1. What was the first record/CD you can remember buying?
I grew up in a village where music was a strong tradition, and so a big part of my childhood. There were 9 choirs for a population of 6,000! I loved Mozart’s music (still do!), and bought some of his piano works early on.
2. What is your biggest pet hate about the world of financial services?
I think the industry can be insular at times and get lost in the detail. There is a lot of good practice from other sectors and countries that we can draw on - we need to carve out the time to do more of that.
3. What is your favourite/book film, and why?
I’m a big reader, so this is a hard one to answer! Books by Thomas Mann, like “The Magic Mountain”, have stayed with me over the years. I’ve recently started reading history books more, and found James Hawes’ “The shortest history of Germany” very illuminating.
Film-wise, I have two children (aged 9 and 11) and we try to make Friday night our film night, so I get to watch a lot of kids’ films these days. I love Studio Ghibli movies - the manga animation is fabulous. And we all enjoyed Paddington 2!
4. If you could pick any job in the world to do, what would you choose?
It must be incredible to be the conductor of a major symphony orchestra, such as the Berlin Philharmonic! More realistically, I think I would have enjoyed being a doctor. I was seriously considering it as a teenager, but convinced myself I was too squeamish. Now that I have a very accident-prone son, I’ve realised I’m not particularly squeamish at all and could have gone down that road!
5. If you could change one thing overnight about the protection industry, what would it be?
The sector would be more diverse. I’m the ABI’s Executive Sponsor for promoting diversity across our industry, in all its forms. We still have some way to go to ensure the industry better reflects and understands the customers it serves. But we are making progress - at the end of the day, it makes good business sense.
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