President's Message

Welcome to the Insurance Institute of Guildford.

I am incredibly proud to take on the role of President of the Insurance Institute of Guildford for the 2020 – 2021 year. It is a privilege to have this great honour bestowed upon me, which I will strive to justify.

One thing I had not imagined for the year ahead, was the incredible situation we all find ourselves in with social distancing policies in force and the collective desire to contain the spread of a pandemic, the like of which the world has not faced for over 100 years. This has affected all of us in our day to day lives and we appreciate most of you will be working from your homes and possibly facing other challenges.

Pleasingly, I do not face the task alone and working alongside me I have an exceptional team of volunteers serving on the council, from all areas of insurance (broking, underwriting and claims) and finance (financial advice and planning and mortgage professionals) within the Chartered Insurance Institute and Personal Finance Society. You can find out more about each member of council on our Who are we section of our website. They give freely of their valuable time, in order to deliver you, as members, a great range of technical (exam related) and soft skills CPD events to support you, ordinarily alongside social events where you, as members, have an opportunity to develop your professional networks and share ideas, best practice and even mentoring.

Despite the challenges we all face, I am pleased to say we responded rapidly in March, to provide the educational (technical) and soft skills events online via webinars / video conferencing, where in the past these have been held in a variety of easy to reach venues. This policy will continue for the foreseeable future, until the restrictions on our mobility are eased and we can meet safely, face to face, again. Demand is high for all of these events, and spaces can be limited and be taken up quickly, please take advantage of them (for the greater part, most are free to you), but please let us know if you cannot attend, there will be someone wanting to take your place!!

Our Forthcoming Events are all listed on our website for you to see. Check back regularly to see the changing list of events, being organised, for the future! If you feel there is a subject you would like to see more on, or need help with, we welcome your feedback, let us know and we will make every effort to include it for you.

Looking to the year ahead, I plan to work with my colleagues on council to continue to strengthen our commitment to our Young Professionals Committee. They have worked hard on the initiative, which came to fruition in the last Presidential Year, of the Young Leaders Programme. This bought together young professionals in both small and large companies through six workshops, as well as group projects and coursework to develop leadership skills. Some of our graduates have now gone on to join us as serving members on our Main council and also the Young Professionals council.

Buoyed by the success of the initial programme, the aim is to launch the next Young Leaders Programme in the fourth quarter of 2020. Should you wish to participate I would urge you to make contact with the members of the Young Professionals Committee, please take a look at our dedicated section of our website, where you will find the contact details for each member of the committee.

As with the previous two past President’s, I have chosen to continue to support Jigsaw Trust for a third year. Jigsaw Trust is committed to raising awareness of autism and provides facilities and support for people affected by autism. Having visited their base, at Dunsfold Aerodrome, and witnessed the amazing work they do for those with autism from the ages of 4 to 19 long with their families, our support is going to be needed even more in the year to come. To show my commitment, as soon as is possible, I aim to jump out of a perfectly serviceable plane at 15,000 feet in a tandem sky dive, for this I would welcome your support in the form of sponsorship, with any gifts you may be able to make.

Last, but certainly not least, whether you are from the Society of Mortgage Professionals, the Personal Finance Society, the Society of Insurance Broking, the Society of Underwriting Professionals, or the Society of Claims Professionals I would encourage you all to get involved actively in Council and help us build on what we are able to provide. I want to ensure that we have a diverse membership on Council from all the above backgrounds, young or old, male or female, of all different abilities. Every person counts and matters in making sure, particularly with the current restrictions we face, we all keep moving forward, growing and working to ensure we inspire and create environments where all can succeed.

Best wishes to you all

Mark Raybould