- Paul Heathcote
Welcome to the Insurance Institute of Manchester
It goes without saying that to be writing these words as the new president of the institute is, quite frankly, pleasantly surprising but nevertheless it is an unbelievable honour and privilege to be elected to this position especially as we enter our 150th year in existence. I am proud to work in our industry and proud to be leading the Insurance Institute of Manchester (IIM).
When I look back at the list of past presidents, I am truly humbled and can only hope I am able to match their achievements during my year in office.
Working in insurance since 1983 my first involvement with local institutes hails back to 1992 when I first attended an event held by the Insurance Institute of Bolton. Almost immediately I was involved in forming Bolton’s ‘Young Members Committee’ (aged 30!) and since then I think I’ve provided the best part of 25 years’ service to two local institutes having moved to Manchester in 2006. I had the honour of being president of Bolton Institute in 2005/06 and to be in a position where I have been president of two neighbouring institutes is brilliant.
Presidents often choose a ‘theme’ for their year but, I don’t have a specific theme for the next 12 months. Yes, a certain number of ‘goals’ will be provided by the CII, but I want our focus to be a return to normality in whatever form ‘normality’ takes. IIM adapted brilliantly to the trying circumstances over the last couple of years and we have learned some lessons on what and how we deliver the local proposition to our members. We will continue to adapt to the changing environment and the needs of our members, and it will be wonderful to get back to meeting each other face to face.
I am eagerly anticipating a return to such face-to-face events with a quiz night, the Jubilee Prize Winners ceremony, Style in the City and the Annual Dinner already confirmed. I hope you get an opportunity to attend some of these events.
Having said there’s no theme to my year there are some important areas we need to consider.
Succession planning at both council and committee level remains vital to our continued success, as is encouraging more of our members to engage in committee or council positions. We also need to be mindful of the diversity within council and committees to ensure we continue to reflect the society we work in and, as one of the larger local institutes in the UK, IIM must use its position and sphere of influence within the CII at a regional and national level
The success of IIM is, in no small part, down to the magnificent people who sit on council or on committees. Without them, we simply would not exist. Personally, I have always appreciated the selfless work of council and committee members and I will continue to volunteer until it gets boring; knowing that it never will. My council and committees are all fantastic, I look forward to working with them all over the next 12-months and if you want to get involved, please let me know.
I am supporting two local charities during my year and the Insurance Charities whenever the opportunity arises. The two specific charities are Prevent Breast Cancer who are based at Wythenshawe Hospital and the second is Once Upon A Smile based in Old Trafford and who provide bereavement support to children and their families.
I’m both daunted and excited at the prospect of being president but want you all enjoy it as much as I intend to do and I hope I can reward everyone’s faith by leading a successful 2022/23 for not only the oldest, but in my opinion the greatest, insurance institute.