Coffee Cup Corner: Q&A with Terry Kingston, Account Manager
Join us for another edition of our Coffee Cup Corner here at Xenia - uncovering the people behind the policies. This month we take a moment to catch up with our colleague Account Manger Terry Kingston, read on to find out more.
How long have you worked at Xenia?
What do you do at Xenia and what does your typical day look like?
I joined Xenia a little over a year ago – during the health crisis - as an Account Manager meaning I have overall responsibility for the servicing and retention of a large portfolio of existing corporate trade credit insurance clients.
I am very much looking forward to getting back and meeting my customers face-to-face this year which has been virtually impossible since starting my new role.
I’m pretty ‘hands on’ in my approach so my day can be extremely varied. There is no doubt a large part of my role is broking renewals and talking to clients but you’ll just as often find me negotiating credit limits which is the backbone of any policy.
I do also get the opportunity to bring on some new business which is always nice.
What do you like about Xenia/Why do you like working for Xenia?
Whilst Xenia may be a relatively new name, we are big, very big, and command a huge amount of respect in the market. Despite their size however what I like about working for Xenia is that the business has really differentiated itself from the other major brokers, retaining that ‘personal touch’, and truly looking after their clients which after all is what insurance broking as all about.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
One of the most enjoyable aspects of my role is that I get to travel all around the country and meet so many people. I have known and looked after the insurances for several of my customers for many years and have made some great friends in that time.
How did you get into the insurance sector?
Like most people, I didn’t go out searching for a career in credit insurance! I was leaving school and due to go on and study A-Levels when I happened to pop along to the local careers centre with a friend. They mentioned a YTS placement at what was then Lowndes Lambert, which combined work placement with studying part-time at college. A few months later they took me on as a Trainee Junior Correspondent. That was in 1986. I stayed with the business for 30 years!
How has the job changed since you started your career?
That’s a great question! I think it’s true to say the job bears no resemblance to when I started out. There were really only two insurers back in the day when I started and very little regulation certainly compared to what we are now used to. I remember getting the first computer in the office so we could enter limit applications on Trade Indemnity’s TRUMPS system! There was no e-mail of course so everything would be posted. Anything quicker, you sent a telex!
Where do you see Xenia going over the next few years?
There is no doubt in my mind that Xenia is the broker of choice right now and the exciting place to be working. The business couldn’t be run by a finer bunch of people. I see the business just going from strength to strength.
What job would you be doing if you weren't doing this one?
I always wanted to be a fireman but I’m not overly keen on ladders!
What would you say to a young person who wants to get into insurance?
Insurance is an extremely wide field and within it many different roles so there’s lots of different job opportunities. Like most things, anyone who is prepared to work hard will do well. My advice is you will come across a lot of different people through your career. Watch, listen, absorb their knowledge.
What do you do to relax?
I have recently joined the local gym which I am really enjoying.
What's your most commonly asked question in your job role and how would you answer it? Or a top tip using your expert advice:
In a market such as we find ourselves in currently it is imperative that insurers are challenged actively and regularly to maximise the coverage achievable under your policy. Many businesses inevitably will be filing a deterioration in operational performance as accounts for 2020/early 2021 are submitted. Regular risk reviews with your insurer and broker partners will assist driving the best levels of cover and value from your insurance programme.
To find out more about the people behind Xenia head over to last month’s Coffee Club Corner episode with our colleague Michele Horner.