President's Message 2023


I can’t quite believe that twelve months have passed since we gathered at The Grand Hotel for the 2022 Birmingham Insurance Institute AGM, where Stuart Harbourne handed over the reigns for me to become President. 

Following three years of Covid cancellations, CII face to face events started back up again almost simultaneously with my year starting. A steep learning curve followed, but I’m glad that I got to experience a “normal” year, if any year can be called that. 

Leading the second largest institute outside of London, which dates back 135 years has been a huge honour. One of the most rewarding parts of the role was getting to meet BII members, talk to them about what they want the institute to deliver and ensure we’re addressing the needs of our members.  

Feedback from members told us that while face to face lectures and events were important, the ease and accessibility of online lectures couldn’t be ignored. We’re still trying to find the balance, testing out different days of the week and topics for face to face, to see what works best, but rest assured, our online presence will continue. 

Our Young Professionals have organised a pool tournament, a quiz night and repeated the success of the 2022 fun run, which saw a record number of participants. 

We’ve held market drinks events, recognised our members examination achievements at our awards evening and most excitingly for me, hosted our annual dinner for the first time since 2019; a hugely successful night raising money for The Insurance Charities. 

I’d like to say a huge thank you to all officers and members of council over the last twelve months, who’ve provided me with support and guidance on various topics - you’ve certainly made the role easier. A big thank you also goes to all our Young Professionals, who are integral to our fundraising efforts and are the future of the Birmingham Institute. 

Subject to ratification, I am delighted to be passing on the Presidential mantle for the coming twelve months to Angela Irvine. I’ve worked with Angela in various capacities for a few years and know that the institute will be in good hands. She has some great ideas for her tenure and I know that all on Council, including myself, will fully support her. 

Thank you,

Cat Harrison, ACII


A little more about BII

Who are we?

We are the second largest Institute in the UK and are run by elected Officers, Council Members and our Young Professionals’ Group. Everyone involved is a volunteer who seeks to give something back to their profession in the local area, alongside their normal day job.

It is our responsibility to ensure that you get the most out of your CII membership, by providing local events and initiatives to assist with your career development.

What do we do?

The BII exists to provide educational and developmental support, along with networking opportunities to our members living or working within the Birmingham and surrounding areas. It is important to us that you have the appropriate support to enable you to achieve your goals and we can assist you with achieving professional qualifications, as well as providing opportunities for on-going learning and development.

We have given a lot of thought to how we, as your local Institute, can best support our members and the insurance industry in the Birmingham area. 

Professional Development & Education

The BII provides a range of lectures covering a diverse range of interesting, pertinent and informative topics, to support your Continuous Professional Development.

For successful examination candidates, there is an annual award ceremony, where diplomas, certificates and prizes are presented to the most meritorious candidates.


The BII will continue to play a leading role in charity fundraising – both for local chosen charities and the general Insurance Charities. 


Our social events, as well as our live lectures, are great opportunities for networking and meeting others involved in our industry, and also provide an enjoyable break from the routine of daily work.

If you wish to receive details of these events, please ensure that you are opted in to receive local institute email communications by checking the ‘My CII’ part of the CII website. Otherwise, take a look at the Events link on this site.

Remember, the institute is here to serve you, our members, and I recommend that you get to know those of us who represent you on Council, and make full use of the services we offer.

Please contact me, or any of the Officers, should you have a query about anything related to the Birmingham Insurance Institute.

On our ‘About Us’ pages, you will find a contact list of all the Officers on Council.

We warmly welcome anyone who wishes to become involved in the BII Council. It is a great way to meet new people in our industry, and will give you opportunities to:

  • Gain an understanding of, and contribute to, ‘the bigger picture’ of insurance;
  • Mix with experienced, like-minded insurance professionals;
  • Put something back into the local insurance scene.