seen him undertake a raft of senior executive and leadership roles, at major UK insurance businesses, including RBS Insurance and Churchill, as well as loss adjusting and claims solutions specialist Davies.
Michael is a senior executive in the field of risk and regulation in the financial services sector, with a strong focus on insurance. He has a deep understanding of business models in the insurance sector and the related risks.
He has founded Sicsic Advisory, the London based boutique consultancy focusing on financial services risk and regulation, in 2019. His team has a unique combination of expertise gained through direct industry experience, consulting roles and regulatory supervision leadership role in the UK insurance market.
Michael is a senior advisor to Spixii, the insurtech startup delivering AI driven solutions for insurers.
Before setting up his own company, Michael spent 4 years at the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as head of supervision for the general insurance retail sector. Formerly, Michael spent five years at Aviva Plc. as Global Operational Risk Director covering Life Insurance, Asset Management and Non-Life insurance. Previously, he worked over 10 years at GE Capital in various senior risk and finance positions across commercial and corporate finance activities.
He has extensive international experience covering credit risk modelling and capital allocation, financial risk and ALM, operational risk management and quantification, conduct of business, financial crime compliance and M&A activity across multiple jurisdictions.
He is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Insurers.
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.
Founder and chief executive officer
Bought by Many
Steven founded Bought By Many in 2012 to create better insurance for everyone and launched unique pet insurance offerings in 2017. Technology is at their core, from data analytics that informs policy design and pricing, to developing admin systems. Recognised as one of the UK’s top Fintech companies, they have been included in The Sunday Times TechTrack for the last 3 years. In 2019, the business launched into Sweden and has continued to receive awards and recognition from pet owners for its customer service. This year, Bought By Many crossed the Atlantic and launched its offering to pet owners in the US under the brand name ‘ManyPets’ - reaching more of the world’s many pets. Steven an actuary, previously he headed McKinsey’s UK Savings and Investment Group, and was head of wealth management at Close Brothers.
Climate risk consultant
Kelly Coombes is a climate risk consultant focusing on the management of financial risks from climate change. She combines her in-depth knowledge of insurance and risk management together with her work and study of environmental damage, sustainability and climate change impacts. Kelly currently focuses on helping companies embed best practices for mitigating financial impact from climate related risks; providing guidance and tools to assess their unique long term risk horizon.
She has 15 years of experience in the insurance sector, where she spent 8 years at AIG as Regional Underwriting Manager and Regional Product Manager. She has extensive experience in both commercial and consumer products across the EMEA region. Her experience at AIG helps her understand the mechanics of large multinational companies, while appreciating the subtleties and differences of local countries. She also spent 7 years in broking concentrating mostly on historical Environmental Impairment Liability risk transfer.
Kelly has an MSc in Environmental Policy Planning and Regulation from London School of Economics London, United Kingdom, and an Honours BA in Political Science and International Relations from Bishop’s University, Quebec, Canada.
Simon McGinn, General Manager, sits on the UK Management Board and has responsibility for the Allianz UK Commercial and Personal businesses.
He has been in insurance for 29 years having joined Commercial Union as a graduate trainee has worked in a variety of roles in the UK General Insurance market since including business development, operations management and strategic integration projects.
He joined Allianz in 2004 as a Trading Director. Since joining Allianz he has taken on a number of different responsibilities at Executive level as part of the Commercial and Personal businesses. Over the last ten years Allianz’s business has grown consistently and made market leading underwriting returns in the UK market. The business has a reputation for stability and consistency of approach that has enabled it to out perform its rivals.
In 2013 he was appointed to the UK Management Board of Allianz as General Manager for Commercial Division and led the business through a revision of its strategy and approach to market, driving a modernisation of the business’ core operating model and culture enabling growth whilst maintaining its market leading reputation and profitability. In May 2016, he was appointed to the role of General Manager for Commercial and Personal businesses with responsibility for all of Allianz UK’s market strategy and trading business operations.
Outside of work he is happily married to Anne-Marie and has two sons aged 21 and 18. He enjoys watching rugby and he odd round of golf.
Sales & marketing director
Nic Brown joined Markel UK in December 2018, from his previous role at Bupa as Global Sales Director. Nic has worked across the full range of insurance and financial services products, both in the UK, Europe and Internationally and has previously held sales and marketing leadership positions at AXA, Cigna, Aetna and Citibank. Nic has been a key driver in delivering Markel UK's revolutionary SME products and services, helping brokers drive business-changing growth for their customers.
UK managing director
Leeds-born, Charles Offord, joined Co-op Insurance in 2014 as distribution and marketing director, before taking the helm as managing director in 2019.
Today, Charles leads the Co-op Insurance team to provide insurance products across home, motor, life, pet, travel and business that provide benefits to customers, members and their communities.
Founded over 150 years ago as part of the original co-operative movement, Co-op Insurance works with carefully selected partners to provide quality cover that has been designed around the many differing needs of its members and customers.
Under Charles’ leadership, Co-op Insurance has introduced a range of innovative products, co created with Co-op customers and members, with consumer protection always top of mind.
- In 2018, Co-op Insurance entered the travel market with a fairer kind of insurance, launching cover which followed the ‘any age, any condition’ mantra – meaning people who have previously found it difficult to get travel cover, can now travel with total peace of mind.
- Last year, as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, Co-op Insurance introduced Covid cover to its travel policy, which protects policy holders who may have to cancel or cut short a trip if one of their party is diagnosed with the virus or is told to self-isolate by a medical professional. The policy also now includes a ‘doctor on call’ facility for those customers looking for guidance and support whether they’re holidaying within the UK or abroad.
- In 2020, Co-op Insurance launched the ‘T’ plate across its motor cover, to help alleviate pressures on the road for newly qualified and young drivers. Too often those with telematics or black boxes said they felt under pressure from other road users. Co-op Insurance wants to help them become better drivers and ultimately make roads safer for everyone. Newly qualified drivers can apply for a ‘T’ plate which will alert other road users to the fact that they are being charged for their insurance based on their driving habits.
A highly experienced insurance and finance professional, with both an MBA and MSC in Strategic Change Management from Huddersfield University, Charles has two decades’ experience working with some of the sector’s biggest names including Hastings, First Direct, Honda, Equity Insurance and Santander. Prior to joining the insurance industry, his management accounting skills took him into logistics and oil and gas exploration with a time spent working in Texas, USA.
Charles, 51, is married with two children. A proud Yorkshireman, he is an avid season ticket holder at Elland Road and loves to travel.
Chief executive officer
Axa UK & Ireland - Retail
Tara has been CEO of AXA UK & Ireland’s Retail business since November 2020. She has a wealth of experience in transformational growth and operational efficiency, as well as a deep understanding of retail customer needs.
Prior to AXA, Tara was at Lloyds Banking Group where she spent 12 years in a number of senior executive roles including Managing Director of Bank of Scotland, with responsibility for more than 2,000 employees and 200 branches.
Tara previously worked at Deutsche Bank and Accenture. Throughout her career, Tara has shown her commitment to fostering diverse and inclusive cultures and developing talent.
In 2018 she was named as one of 100 ‘women to watch’ in Cranfield University’s FTSE Board Report.
Divisional managing director
Neil Galjaard is Markel UK’s divisional managing director. He joined in September 2016, having previously been Towergate’s small business chief executive officer and, in leadership positions at Paymentshield, Lloyds TSB and Virgin Money before that. Neil is passionate about aligning Markel UK’s services to brokers’ needs and is determined to continue the company’s drive to deliver even higher standards of service.
Association of British Insurers
Huw Evans became Director General of the ABI in February 2015, having joined the ABI in November 2008 as Operations Director.
Huw represents the UK’s world-leading insurance & long-term savings industry to ministers, parliamentarians, regulators and senior stakeholders. He has a strong personal interest in the Diversity & Inclusion agenda and is a ‘He for She’ mentor and supporter of the Women in Finance initiative.
Huw served as a special advisor to the Prime Minister, Tony Blair and the Home Secretary, David Blunkett between 2001-2006, before working for RBS as a senior manager in its Group Strategy function between 2006-8. He previously worked in politics and journalism having studied History at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford.
Huw is the Senior Independent Director (SID) on the board of Flood Re and is a non-executive director of TheCityUK. He also sits on the Executive Committee of Insurance Europe. He can be found on Twitter at @huwevans71.
Sue is an experienced non-executive director and her career spans the retail, consulting and financial services sectors including over 20 years in the insurance industry.
She is non-executive chair of Gallagher UK, the lead non-executive director for the Home Office, the senior independent director for UKAR (Northern Rock Asset Management and Bradford & Bingley), and a trustee for Macmillan Cancer. She is also the Alderwoman for the City of London Aldgate Ward, having been voted in as the ward’s first female Alderman in July 2018.
Previous roles include director of market operations for Lloyd’s of London, chairman of Lloyd’s Japan and director of Lloyd’s Asia, chief operating officer and board director for Hiscox Group, a principal consultant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and CEO of the Department of Trade and Industry Financial and Professional Services.
She is additionally a founding member of the Government’s Women’s Business Council and part of the livery of the Worshipful Company of Insurers, a vice president of the Insurance Institute of London (IIL) - receiving the IIL President’s Award - and was a participant on the BBC Expert Women initiative.
She is a past recipient of the FS Women in the City Achievement Award, Women to Watch, Leading Women in Reinsurance, top 20 inspirational City Women and in 2015 received an OBE for services to women in business.
Director of broker markets, commercial & personal
Nick Hobbs became the Director of Broker Markets, Commercial & Personal, in November 2016 having formerly been the Head of Strategic Account Management, Commercial and Personal. He is responsible for Allianz’s London Region, Broker Distribution Management and jointly responsible for the Commercial Broker Markets business.
Nick has been with Allianz group since 2001 and with Allianz UK since 2011. Prior to joining Allianz UK he undertook various roles in AGCS (Allianz Global Corporate & Speciality) in the UK, Europe and North America.
Managing director, commercial lines
Rob Gibbs is managing director for RSA’s commercial lines business, a role he started in September 2019 following the merger of its Commercial Risk Solutions and Global Risk Solutions businesses. Prior to this Rob led the Commercial Risk Solutions business from December 2017 to September 2019 after heading up RSA Motability from August 2014. Rob originally joined RSA in September 1998 on their graduate programme before becoming new business manager in London. He has held a number of roles prior including director in their Regions business, strategy director for Mid-market and underwriting development manager for RSA’s Emerging markets division.
Head of capital advisory
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 chief risk officer
William McDonnell became Group Chief Risk Officer at RSA Insurance Group plc in 2014, responsible for Risk and Compliance groupwide. Since joining RSA in 2006, William has also served as Group Financial Controller and Head of Corporate Finance. Prior to RSA he held roles at HSBC Investment Bank, Aviva, the UK Financial Services Authority and Deloitte. He is a member of the ClimateWise Council and Bank of England Climate Financial Risk Forum. He chaired the CRO Forum’s Emerging Risks Initiative, publishing ‘The Heat is on – Insurability and Resilience in a Changing Climate’ in January 2019. William is also on the Board of Governors of the Purcell School for Young Musicians.
Regional Managing Director
Willis Tower Watson Networks
During his long and successful insurance career to date, John has gained insight into the insurance market from numerous perspectives, having worked for Insurers, as a Broker and now for Willis Towers Watson Network. John graduated from Warwick University before embarking on his insurance career with Commercial Union (now Aviva), spending six years in their Birmingham office. He then moved to become a sales manager with Marsh for a few years, before moving to Allianz where he spent over seven years, during which time he ran one of their branches, before moving to Head Office, where he worked closely with members of the UK Board and Regional Allianz Teams to manage strategic relationships with key National and Global Brokers across the UK, including Willis Towers Watson.
It was through his strategic relationship role at Allianz that John came to know the Willis Towers Watson Networks Division, where he has worked for the last nine years as Regional Managing Director, covering all UK regions. John spends his time leading the regional teams across the UK to deliver consultancy and support to our Network Members to assist their growth and ensure that they derive maximum benefit from their Willis Towers Watson Network membership, whilst also driving the Network's collective placement agenda and working with our Partner Insurers to deliver optimal value to them.
Outside work John is happily married with a son, Joe, at University and a daughter, Ellie, who works at the CII. He enjoys playing the piano (especially at Network Forums), sport and socialising with friends.
Chief underwriting officer
Nick is the chief underwriting officer of Markel International with responsibility for underwriting profitability, oversight, and risk. Prior to this role, Nick was director of underwriting for three years and also chief actuary for 18 years, during which time he built the Markel International actuarial team with responsibilities for reserving, pricing, capital modelling, and catastrophe management.
Nick is also head sponsor for Markel International’s Diversity and Inclusion pillar, which forms part of the company’s Style in Action Framework, and he sits on Markel’s Global Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee. In these roles, Nick is helping to set the strategic direction for Markel’s diversity and inclusion efforts, which includes defining Markel’s D&I goals and policies, communicating Markel’s D&I vision, sponsoring employee resource groups, and equipping leaders and people to champion Markel’s D&I initiatives.
Managing Director, Commercial Lines
Nick Major was appointed interim Managing Director, Commercial Lines in February 2021
Nick joined Aviva in 2017 as Chief Underwriting Officer, Global Corporate & Specialty UK. With responsibility for strategic direction, trading and underwriting performance and delivery (both profit and volume) of all global large press release classes and specialty risks. This role was expanded to cover all Commercial Lines across Digital, Mid-Market and Global Corporate Specialty segments in January 2020, which included ownership of the full Profit & Loss and management accountability across the GCS business.
Previously Nick held the role of Chief Underwriting Officer, Global Corporate, at Zurich where he expanded the lines of business, grew the international footprint and developed the London Market wholesale strategy.
Nick has over 25 years’ experience working in the financial services industry and the General Insurance sector. Starting his Insurance career in 1994 as a graduate trainee, he spent the first nine years working for Royal & Sun Alliance plc, in Underwriting roles focusing on Global Underwriting for General Insurance commercial lines business, culminating in being responsible for implementing a new global IT platform within the Global and Risk managed business segment.
Senior leader international markets, insurance
Michael Porter has worked in InsureTech for most of his career, in particular within SAAS and digital technologies supporting property claims transformation. Michael joined Symbility Solutions Inc. in 2015 leading their UK business before taking responsibility for the business’ growth outside of North America in 2017. Since the acquisition of Symbility by CoreLogic in 2018, Michael has been leading CoreLogic’s Insurance business in Europe. Today Michael’s focus is on developing CoreLogic’s market and proposition strategy to successfully supports CoreLogic’s Customers through their claims digitisation journey and beyond. Michael has a broad range of experience in the property claims arena, having worked closely with some of Europe’s largest insurers in developing and executing on digital transformation initiatives and market first change programs over more than 10 years.
Senior director, customer transformation
Jim has over 25 years’ experience across Insurance and Financial Services. He has enjoyed a very broad range of leadership roles including Sales and Distribution, Strategy & Transformation and Chief Operating Officer across both Domestic and Global markets.
Over the past ten years at Cigna he successfully built the Global Individual Healthcare business, delivered new market entries in the Middle East and in his role as COO for the past six years, introduced and implemented Salesforce across four different business lines and global operational locations.
Having recently joined Salesforce, Jim is passionate about bringing a Customer Lens to driving truly successful partnerships and delivering outstanding digital capabilities and customer experiences for those businesses looking at visionary transformation.
Chief distribution officer for UK general insurance
Vice president and managing director
Shane Latchman is vice president and managing director of AIR’s London office. Shane is involved in many AIR models, expanding capabilities in marine and energy and the Next Generation Financial Module. He writes frequently and is a member of industry groups, including the Insurance Development Forum and Prudential Regulatory Authority. Shane often interacts with rating agencies and regulators on topics such as stress tests and climate change. After receiving a National Scholarship from Trinidad and Tobago, Shane studied Actuarial Science at City University. Assisted by a Cambridge Commonwealth Trust grant, he earned an MA in mathematics from the University of Cambridge.
Director of SME & corporate partner
Helen has been at Allianz for 20 years having joined as a Management Trainee. She has previously worked as a senior manager in the Bancassurance, Premierline and Broker Markets businesses. Helen was appointed as Regional Manager for Central & East region in October 2014 and took over the wider London, Central & East Regional Manager role in July 2016. In December 2018, Helen was appointed Director of SME & Corporate Partner, a very welcome return to a part of the business that she has always found especially exciting and innovative.
Head of SME Underwriting
Simon has been at Allianz for nearly 13 years having joined as a Commercial Motor Underwriter. He has previously worked as Programme Business Manager and as a Portfolio Manager in our Commercial Motor Team, where he played a lead role in the launch of our e-trade Mini Fleet product. In May 2019 Simon was appointed Head of SME Underwriting, where he enjoys the fast paced nature of the e-trade environment.
Board member and director
Inclusion at Lloyd’s and the Global Equality Collective
Leon is a Senior Director at AdvantageGo responsible for sales strategy and execution in the UK & London Market. Prior joining the business, he worked at the Corporation of Lloyd’s, two of the Top 5 Global Insurance Brokers, and led the sales function within a high growth SAAS business.
In addition to working for a large insurtech business Leon is a prominent speaker on Diversity & Inclusion, career development and leadership. A mentor to politicians, c-suite executives, and emerging talents. He sits on the Board of [email protected]’s, is Deputy Chair of Governors at Manorfield Primary School, Director at the Global Equality Collective for Business and, has been recognised in the Yahoo Finance - Ethnic Minority Future Leaders List.