Consultant Profile - Richard Gibbins ACII
My introduction to a career in the world of insurance is uncannily very similar to that of Paul Davies, as I also applied to be an Officer of Customs and Excise – was the link with alcohol the common factor?
Unfortunately my A level results were not good enough and I therefore took a labouring job at a timber factory in Midsomer Norton ( yes, there is such a town, without the murders) near Bath.
Some months later, I consulted a careers guide borrowed from the school library and literally stuck a pin in Royal Insurance. I wrote to the Bath office and was interviewed at the Liverpool Head Office on the day that John F Kennedy was assassinated.
I started at the Bath office as a trainee on 1 January 1964 and then specialised in claims which resulted in a posting to the Hanley office in Stoke-on-Trent as a claims handler. It was there that I met my wife to be, who worked in the life department. We married in October 1969 which was an incentive to complete the exams that year to qualify as an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute and receive a very useful cash award from my employers.
In 1971 I was promoted to Claims Manager at the Royal office in Peterborough and in 1974 I was invited by some former Royal colleagues to join their Lloyds Insurance Syndicate in London as a senior claims manager. This widened my experience considerably and from there I joined DAS Legal Expenses Insurance Company on sales in Croydon and then Birmingham until my appointment as UK Sales and Marketing Manager at the Bristol Head office.
DAS became part of the Sun Alliance Insurance Group and I moved to Bradford Pennine, another Group member, as the Northern Regional Sales Manager based in Halifax.
I then followed Paul to “ the other side” and joined him at the same local insurance brokerage and in 1993/94 I served as President of the Insurance Institute of Stoke-on-Trent.
I also found that there was never a dull moment in the world of insurance and in 1996 I took on the role of Managing Director of a motor insurance claims management company based in Cardiff.
During this time I met a Cameroon student and a Liverpool solicitor and together we formed a marketing company which primarily introduced Cameroon footballers to the UK but also developed trade links which resulted in a number of exciting trips throughout Europe and to Cameroon.
My experience in Cameroon has proved to be invaluable relating to renewable energy, with a detailed knowledge of biomass, as miscanthus (elephant grass) grows naturally there and there is much use of solar and hydro-electric power.
I am delighted my flexible role as a Consultant with Nviro and to represent this innovative company at many seminars and networking groups and assist in attaining recognition as the market leader.
Despite a very busy schedule which includes interests in music, sport and politics, I have a growing family with two adult sons and three granddaughters which have given my wife and I a new lease of life, albeit at a slower pace.