How did your career in insurance begin?
My father worked in insurance and he was keen to take me under his wing and see my career start out on the right path. It was at that time I had what I still refer to as my Kevin & Perry moment and spluttered out that I was “going to do my own thing, thank you very much”. In doing so, I applied for and gained a junior position at a family run insurance broker in Cheshire and spent many years cutting my teeth, followed by even more years gritting them.
What brought you to JM Glendinning?
I’d gained a number of successful years of experience at a large broker and, whilst I was surrounded by a fabulous team of staff, it felt like the role was more about shareholder returns rather than what’s right for the client. I’d known JM Glendinning for a number of years, and I liked the fact that they had all the tools at their disposal and a customer centric approach. I’ve never looked back since shaking hands with Paul Glendinning and Nick Houghton in late 2012.
What do you enjoy about your role?
We have a huge range of clients, from those paying a few hundred pounds for their insurance coverage to those paying in excess of £1million. Each one is as important as the next to us and I thrive on meeting people, discussing their needs and finding and securing the appropriate cover for them. It’s something that I never tire of.
What’s the secret to your success?
It’s a unique industry – our clients are buying a product that is important, but it’s something they never want to buy. The secret to our success? It’s about investing the time to consider a client’s needs and, in doing so, prescribing a suitable yet cost effective solution.
What advice would you give to someone starting their career?
There many areas of insurance in which you can specialise, both internal and external roles. From claims to underwriting or surveying to development, either in the UK or overseas. I recommend that those who are starting their career in the insurance industry should fully explore the options and also find a good role model whose vision you share. And always enjoy the journey.
What’s next for JMG Townends in York?
We’re always looking to continue to add to the existing team. There appears to be a lot of disenchantment within other insurance brokers as they continue to put targets ahead of employee engagement. I’ve no doubt we shall capitalise on that. There may be an opportunity to add to our business through an insurance broker looking to exit the business. We could look to provide a safe haven for them and their client if everything fits. Either way, we shall continue to provide cost effective insurance solutions to both new and existing customers.
What Nick Houghton, JM Glendinning group MD says:
“It’s been a pleasure working with Dave over the last 6 years. He was one of my first classically trained, disenfranchised, recruits and it’s been great to see him develop his role within the business from leading the commercial team in Guiseley to MD of our York business. There really are no barriers to progression in our business. If you can do it, we’ll back you!”