Coffee Cup Corner header Linda

Category: Insight | Date: 27/06/2023

Coffee Cup Corner: Q&A with Linda Scott MCICM, Consulting Director

In this month’s edition of Xenia’s Coffee Cup Corner series, we hear from Consulting Director, Linda Scott MCICM, who more than likely would have become a teacher if she hadn't decided to be a secretary and then headhunted to train as broker!

How long have you worked at Xenia?

Since late December 2022 when Xenia acquired my business.

What is your area of focus?
Transferring my 'Linda Scott Associates (LSA)' clients smoothly into Xenia, ensuring they are happy with their new contacts and service levels and as many renew for as long as possible - most are on 2-year terms already.

What do you like about working for Xenia?

Very welcoming - so many old friends up and down the country saying they are so glad to have me back on their team.

A piece of advice you'd give your younger self?

To have branched out on my own and set up my own brokerage sooner.

What's your top tip using your expert advice?

Be yourself. Also trust your instincts; if something doesn't feel right, it probably is not.

How did you get into the insurance sector?

I studied French, German and office skills, to become a secretary. The first job interview I went for was with Trade Indemnity (later called Euler) so took the job to get office experience, intending to move on in 6 months - positions using languages were hard to get without office experience. However, we were a good team and the role grew as the Glasgow branch grew, and I stayed for almost 8 years before being approached by Jardines to train as a broker. It was great having a company car and going out to meet the clients, rather than being office based.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

Having the contact with so many good people; Xenians, insurers and clients!

What's the strangest / funniest / most memorable thing you’ve had to do in your current role?

Several John Cleese moments over the years, but also meeting a prospect starting a new business - the building had only three walls up, so we were in a very muddy field, really open to the elements! Kindest client moment, when invited to stay overnight with the MD and her husband as road was closed near Scottish border with snow. Home-made shepherd's pie and red wine and good chat in front of the fire, perfect!!

How has the job changed since you started your career?

Mobile phones have to have the biggest impact. Years ago, I would have to stop at motorway services, have change for the phone-box, hope there was not a queue, then ring your prospect or client to be told he/she was in a meeting, please call later........ stopping at next service area to go through the same rigamarole. This meant journeys often took longer due to all the stopping!

Where do you see Xenia going over the next few years?

Onwards and upwards of course! It is good to feel part of that success.

Tell us something most people don't know about you?

During lockdown, I starting growing my hair in order to donate to Little Princess Trust for wig-making for children who have had cancer. I got it cut a month ago at 44cm! I cannot believe it is not more grey at my stage in life...

What job would you be doing if you weren't doing this one?

Probably a caring or mentoring role, like teaching. I was a Girlguiding leader for 15 years, and gave it up when I became a Granny (as there are only so many hours in the day!) I do believe in giving youngsters as many opportunities as you can to try new skills and learn team work.

What would you say to a young person who wants to get into insurance?

No two days are the same; you will meet some wonderful people - and it is very interesting visiting so many different sites/learning about a hugely diverse range of industries. There will be the occasional one person or place that you will be glad you do not work for/in!!!!

Who's your greatest hero or heroine and why?

Not an easy question...l have loved the late Gerald Durrell since I was about 10, due to his work breeding animals to prevent extinction - he must have been one of the first people taking species and 'planet saving' action.

What do you do to relax?

Used to love canoeing, but these days do more cooking, reading; mainly crime novels, gardening - especially since I transformed Mum's large garden to give her colour to sit out in during lockdown. Music: rock, pop, country, Motown- 60's and 70's are my favourite eras... gosh I sound ancient but then I celebrated 45 years in the industry on 10th April!! I found some early ticket stubs recently; including Elton John, Glasgow Apollo 1977, huge sum of £1.50!!

To find out more about the people behind Xenia head over to last month’s Coffee Cup Corner episode with our colleague Elizabeth (Lil) James.