Coffee Cup Corner: Q&A with Lisa Humphries, Client Services Director
Job title: Client service director
How long have you worked at Xenia? Along with two others, I set up CRS in October 2003, and following a number of acquisitions Xenia was formed - so 18 years and 10 months.
What do you like about Xenia/Why do you like working for Xenia? Although the Xenia name is relatively new, it is made up by a number of acquisitions of like-minded businesses which all have the same ethos: putting client service first. I absolutely love working with the people and although we are now a much larger business, it still feels like a family.
A piece of advice you'd give your younger self? Maybe not to be as hot-headed and headstrong as I was in my younger days. Though thinking about it, in the end it hasn’t done me any harm!
How did you get into the insurance sector? By pure accident. I started as the typist in the credit department at a large general broker applying for credit limits by telex, and the rest is history.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My role cuts across a number of areas in the business but for me, the most enjoyable aspect is looking after clients, sorting their problems out and renewing their policies. I have a number of clients that I have known or looked after for over 20 years and these have become friends as well as clients.
How has the job changed since you started your career? A lot! I started in 1988 and at that time there were only two insurers, Trade Indemnity for UK trade and ECGD for export trade. There were no online systems and limits were either telexed or posted to the insurer. An average UK limit took a week and exports could be two to three weeks. A bit different to now, where everything is online and a large number of decisions are either instant, or certainly within 24 hours! The other main change would be the amount of regulation for the industry, as back then there was very little, if any.
Where do you see Xenia going over the next few years? I have no doubt that Xenia will continue to grow and acquire businesses, and will not only remain as the largest independent credit insurance broker, but more importantly continue to deliver exceptional high levels of service for our clients.
Tell us something most people don't know about you/what's your hidden talent? I’m a massive Agatha Christie fan and thought I would make a great detective, though I’m not sure reading detective novels makes you a good detective! In terms of hidden talent, I’m a very good florist and still do wedding flowers for friends.
What job would you be doing if you weren't doing this one? Definitely a florist, or maybe work at a garden centre as I find working with flowers and plants very therapeutic.
What would you say to a young person who wants to get into insurance? Insurance is a great career path where you will meet fantastic people, learn lots of new things and of course has a work hard/play hard mentality.
Who's your greatest hero or heroine and why? This is a hard one but I would go with suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, founder of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
What do you do to relax? Reading, swimming, gardening and a few white wine spritzers!
To find out more about the people behind Xenia head over to last month’s Coffee Club Corner episode with our colleague Stuart Grice.