How did your career in insurance begin?

Claire Ellis, group operations and HR director

Like most people in this industry, I fell into a career in insurance. When I first started out, I didn’t have a specific idea of what I wanted to do. I was looking for a job, started working at a small motor insurance brokers writing cover notes, and it went from there.

What brought you to JM Glendinning?

It was a combination of the role and the people. I’d met Nick (JMG group MD) a couple of times and found his energy and enthusiasm infectious. I also met Kathren (JMG finance director) on a training course, and when I put the two together it gave me a good feel for the business.

The role was a big factor, too – part of my job is to enhance the business from an efficiency and operational perspective. It’s a varied role, where I felt I could make a difference and add value across the group.

What do you enjoy about your role?

I like the fact that there are various elements to it, incorporating HR, operations, and compliance. No two days are the same and there is huge variety in my day-to-day work. I also love the fact that I have opportunities to constantly learn.

In previous roles I have specialised more in the operational side, with accountabilities for HR and regulatory requirements.. This role brings all three of those areas together and has enabled me to broaden my knowledge.

What’s the secret to your success?

It’s having a strong work ethic, being sincere, respecting people and genuinely caring about what I do. I’m also a very positive person – the glass is definitely half full!

What advice would you give to someone starting their career?

Similar to the above, really. Be positive, be driven, care about what you do and take pride in the work you deliver.

What’s next for JMG?

There will be a huge drive and focus on our people, particularly after the year we’ve experienced. We will also continue to prioritise learning and development in the business as we strive to be the best from a customer service perspective.

Operationally, we will be focusing on our core broking platforms and looking at system enhancements.

What group MD, Nick Houghton, says:

“The first time I met Claire we didn’t have an opportunity that suited her ambition and skillset. But I remember thinking at the time that Claire would be brilliant for our growing group of businesses. Then the opportunity arose, and I only made one call…to Claire. Thank goodness it was a yes, and we’ve never looked back. The privilege of being able to hand pick the best of the best people and bring them together into your team is something I’m really proud of, and the rate at which we are growing means that Claire won’t be bored any time soon!”