1 min read: INSURANCE INFLUENCERS – RICHARD FINAN
Forging ahead to meet customers’ ever-changing needs The ancillary market has traditionally lagged behind...
Hi Dickie, firstly could you tell us about your role and responsibilities as our Corporate Development Manager?
There are several different sides to my role. I primarily focus on identifying and developing new business and partnership opportunities throughout the group business, as well as developing our existing partner relationships. I also look after the key corporate relationships for our Personal Accident & Travel insurance offerings.
My priority is ensuring our partners receive excellent service from the business and working closely with them to understand their individual requirements, allowing us to tailor our products and solutions to meet their specific needs.
It’s an exciting time to be part of the team. Whilst Legal Expenses Insurance (LEI) remains our core business line, we can now offer a full range of ancillary products.
You joined the business at a strange time, just prior to a second UK-wide lockdown, have you found it easy to settle into the role?
Absolutely! I was fortunate to spend time with some of the team in person back in October 2020 when I joined the group, which provided a great insight into the different business functions and the opportunity to meet some of the team members. Since the beginning of November, I’ve been working from home in Manchester, but I’ve never felt like the new guy, or that I’m in any way isolated. The Arc team has made it easy to settle in and the business has adapted exceptionally well to what has been a challenging time for us.
I’m starting to get back in the office more now that working restrictions have eased. Just being around natural office discussions makes a big difference, it’s often where the best ideas and inspiration comes from!
Your job is highly sociable, you have to build and maintain strong relationships, how has that been impacted by remote working?
Meeting people over MS Teams undoubtedly has a different dynamic, it’s harder to read a virtual room, but in my experience most people have made that switch quite comfortably. I’ve certainly not found it difficult to develop my business relationships remotely, however the industry is built around people and face-to-face conversations and many people I speak to have missed the ability to discuss business in person, rather than in front of a screen.
Now that lockdown has eased and businesses begin to return to the office, I think we’ll see a greater mix of in-person and virtual meetings, but either way I’m always available to meet with my partners in whichever way they prefer.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m a very sociable person and I love that my role allows me to meet with and learn about all different types of people. I love being inquisitive and sitting down with someone to learn more about their business, the challenges they face and the solutions they are looking for and finding a way to tailor our products to suit them.
A big part of your role is working closely with our partners to develop relationships and support new business opportunities; what do you think is key to a strong business relationship?
It’s so important to really listen and fully understand and engage with the challenges your partners are facing. That understanding will allow you to identify the best possible solutions for them … and there’s no such thing as a silly question!
The introduction of our increased product range has given us more flexibility to tailor solutions specifically to our partners, and our ability to working together closely to create the perfect solution builds a strong element of trust.
Can you tell us about other business recent initiatives?
In anticipation of the whiplash reforms, Arc has been working on a solution to meet the needs of the post-reform world for several years to ensure we can continue to provide the high-quality legal support needed, whilst also educating our clients on the benefits of Motor Legal Expenses Insurance.
The reforms were introduced on 31st May, and whilst the lead up was several years in the making, this date is just the start rather than the end! We are now continuing to keep a watchful eye on the impact of the changes in practice.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
You have two ears and one mouth, use them in proportion! I’ve always been a strong believer in the power of listening, so this phrase has always resonated with me.
What are you most excited about when lockdown eases?
I’ve signed up for the Manchester Marathon on Sunday 10th October 2021, having completed a few half-marathons previously, I am really looking forward to the challenge and starting my training programme.
I’m also excited to get back out in the mountains! I love climbing and find a tough climb pure escapism. Last year I did the Welsh 3000s and climbed the peaks of 15 mountains in Wales in 21 hours, a tough challenge but watching a spectacular sunrise and blood moon rise within the same day was worth the pain.
If you require further details of our products and services, please contact your Corporate Relations Manager or email [email protected].