Coffee Cup Corner: Q&A with Stuart Grice, Director of Client Services North West & Scotland
Name: Stuart Grice
Job Title: Director of Client Services North West & Scotland
How long have you worked at Xenia?
I joined Xenia in April 2020, weeks into the first lockdown, following the transfer of our team from Howden to the Nexus Group (now Kentro).
What this role means/area is:
I am the director of client services for both our north-west and Scottish offices. As a single team, we focus on working with our clients to both maximise their coverage and boost profitable growth potential, while simultaneously ensuring their policy provides the security and claims certainty - from which our policies show their true value. We also buy lunch.
What do you like about Xenia/Why do you like working for Xenia?
Although Xenia is a brokerage built from a consolidation of eight separate businesses, we still feel like a small, agile and people-oriented company. The founding businesses were very much built around a “family business ethic” and this continues to be at the heart of what we strive to be. The best practices of each of these companies are retained and integrated across our new Xenia business unit. Every employee is able, and actively encouraged, to bring new ideas to the table, not only to assist in our growth but, most importantly, to ensure our clients have the best possible experience and support. It truly is a business which embraces entrepreneurial spirit while providing a supportive and safe work environment.
A piece of advice you'd give your younger self?
Never let go of the ambition of youth but always be “the good guy”.
How did you get into the insurance sector?
Like many people in the trade credit sector, I fell into the industry by accident. After leaving university, I needed a job - any job - to earn money. That job happened to be in a call centre making outbound telemarketing calls for credit insurance appointments. Twenty years later, I’m still here, learning every day, meeting new people and generally having a lovely time doing so.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety of people we get to meet, from clients to insurers, colleagues to partners. There is always someone new to meet and someone new to learn from.
Where do you see Xenia going over the next few years?
Xenia is a very ambitious business. I see a continued expansion in both new countries and lines of insurance. Alongside significant focus, development and investment in our core business model.
Tell us something most people don't know about you/what's your hidden talent?
I enjoy building guitars. It started with simple modifications of manufactured instruments and has now evolved into something a little more than a hobby. There is something both relaxing and rewarding about taking a few rectangles of exotic hardwoods and turning them into a well-crafted instrument. I’m surprisingly not awful at it, either!
What job would you be doing if you weren't doing this one?
In the real world, maybe a primary school teacher. In my fleets of fantasy, running a small luthier’s workshop, producing limited run, high-end custom musical instruments.
What would you say to a young person who wants to get into insurance?
Do it. It is a great career with as many opportunities as you care to create for yourself. Whether you wish to find a stable nine-to-five job or dream of being an international business traveller, this industry will give you all the opportunities you wish to fulfil your own ambitions.
What do you do to relax?
Give me a block of wood, some carving tools and a few hours of peace.
To find out more about the people behind Xenia head over to last month’s Coffee Club Corner episode with our colleague Katie Wright.