Coffee Cup Corner: A quick Q&A with Xenia’s Business Development Executive, Mike Lawrence
In our new regular staff Q&A our Business Development Executive, Mike Lawrence, explains what he enjoys about his role at Xenia, his secret talent and why his all-time hero is Arsene Wenger.
How did you get into the insurance sector?
A good friend of mine, Mark Letheren, owned an independent broker and suggested I might like to join his company.
What do you do at Xenia and what does your typical day look like?
I focus on new business development in both credit insurance and surety bonds. Every day is different. I may be meeting a prospect for the first time, presenting terms to a prospect once we have had feedback from all the insurers, meeting introducers or insurers. If not in meetings, then I will likely be negotiating terms and limits for my prospects and managing my pipeline of new business.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The fact that every day is different. But the most enjoyable bit is closing new-to-market business. If you don’t get a buzz out of completing a sale, you shouldn’t really be in new business.
What's the funniest or most memorable thing you’ve had to do in your current role?
I would like to plead the Fifth Amendment on that question. Looking forward, I have a feeling that the first Xenia Christmas Party for a couple of years - in ‘70s fancy dress - is going to be very memorable. We work hard but play hard!
What's your hidden talent?
I spent 10 years helping to manage and managing junior football teams. Whether I had a talent for it, is for other people to decide.
What job would you be doing if you weren't doing this one?
I really don’t have a clue – possibly a finance broker.
So you didn't consider a career in football coaching?
No – definitely not! Working in grassroots football was rewarding and enjoyable but the professional game is a totally different level.
Who's your greatest hero and why?
Arsene Wenger, because in a few years he changed Arsenal from being one of the dullest teams to one of the most exciting. Single-handed, he changed the whole philosophy and reputation of the club.
What would you say to a young person who wants to get into insurance?
I would thoroughly recommend it, as I did with my youngest son. In general, you get to work with some fantastic people, many of whom have become good friends rather than just business acquaintances. There is a strong social side to the business as our work still relies on having good relationships with both the underwriters we work with and our introducers.
What do you do to relax?
Watching live sport, which I even get to do through work on
occasions. You cannot experience the atmosphere of sporting occasions
without being there. My playing days are long gone, but I do still get
to enjoy hacking around a golf course!