What was the first record/CD you can remember buying? (and anything you want to say about the song/album)
I really wish I could say it was something great like Zeppelin or Pink Floyd, but it was actually ‘Now That’s What I Call Music 31’ when I was about 11 or 12. Nonetheless, it had some great tunes on it by Pulp, Oasis and Supergrass, as well as the usual rubbish (PJ & Duncan, anyone?), but it was Weezer’s ‘Buddy Holly’ that I kept playing on repeat. That song really influenced my music taste quite a lot going forward into my teenage years, for better or worse!
What is your biggest pet hate about the world of financial services?
This is to do with other areas of FS rather than protection, but it is definitely the arrogance you find in many parts of the industry. It’s all well and good waxing lyrical to journos like myself about how much they are doing for benefit of society, but when you look at their actions it tells a very different story. For me, a lot of this comes out of the credit crunch in 2007-2008, when institutions failed millions of people, got bailed out with little more than a slap on the wrist and then just basically carried on doing whatever made them the most money.
What is your favourite book/film, and why?
‘The Melancholy of Resistance’ by László Krasznahorkai because I don’t recall any other story ever having such a profound and evocative resonance with me, even years after reading it. Krasznahorkai’s prose is mesmerising and his ability to construct eloquent sentences that can run for dozens of pages is a skill that I have never seen another contemporary writer match. While it is a generally bleak story, the moments of optimism and hope stay with you. To my mind, it’s perfect.
If you could pick any job in the world to do, what would you choose?
I’d love to be the manager of a football team. It is one of those childhood dreams that has never quite faded away entirely, but I think that it might be time to accept that this particular ambition may never be fulfilled…
If you could change one thing overnight about the protection industry, what would it be?
I am still a bit of a newcomer to protection so I’m sure I would probably have a different answer to this in the future, but the one thing I would do now is ensure that the industry has the ability to put the right products in front of the right people at all times. I’m specifically thinking about income protection for the rental market; I’ve been renting in London for the past dozen years and there hasn’t been a single occasion during that time where I have been signposted to, let alone offered, income protection cover.
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