Who are we?

President (and PFS Representative) - Mark Raybould

Independent Financial Adviser, Northwood Wealth Management in Farnham

Description of Role:

President of the Insurance Institute of Guildford

PFS Representative on Council, which pretty much says what it does on the tin! I represent the interests of PFS members in the Guildford and wider Surrey area to ensure that CPD opportunities are relevant and interesting for PFS members to attend, as well as those of our CII colleagues.

Why you joined council:

I voiced my opinion at AGM that the CPD in the previous 12 months had not been relevant to PFS members in Financial Services and that I was disappointed, given that in the region there was approximately a 50/50 split between PFS and CII members. As a result, I was invited to join the council and assist in making sure that this was altered in the future. e

Why you are in Insurance/Financial Services:

As a real people person and enjoying numbers, being a Financial Adviser is my perfect career. Looking after clients and ensuring they are both protected and their financial plans are managed well to enable them to achieve their aims in life is what it is all about!

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:

Helpful, Loyal, Outgoing, Trustworthy and Professional

What skills serve you well on council:

Listening and happy to roll my sleeves up and get stuck in

Who is your hero:

My grandfather

Deputy President - Hannah Speakman

Description of Council Role:

As Deputy President I work with Mark, our President, and the rest of council to ensure the Institute runs smoothly and we continue to raise awareness of our work within the local market by delivering a programme of CPD, networking and social events throughout the year.

Why you joined the Council:

It’s a great opportunity to meet people from across the industry and develop new skills and knowledge. I have previously held positions on both the Mid-Kent and Kendal Institutes as well as various roles within the Guildford institute, with each providing a different learning experience.

Why are you in Insurance:

I chose it unlike many who ‘fall’ into the industry! After completing a work placement then a summer internship at a Lloyds Syndicate I applied for the Allianz Graduate Scheme in 2014 and haven’t looked back. It’s a great industry to work in, with really varied roles and new challenges every day.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Helpful, Professional, Ambitious, Organised, Enthusiastic

What skills serve you well on Council:

I’m always keen to help others and I am a very organised person, which definitely helped when launching our Young Leaders Programme and planning our 2020 Annual Dinner!

Who is your hero:

Michelle Obama

Auditor - Mark Seaton, ACII

Description of Role:
Auditor


Why you joined Council:
Introduced by colleague and then President


Why I'm in Insurance:
Started 2012 by joining the graduate programme at Zurich. I've got insurance in the family (lucky me!), so I'm one of the few who specifically chose to enter the industry!

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:
I only need four...


What skills serve you well on council:
Organisational skills are key, and the ability to work with numbers. Most of all, it's about relationships, both within and outside of the council to get things progressed


Who is your hero:
Sir Alex Ferguson - truly inspirational

Secretary and Careers Officer - Katie Pitman ACII

  • Katie Pitman ACII

Description of Council Role:

Summon all meetings of the local institute and the council, as well as the AGM. Ensure equality, diversity and inclusivity at the local institute.

Why you joined the Council:

I saw it as a great opportunity to meet people from across the industry and expand my skillset and knowledge.

Why are you in Insurance:

I didn’t have insurance specifically in mind when I left university but after joining the Allianz graduate scheme in 2016 I haven’t looked back. I find it a fascinating industry to work in and enjoy the challenges each day brings.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Motivated, Reliable, Friendly, Enthusiastic, Organised

What skills serve you well on Council:

I’m passionate about making a difference and that means I’m always keen to help out with whatever needs doing. I’m a good problem solver and very organised.

Who is your hero:

Neil deGrasse Tyson

Treasurer and Regional Representative - Benjamin Collins

Description of Role:

To ensure the financial integrity of the local institute by providing regular reports and highlighting budgetary concerns to President. Also, responsible for making recommendations on financial structure and any investment opportunities

Why you joined council:

It was an excellent opportunity to expand my insurance knowledge, network outside of the office and to gain some transferable skills. I’d heard positive things from colleagues already on the Council.

Why you are in Insurance/Financial Services:

Like most people, I stumbled into it. After graduating from university I found myself searching for endless graduate jobs, I came across a position at a local personal lines brokerage and it went from there. The more I learned about the industry and the diversity of roles the more I became invested in staying in the industry and undertaking my CII exams.

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:

Rationale, curious, approachable, detailed & proactive

What skills serve you well on council:

Numbers, I’m a big fan of numbers.

Who is your hero:

Sir David Attenborough - no explanation needed

Education and Events Secretary - Lauren Allen ACII

Assistant Market Underwriter, Zurich Insurance

Description of Role:

My main focus is to deliver a CPD programme that meets the requirements of our members but also those of the central CII. I do this in conjunction with the Personal Finance Society. Also includes social events that my Deputy is looking after currently. I also would be the conduit for messaging around examinations into the Council as the Examination Centre is now under the auspices of the central CII

Description of Council Role

Help to deliver CPD and social events to the members of CII Guildford and PFS Guildford.

Why you joined the Council:

I wanted to get involved in something a bit different that would enhance my skillset and give me the opportunity to meet other likeminded people outside of Zurich.

Why are you in Insurance/Financial Services:

I decided to take the apprenticeship route from college rather than the traditional university route as this didn’t really appeal to me. This was a little scary at the time as apprenticeships weren’t really the ‘in’ thing then! I didn’t know too much about insurance at this point, but following a really interesting presentation from the company in question, I could see the appeal of working in the insurance/financial industry. The apprenticeship was with an insurance broker, and the purpose of which was to experience all areas of the business whilst studying the CII qualifications. Thanks to them, I now hold my ACII qualification.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Organised, happy, professional, funny and trustworthy.

What skills serve you well on Council:

Being super organised means that I’ll ensure everything is prepared well in advance, resulting in a stress-free and enjoyable delivery of the events.

Who is your hero:

Too many to name!

Deputy Education and Events Secretary - Olivia Jukes

Description of Council Role:

Deputy Education & Events Secretary

My role is to work with the Education & Events Secretary to deliver a programme of CPD events for members of the CII and PFS. These include educational and social events with a variety of speakers in the form of seminars and webinars.

Why you joined the Council:

Having started my CII studies and worked in a head office role, I have had the opportunity to attend the CII dinner, participate on the Young Leader’s Development Programme and was runner up for Young Professional of the Year Awards 2018/19. I really wanted to get involved with the CII Council as it offers a great opportunity to network with other professionals and make a difference in the financial services community.

Why are you in Insurance:

My parents are both from financial services backgrounds so always knew I could pursue a career down that route to get some good industry experience, however I never really had Insurance specifically in mind when thinking of my career prospects. I really love the broadness of the industry and the ability to move about into diverse sectors/roles. I started in a small brokerage and was interested in starting my CII exams, from there I progressed into an Insurance company and never really looked back… for now!

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Motivated, organised, outgoing, proactive & thoughtful

What skills serve you well on Council:

I am passionate about organising events, supporting people to learn & grow and making a difference

Who is your hero:

That is a difficult one. David Attenborough.

Membership Secretary - Kalyan Das

Description of Council Role:
To be point of contact for membership queries and provide membership analytics to council

Current Employer and Role:
Semi-retired contracting part time for local firms

Why I joined council:
To give back to the industry after a lifetime of full time work.

Why in Financial Services:
Want to help people solve their financial planning problems.

Describe yourself in 5 words:
Semi retired now giving back

What skills serve you well on Council:
Enjoy other peoples' company and learning what makes them tick

Who is your hero:
John Bogle (founder of Vanguard)

Diversity Officer - Olivia Baker, ACII

Manager Motor Trade, Allianz Insurance

Description of Role:
TBA

Why you joined council:
Having taken a role in a head office team I was keen to meet more people and build up my network across the industry. The local institute enabled me to do this while challenging myself to develop new skills. While on council I have hosted events to raise local awareness of the institute and encourage, I hosted the local dinner for over 200 people, I’ve lead a team of other great volunteers and been the first point of contact for our members as membership secretary. Each role I have done has been a great learning experience, and I have made some great friends along the way.

Why you are in Insurance/Financial Services:
While many people find they unexpectedly fall into insurance I am one of the unusual type that actively decided I wanted to pursue a career in risk! Having spent a summer working for a law firm in their risk management department I found the idea of considering the risk something brings to a business interesting. I took a temp job for an insurer and the rest is history.

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:
Wanting to make a difference

What skills serve you well on council:
Balancing traditions of the industry with new ideas and innovation

Who is your hero:
Sheryl Sandberg

Marketing and Communications Officer - James Scullion

Business Analyst, Alliance Insurance

Description of Council Role:

Marketing and Communications Officer

Why you joined the Council:

I was introduced to Council by a colleague and former President. I was keen to join the Council to grow my network within the industry, play an active role in developing the institute and hopefully learn some new skills along the way!

Why are you in Insurance:

I moved into the insurance industry after relocating to Guildford and joining Allianz Insurance a couple of years ago. To be honest I wasn’t sure what to expect from insurance, however I’m now fascinated by what we do and wouldn’t look back.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Dedicated, organised, pro-active, hardworking, outgoing.

What skills serve you well on Council:

I’ve previously been part of a project to launch a global careers website for Allianz Group and have experience with social media marketing on LinkedIn. I’m hoping both these experiences will help me to add value in the Marketing and Communications Officer role.

Deputy Marketing & Communications Officer - Clive Harrison

Managing Director, H2i Insurance Brokers Limited

Description of Role:
Broadcasting events via social media and promoting local council

Why you joined council:
Press-ganged! But really don’t regret it as helps me to stay in touch with the local market (as not trading directly in it)

Why you are in Insurance/Financial Services:
Fell into it but love my job, every day is different and challenging, I meet new people with interesting businesses all the time

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:
Work focused, fun, sociable, happy

What skills serve you well on council:
Who can tell

Who is your hero:
Winston Churchill

Charities Representative and Dinner Secretary - Aaron Wilding

Description of Council Role:

As Charity Officer my focus is to raise awareness of our current Charity Partners, Jigsaw Trust and The Insurance Charities and arrange fundraising events to raise as much as we can for them.

Why you joined the Council:

A great opportunity to meet new people across the industry and do something different to develop my skillset outside of my day to day role.

Why are you in Insurance:

I found a good opportunity after University to join an insurance company as a claims handler and having moved into several different roles since then I continue to enjoy working in and learning about the industry.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Approachable, Resilient, Kind, loyal, Efficient

What skills serve you well on Council:

Keen to learn, lots of ideas (some better than others), enjoy a challenge and motivated to help make a difference.

Young Professionals Committee Chairman - Ashley Martin B.A. (Hons), Dip CII (Claims), Dip CILA

Commercial Claims Handler - Basil Fry & Company

Description of Role:

I chair a Young Professionals Committee with bimonthly meetings – arranging approx. 6 CPD and soft-skills events per year, using email and Linked In to communicate with members. I conduct feedback surveys after each event. I will also oversee next year’s Young Professional of the Year award, including reviewing applications and the winner to be announced at the Guildford CII annual dinner. I also submit an officer’s report at the bimonthly Council meetings to provide updates.

Why I joined:

To network with people from a variety of backgrounds in the local area.


Why I'm in Insurance:

Like most people, I fell into insurance as I needed office experience after graduating from university and as people have reminded me; once you’re in the industry, you never leave!

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:

Kind, thoughtful, honest, committed and diligent.


What skills serve you well on council:

Organisational and interpersonal skills.


Who is your hero:

Margaret Thatcher for her grit, perseverance and vision.

Deputy Chair of Young Professionals’ Council - Stelios Miltiadou

Description of Council Role:

Deputy Chair of Young Professionals’ Council.

Why you joined the Council:

I have tried to get actively involved with the local Councils throughout all my placements around the UK. I think it’s a great way to help bring the local insurance community together and meet new people.

Why are you in Insurance:

I took on a summer job at AIG and before I knew it, I was studying Insurance and Risk Management at postgraduate level… I then joined the Allianz Commercial Insurance Graduate scheme and have never looked back! Coming from a family of three generations of insurance professionals probably had something to do with it though.

Describe yourself in 5 words:

Trustworthy, passionate, motivated, organised and kind

What skills serve you well on Council:

I have been able to meet new people and build relationships, so networking is a big one. It’s also a great way to develop organisational and teamwork skills by working with everyone to make a positive impact.

Who is your hero:

My parents

Council Member - Paul Judd ACII

Underwriting Performance Management, Zurich

Description of Role:

To support the Education and Events Secretary.

Why you joined council:
Curiosity on the back of my then manager asking me if I wanted to attend in her absence. Once on board it appealed to my pride in my profession. Being in my mid to late 40's when I joined I was not prepared for the new and enhanced skills I would have learnt. Wish I got involved years earlier.

Why you are in Insurance/Financial Services:
I joined straight from school at 18 responding to a newspaper advert. Once in my interest was piqued and with professional qualifications the enthusiasm built as I recognised what we literally underwrite in everyday life - from cars and homes through to commercial enterprises - it became a career.

Describe Yourself in 5 Words:
Loyal, friendly, eager, interested and committed

What skills serve you well on council:
Organisation - stakeholder management - communication - diplomacy

Who is your hero:
Winston Churchill - so many ups and downs but kept coming back for more

Lewis Spooner - Council and Young Professionals Committee Member

Partner – NFU Mutual Godalming (AJA Posnett, LR Spooner & JH Gold)

I joined NFU Mutual Godalming as a Partner in April 2020, having formerly been a part of the NFU Mutual Colchester Partnership in Essex since September 2012. The change in business partnership has included relocating from Suffolk, where I was previously living, to Surrey. In conjunction with running the business alongside my two business partners, I specialise in offering consultancy to Corporations and Affluent Home Owners in respect of their current & emerging insurance requirements, risk reduction and introducing them to our dedicated Financial Advisor.

Prior to joining the Chartered Insurance Institute of Guildford I was a Council Member for the Ipswich, Suffolk & North Essex CII for the last two years.