Lee Taylor has recently become the Account Manager at Stride Group after trying out the role for a few months. We asked Lee to tell us more about his journey to this point, and to tell us more about himself.
How long have you worked at Stride Group?
I can’t believe it, but in April I’ll have been with Stride for 11 years.
I served in the Royal Navy as a weapons engineer for six years when I left school. After leaving the Navy I joined Ladbrokes before becoming a ‘much-loved’ taxman. After that I used the financial knowledge I’d gained to secure a role at Zurich and then moved to Stride. The roles may seem somewhat random, but the ‘golden thread’ running through them all was the emphasis on figures and developing strong relationships with people.
What’s the best thing about your new role?
I’m lucky I’ve had the opportunity to develop my career with Stride. The great thing for me is the relationships I’m building with brokers across the UK, learning how best we can meet their needs and negotiating some great deals for them.
What makes you tick outside work?
I used to do stand-up, though I prefer writing comedy if I’m honest. My friend and I love to perform sketches, and we bounce off each other (not literally!). It takes a lot of work and time to put a sketch together though, but maybe this year I’ll pick it up again.
I’m in to music and will be seeing Judas Priest and Ozzy Osbourne this year – actually, I really hope to see more live gigs generally this year. I wish I had more time for my creative stuff, like playing my guitar and maybe finishing the book I started writing years ago. Who knows, maybe one day…?
What do you think 2019 will hold?
Professionally I think there will be lots of new opportunities opening up as people start to invest again post-Brexit. Whilst a lot of investors have been keeping their powder dry for the past 18 months, once the dust settles after March I think they will be keen to maximise on the opportunities.
The online market is still very strong, and very price-driven. This is both a threat and an opportunity. Online pricing can seem attractive to customers, but the product offering can be limited and narrow. Online providers may also use unrated and under-capitalised insurers leaving the customer at risk of being unable to make claims – we’ve already seen it happen with some insurers, and I fear there are more incidences to come.
At Stride Group we are committed to providing the best for our customers. We use only A-rated composites, and we manually underwrite so we can give a trusted, secure service. We take the time to understand niche and specific requirements, and we have a number of insurers we can call on, which means we can find the best deal for the customer and the broker. We even have our own Property Owners insurance underwriting company, Portus Underwriting, which looks set to grow even more this year.