Coffee Cup Corner: Q&A with Roberto Simone, Risk Development Executive
Full name: Roberto Simone
Job title: Risk Development Executive
How long have you worked at Xenia?
I have worked at Xenia since April 2020, which was a few weeks into the first COVID quarantine, following the acquisition of our division at Howden by Nexus, now renamed as Kentro.
What this role means/area is:
I am the risk development executive for the business, working in both portfolio and new business classifications. It’s otherwise known as the credit risk analyst.
What do you like about Xenia/Why do you like working for Xenia?
I am an advocate of businesses that think forward, invest in growth and challenge the status quo. Xenia is certainly a business that follows such a trajectory and this excites me.
Furthermore, while it grows at a very impressive but controlled rate, the business maintains its early mantras and ethos of being people oriented and agile enough to cater for businesses of many sizes and shapes. This continues to form the basis of our practice, and reputation in the market, so the future is certainly bright.
Given the early challenges we faced with COVID, we have become an even stronger outfit that embraces a spirit not many companies have in their locker, and this is a competitive advantage.
A piece of advice you'd give your younger self?
Believe in yourself and all will be well.
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:
Success breeds complacency, complacency breeds failure… only the paranoid survive! A truism embraced by myself that certainly compliments the credit risk ethos and its fundamentals. Practice this mantra and the rest will fall into place.
How did you get into the insurance sector?
Like the majority in the industry, by chance. Previously working in a commercial finance capacity for a bank following graduation, an opportunity presented itself to work in the wonderful world of trade credit… and here I am today.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety it provides, as well as helping clients with credit risk issues and acting as a source of information and intelligence for clients, colleagues and a range of audiences.
Where do you see Xenia going over the next few years?
Continued expansion and elevating itself to one of the majors in the space. It’s likely to see a learning culture evolve with diversification being a strong arm to the organisational strategy - but still be renowned as credit risk specialists. A very exciting interstellar journey is just beginning.
Tell us something most people don't know about you/what's your hidden talent?
I used to mix trance music and produced the odd track or two back in the day.
What job would you be doing if you weren't doing this one?
I always aspired to be a fighter pilot but never pursued it, so would have probably followed a path in sports journalism. Growing up I also wanted to be a professional footballer and at one stage it seemed I had the ability, qualities and technical prowess… but it wasn’t meant to be. I still have a deep passion for the beautiful game, though.
What would you say to a young person who wants to get into insurance?
Just do it! It’s such a great career move with variety, challenge, networking and travel, just some of the main aspects.
Who's your greatest hero or heroine and why?
Pure and simple, my late father for the values that made me the person I am today. For this I am thankful.In addition, I have always been fond and inspired by Sylvester Stallone given his drive, determination and eventual success - and of course his Italian heritage. I am also a massive Rocky fan too as the saga has a momentous link to my life, especially in my early years. It also embodies many associations with my own development reflected in a number of the motivational quotes heard throughout the film franchise. One in particular: “Never give up!”
What do you do to relax?
Apart from spending time with my children, I like to keep active with mixed martial arts (MMA) and going to the gym. Plus socialising with friends, listening to a variety of music, watching films and football, reading books and engaging in continuous learning about life, business and the cosmos.
To find out more about the people behind Xenia head over to last month’s Coffee Club Corner episode with our colleague, Lisa Humphries.