At the end of 2017,  year we bid farewell to one of our South Yorkshire colleagues, Stephen John. He starts his retirement after 55 years in the insurance industry.

Stephen (71) is one of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s longest standing members and recently received a certificate from the CII marking his half a century of membership. Says Stephen, “The certificate came as a bit of a shock, but it was a very welcome surprise. The UK is renowned as a world leader in insurance and to receive this recognition from the industry body is a real career highlight.”

Stephen started his career in insurance straight from school in Halifax in 1963. He went on to achieve an Advanced Diploma in Insurance in 1972 and joined a commercial firm in Bradford soon after. In 1976 at 28 years old, John set up his own insurance broking business, SG John Ltd, which served small businesses covering their every insurance need. After almost thirty years, Stephen sold his business to Trevor Richmond Brokers where he continued to work until 2011 when the opportunity arose to work for JM Glendinning in South Yorkshire.

Says Stephen, “The insurance industry has changed considerably over the years with increases in legislation and technology playing a much larger role. However, the essence of what I do – providing a tailored service and building and strengthening client relationships – remains equally, if not more, important to us as a firm.”

Offering advice to those starting their career in insurance, Stephen adds, “I think it’s very important to get as far as possible with examinations and achieving certificates. Paying attention to detail and reading has always come in very useful when reviewing policy wording and ultimately protecting clients.”

Looking ahead to retirement, Stephen will not be short of things to occupy him. In his spare time, as well as being a devoted grandparent, Stephen is a budding author and avid stamp collector. Stephen developed an interest in writing during his Open University degree in Artistry, which included a creative writing module. He has written his first novel ‘Mrs Matutu’ which he plans to submit to publishers in the new year and is already working on two more novels.

Talking about his interest in collecting stamps, Stephen says, “I enjoy attending auctions and seeing what collections come up for sale. I tend to strip out albums, fill them with better, more collectable stamps and then sell them on at a profit. It’s an investment and a hobby at the same time.”

Mark Browne, Managing Director at JM Glendinning South Yorkshire, says, “Stephen’s 55 years of service is something quite seldom in the insurance industry nowadays, due to early onset of insurer, and then broker, consolidation. However, our team of seven has bucked this trend with a combined 239 years of broking experience between us. To have an experienced team of brokers such as this is something we are extremely proud of.

“Stephen’s knowledge of the insurance industry from every angle has been invaluable to our business and the team has learned a great deal from him. Stephen will be very much missed by everyone here at J M Glendinning and we all wish him well in his retirement.”