Thinking about all the things that could possibly go wrong with an event is now part of Jake’s DNA – whether that is bad weather, a no-show from a performer or an act of terrorism, his job is to make sure that protection is in place to keep the show on the road.
Jake started his career straight after leaving school, and is an underwriter at Beazley, a leading Lloyd’s Syndicate. “I was always strong with numbers, so maths and economics were a core part of my A levels and, while I did not know exactly what I wanted to do, I did know I wanted to work in an office. So, after my exams I started looking for entry level roles and apprenticeships. Further education would have been great, but I did not want the debt and I did want the three years of hands-on experience I could get while my friends were studying.”
Jake thought about insurance following two work experience placements during the latter part of his education. “My first role was as an Insurance Technician for Munich Re. It was a foot in the door, but with hindsight it gave me this amazing grounding in how insurance works. When I came to apply for my first underwriting role, that detailed understanding was a real advantage. Never underestimate the value of starting in the engine room!” He also very much believes in the value of professional qualifications, completing his Chartered Institute of Insurance certificate in his first year and now working towards his Advanced Diploma.
It is the sheer variety of what comes across his desk that Jake loves. “I never know what each day will bring and it is so important for organisers, artists and managers to know they can buy insurance which will protect their income. My job is to assess how an event may be cancelled or interrupted and the financial impact of this. Each event is unique and varies from those see in your local town to ones you watch on the TV..”
There are a number of things that Jake thinks make working in the London insurance market unique. The first is that it is a marketplace, there is healthy competition which means you have to be quite entrepreneurial in how you think about solutions – this is not just about price. Business is mostly done face to face so it means you can bounce ideas off colleagues and business partners. “For me the interaction with other people means we can get more done, faster and with more fun. The challenges we help people face are fascinating so there is real reward in what we do.”