We are delighted to share that Richard has been featured in Insurance Business UK’s Young Guns list. This inaugural report shines the spotlight on professionals under 35 who are revitalizing the entire insurance space. Out of the hundreds in the industry, only few get listed in the magazine – being on this list is a major indicator of how much the industry recognises his achievements.
After being nominated by a peer several months ago, the magazine approached us and asked us for a resume of Richard’s achievements. Writing it was a pleasure and a privilege, as it made me appreciate even more the big-hearted, selfless, determined, resilient, supportive, proactive and kind man that I have the honour of walking and working alongside daily. We’re very pleased that he made the final cut!
Here’s what I wrote:
After sustaining an injury while training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Richard began his career in insurance in a call centre for Zurich in Cardiff. Within a year he had moved to Gateshead, securing an account handler position in a local brokerage. Progressing to Director level, and managing a team of people within 5 years, Richard has recently taken on a new challenge and launched his own brokerage in February, which he runs with his wife.
Richard is an active member of the Insurance Institute of Newcastle upon Tyne, having served as one of its youngest presidents in 2013/14. As a firm advocate for raising standards of training and development in the profession, Richard set up an insurance study centre in the city library, where insurance students can come and access resources to facilitate their continued professional development. He is also a founding member of the thriving Young Professionals Group, which aims to encourage and support younger members through networking, education and raising the profile of the institute.
As a member of the Representative Council of the CII, he represents the views and interests of the local institutes of Middlesbrough, Newcastle and York. In his time serving on the council, he has successfully nominated 5 people in the local area for CII service awards, consciously addressing a historical lack of recognition of professional excellence and dedication in the region.
As well as having a real and active interest in development of the local profession, he also has an interest in the direction and development of standards and levels of education on an international scale, too. He recently accepted an invitation to join the International Strategy Working Group, which examines the CII’s global impact.
As a director of the North East Initiative on Business Ethics, Richard is keen to get local organisations thinking about ethical business practices, and how they apply them in their work. Earlier this year, he organised a Business Ethics in Financial Services event, which was well supported by a wide range of delegates, ranging from retired business people; business owners and academics, to eager young students.
Personal levels of excellence and continued professional development are also of vital importance to Richard, who recently passed his final assignment for the Advanced Diploma and is now one of a handful of Chartered Insurance Brokers in the NE. He is now coaching his wife through the Cert CII qualification, with the ultimate aim of their new firm achieving corporate chartered status. While working for his previous employer, he coached staff through the Cert CII, with 90% of the staff becoming qualified at certificate level or above.
Richard’s love of supporting others to develop professionally is not restricted to his work in the CII. He is well respected in the local area as an insurance expert, and has given his time and expertise to speak at Newcastle, Northumbria and Durham universities on insurance and risk. In addition, he is a keen mentor, supporting local businesses in official and unofficial capacities and he serves on the Advisory Council of Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, which helps keep him up to date with, and involved in, research and legislative changes in the realm of risk, hazard and resilience.
Earlier this year he filmed two interviews with a veterans’ charity and with the CII, both of which had a focus on describing his experience of transitioning from the army to Financial Services, with the aim to encourage other ex-military personnel to consider this career path too.
Now that he runs his own business, Richard is happy to have more time and freedom to support local charities by volunteering his time and expertise in developing business plans, applying for grants and understanding regulations and responsibilities. In 2010/11 the team he led was shortlisted in the Charity Times Awards for their work with in the third sector.
Having identified that many of the tenants of the office complex where he worked were keen to develop networking opportunities within the building, he organised a successful networking event in May, attended by around 30 people. He was very gratified to witness several long-standing tenants connecting and exploring business opportunities for the first time.
He is pleased to support the local business community by recently accepting a position on the BIPC experts panel, giving up an afternoon a month for a drop in session for start ups and small businesses, who can come to the Newcastle City Library for free, expert advice about insurance.
Richard is also on the Gateshead Community Led Local Development panel, a community-led group which applies for, and disburses EU funding which is used to help businesses grow and improve the numbers of people in employment within his local area.
As well as Richard’s efforts in the insurance, business and charity communities, he also has a busy home life, with two young children. Despite his disability, he tries hard to keep fit and active, setting up the successful and popular Gateshead Badminton Club in 2011, and swimming three times a week. He also supports a local family by offering respite care of one of their sons who has autism one morning a month. Richard is a proactive and creative man who is always willing to put himself forward to help others, where they have a need.
We’re sure you’ll agree that Richard is a brilliant and outstanding Young Gun, who strives for excellence and service to others in all he does.
Talbot Jones Risk Solutions is an independent insurance brokerage specialising in small business and charity insurance. Get in touch for a free insurance review, quotation or advice, and Richard and Clare will be more than happy to help.