Adam has been the editor of COVER since January 2018. An NCTJ-trained B2B journalist with a consumer publishing background, previously he was the deputy editor of DJ Magazine and has past experience writing about mortgages, captives/global risk and hedge funds.
Since the age of 23 I have built two multi-million companies from scratch. I’ve been lucky enough to work in almost every part of the protection industry; I founded one of the UK’s fastest growing life insurance lead generators, built one of the UK’s largest life insurance brokers, designed products with Reinsurers and turned around the performance of one of the most prominent medical screening businesses. I recently launched my 3rd business; Adviser.ai, an automated customer engagement platform for protection businesses.
As well as phenomenal highs, I’ve also been through character-crushing failure. In 2011 the sudden and unexpected death of my 11-year-old son led to a domino effect of epic proportions; I subsequently lost everything else in my life both personally and professionally. As a consequence, I fell into some major mental health issues; anxiety and depression took hold in a huge way.
It has taken one hell of a battle to regain my mental health, but I am through the other side of that terrible journey. I am now passionate about promoting the understanding and acceptance of mental health, especially for those who have not been so lucky and are still stuck in such an isolated, desolate place. I run a series of mental monthly health groups as well as helping people privately on a one-to-one basis.
Matt is a neuroscience and mental health practitioner, with particular focus on stress,
anxiety and depression. With extensive studies in Neuroscience, Psychology & Mental Health, Functional Medicine and Heart Rate Variability, his area of speciality is the autonomic nervous system and its relationship with mental illness.
In 2018, Matt published Thrive, an online course which teaches the science of stress, anxiety and depression, plus practices of how to achieve and retain mental fitness by regulating the autonomic nervous system.
As well as helping individuals to achieve mental health, Matt teaches leaders and
organisations how to achieve their potential through optimising their mental health and company culture. He is currently writing his memoir, ‘Saving Dad’.
All significant change involves the loss of someone or something that is important to us. Personal, professional and organisational changes all require a clear understanding of how humans process this loss.
An experienced speaker and consultant, Lizzie offers her personal, professional and organisational experience of the role of grief in addressing such challenges. Between careers in TV and film production, she has spent many years dealing with the illness and subsequent death of her son Harry at 6 years old, before co-founding the fundraising team at Helen & Douglas House, the world’s first children’s hospice.
Whether you are supporting colleagues returning to work after life changing events or leading teams through the disruption of organisational change, Lizzie provides ways to support lasting transformation, not just temporary respite. No longer do we need to hear ‘I didn’t know what to say’ or ‘Nobody mentioned it, I felt alone’. Positively embracing change, however serious, is liberating and empowering for both employers and employees, it shouldn’t become the elephant in the room.
Cheryl Brennan is the Director of Corporate Consulting at Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing.
Leading a 40 strong team her role is to drive market leading consulting, broking and servicing to businesses across all aspects of employee benefits and employee wellbeing.
Since taking on this role Cheryl has developed the team to be a renowned name, and a supplier of choice within its market. Her success has been based on her desire to invest in and empower her team. She believes their success is through building a strong team where everyone understands the business goals and strategy and has personal investment in its success.
Having been in the industry for 25 years Cheryl is extremely passionate about our markets and the difference our team at Howden bring. When it comes to an exceptional customer experience, she understands the importance of every part of the jigsaw. Cheryl enjoys the diversity of the many different businesses they deal with and their unique challenges, it still gives her great satisfaction to watch the team in action, creating unique solutions and driving the best outcomes for our clients.
Individually and as a team Howden has won many awards for its achievements.
Outside of work Cheryl has 5 year old twins. She says her family is her world and feels very lucky to work for an employer that puts the importance of family at its heart.
Since joining Denplan, part of the Simplyhealth Group in 2005, Camilla has lead a number of high performing teams across multiple business divisions. Now Head of Corporate and Consumer Sales, Camilla is set on working in both markets to meet the health and wellbeing needs of corporate clients and consumers.
Determined to improve access to healthcare for our customers across the UK, she favours a collaborative approach to working with clients and brokers in order to drive the best possible levels of engagement.
Always focused on a sustainable proposition, Camilla helps her team to build strong relationships that deliver positive results for individuals, businesses and the market alike. Her experience and creativity combine to deliver effective solutions that truly meet client needs through a preventative approach to healthcare.
Steve Butler is an author and CEO of Punter Southall Aspire, , a national retirement savings business where he is building innovative technology led solutions to help corporates and individuals manage their employee benefits and retirement savings.
Steve is a Chartered Manager and Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute. He gained his Master's in Business Administration from Southampton, Solent University and is currently researching for his Doctorate in Business Administration at Winchester University.
He believes passionately that a thriving, modern businesses is one where people of all ages fulfil their potential.
He published his first book in October, ‘Manage the Gap: Achieving success with intergenerational teams,’ providing advice, learning and best practice to help employers manage age diversity.
The book received rave reviews in the HR press and was shortlisted in the 2020 Business Book Awards as an ‘exceptional book that promotes diversity’.
He also writes ‘Butler’s Blog,’ focused on generational and workplace diversity issues, he speak at events and writes regular thought-leadership pieces for industry magazines.
Punter Southall Aspire recently won the Diversity and Inclusion award at the Reward Awards 2019. Steve is also an Advisory Council Member for the Diversity Project – a cross industry initiative to drive change and serve as a Trustee at the Money Charity, which supports financial education in the community.
Steve lives in Richmond with his wife and seven children / step children aged 17 to 22 who provide him with a vast array of perspectives on how the upcoming Generation Z are approaching the workplace, leading him to believe that the intergenerational conflict is only set to get worse as these digital natives work alongside his more mature colleagues.
Richard started in Banking in 1999 in what was Cheltenham & Gloucester in Holborn, W1. He became a mortgage broker in 2003 and has worked at some of the country’s largest firms. In 2014 he decided to start his own company which would be based on old fashioned principals of meeting clients, providing excellent advice and service. Not just with the mortgage but also protecting his clients and their families. His Company, Rose Capital Partners, was founded on 2 core principles, which are:
- Getting their clients debt free
- Being open on mental health
Both aspects are core to what he and the company does, with the intention of having a positive impact in his clients lives and the industry more widely.
He still sees clients, while also running the company and in-between this manages to find time to stay active in his favourite hobbies of boxing and running. However, taking time out to spending time with his 2 daughters and wife remains a fundamental part of his life. A vociferous reader, he is always on the lookout for a good recommendation.
Jenni Cochrane is Co-Founder & CEO at Getahead.
More biography information to follow...
Matthew Connell is the Director of Policy and Public Relations at the Chartered Insurance Institute in the UK. He has worked in banking and insurance for more than 20 years, with a focus on financial regulation and welfare reform. Previously he was Head of Regulatory Developments at Zurich UK Life and Chairman of the Investment and Life Assurance Group. He holds a PhD in Policy Studies from the University of Warwick.
Following several years of clinical work as a mental health therapist in EAPs, private practice, and universities - Melissa left the clinical sector and turned her focus to the worlds of organisational psychology and mental health awareness for global and local companies & organisations. Having lived on 4 continents and travelled to more than 45 countries, Melissa calls upon her near decade of experience in working with professionals from around the world for a nuanced approach to openly discussing mental health. She has been featured as a speaker at national conferences, a subject matter expert in digital publications, on T.V. shows in the U.S., and as a panellist at Google U.K. discussing practical and inclusive conversations around mental health. Melissa translates her clinical field experience and training into accessible and inclusive workplace applications and interventions. Melissa also specialises in helping senior leaders develop in their emotional intelligence, communication, self-management and helps companies accountably prioritise employee wellbeing.
Eugene is qualified in radiotherapy, health economics and psychology and he has more than 30 years of experience in the UK healthcare arena. He is a member of the British Psychological Society and has worked in a variety of roles in both the NHS and private sectors and, for more than 20 years, specialising in the development and provision of mental health, counselling and wellbeing support services in the corporate environment. This includes the development of integrated healthcare, psychological treatment pathways, absence management, workplace counselling, employee assistance programmes (EAPs), crisis and trauma support, wellbeing and occupational health services. He has been campaigning for over 20 years to increase awareness and recognition of mental health. He has also worked with mental health providers, charities and government advising on the management of mental health in the workplace, as well as the management and delivery of organisational crisis support. Eugene has a keen interest in the use of technology in mental health and its future development, an App tester and sometimes breaker, and has talked on this subject and worked with Tec start-ups.
Eugene has authored articles and research on mental health, stress, burnout, sudden workplace death, absence, sickness presence, financial wellbeing, health wellbeing and EAP effectiveness, has presented at professional conferences, panel discussions, podcasts and webinars in the UK and Europe, on the BBC and on radio, and is the Chair of the UK Employee Assistance Professionals Association, former Board member and International Director of the US based Global Employee Assistance Professionals Association, and former Executive Director of Employee Assistance European Federation. Eugene was awarded Emeritus status of UK EAPA in 2016 in recognition of his contribution to EAP development in the UK.
Andrea Fields is the Rehabilitation Manager in Protection at LV=. She joined LV= in 2016, having held several roles over 25 years for Aviva Health in Income Protection rehabilitation and underwriting. She has been a Mental Health First Aid instructor since 2013.
Andrée is a multi- award winning Coach, Learning & Development consultant, author and speaker, who is the founder and driving force behind the success of Aspiring Future Competence (AFC). Since its inception in 2002, AFC has helped clients to discover and apply new tools and techniques in order to bring about positive change and empowerment. She is passionate about helping others achieve results and making significant change in their lives through living life Authentically.
Andrée has spent over 20 years working as a HR and training manager in large corporate organisations and 7 years of that working in a Sales and Marketing organisation. In 2002, she left full-time employment to open her own business consultancy, Aspiring Future Competence (AFC).
Over the past 20 years she has been on her own journey of self-discovery and during that time has become a qualified Coach, NLP Practitioner and professional trainer. Throughout her journey Andrée has discovered that Authenticity is the key to happiness, fulfilment and success and is keen to get the message out there to others. She also believes that living in-authentically can eventually lead to health issues if not identified and managed effectively.
‘Behind the Mask’ is Andrée’s literary debut and is much more than an ordinary self-help book. Put quite simply, it is an essential step by step guide to turning your life around and achieving the kind of life you deserve by living authentically. It’s full of interactive activities that are thought provoking which offer the reader the chance to break down and dismantle your own constructed selves, guided along by practical advice pointed suggestions delivered with both warmth and compassion.
With 30 years’ industry experience, Justin oversees intermediary marketing and is a regular media spokesperson for LV= Protection.
A multi-award winning marketer, Justin’s big work-oriented mission is ‘translating the complex into the simple’, and making protection more straightforward, more real-life and more emotionally engaging.
As an adviser, Justin sold his first IP policy (it was PHI back then) in 1990. Protecting income remains a passion of his, and he’s actively involved flying the IP flag through work with trade bodies, government, fellow providers and day-to-day support for advisers. He’s the proud father of the LV= Risk Reality Calculator - the simple tool powering thousands of ‘more emotionally connected’ protection conversations between advisers and clients.
Roshani Hewa is the Assistant Director, Head of Protection and Health, having previously worked at the ABI as Assistant Director, Head of Savings Policy. She is responsible for leading the ABI's strategy and policy development on protection and health policy issues.
She joined ABI in September 2017 from Barclays, having joined in 2011 and was responsible for engaging with UK regulators (PRA/FCA/PSR) to optimise outcomes for Barclays; developing and communicating insights on regulatory engagement internally and externally. Primary focus was on Barclays UK businesses i.e. Mortgages, Personal Banking, UK Cards and Treasury. Prior to Barclays, Roshani worked at KPMG for 5.5 years, and is ACA qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.
Simon is the Commercial Director at Thrive, the only NHS approved app supporting, detecting, and preventing common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Simon experienced severe depression at university and, following his recovery, knew he wanted to do something to help others access valuable support in a quicker, more accessible way. Following 8 years in the mental health sector he joined the team at Thrive as the first employee, and took the app to market as the first B2B mental wellbeing application for organisations in the UK.
The app contains hours of CBT, mindfulness, and distraction therapy content. Their unique text based in-app chat service puts every user in touch with a graduate psychologist, consultant clinical psychologist, or consultant psychiatrist at the touch of a button, on an unlimited, ongoing basis. The app also signposts the user to the internal/external services (EAP etc) available to them when they detect a user may need further help.
Thrive now proactively supports over 1.7 million employees from 2,900+ organisations globally with their mental health, by using purely evidence-based tools and techniques combined with gamification to reduce insurance claims, help employees return to work sooner, and prevent conditions by building resilience to stress, anxiety and depression.
Debbie Kennedy is Protection Director at leading financial mutual LV=. She has a wealth of experience in the life insurance industry and joined LV= in July 2019 from MLC Life Insurance, based in Melbourne, Australia where she was General Manager Business Design & Change and was previously Chief Underwriting Officer.
Prior to this she was Group Head of Protection Strategy at Royal London. Debbie has also held a number of senior management positions at Scottish Equitable, Swiss Re, AXA and Capita. Her focus has been on creating innovative solutions for the Protection market. From first to market predictive underwriting solutions to condition specific products for customers with Diabetes and those requiring Mental Health support she is interested in the power of digital to make propositions relevant and engaging for today’s customers as well as customers of the future.
Debbie Kleiner ran a Health Insurance Broker, Best Health, between 2000 and 2015. During that time, she has been Treasurer and PR spokesperson For Association of Medical Insurance Intermediaries and judge for Cover Awards.
Since 2015, she has been a workplace wellbeing specialist with a MSc in Workplace Wellbeing and CPCAB qualification in Stress Management. She is Head of Workplace Wellbeing at PES, an employee benefits consultancy, as well as an Associate for MHFA England. She has worked with Mars, Sky Sports, IBM, Honda as well as many SMEs, delivering mental health training to their staff. She also works with companies helping them develop, plan and implement their workplace wellbeing strategies.
Kathryn has worked in the insurance industry since 2010, following the completion of her PhD in Business Management. She has worked as an administrator, compliance manager and insurance adviser, and co-owns Cura Financial Services, focusing on improving access to insurance for impaired lives. Her most recent work involves the use of video marketing to improve social outreach and humanise the message that Cura is trying to get across: that we can insure the uninsurable. She juggles work with running a household of three young children and her love of zumba.
Hannah Loveday is Wellbeing Consultant at Loveday Wellbeing.
Roy is an IFA at Cavendish Ware and has been an adviser for 30 years.
He is a passionate advocate of protection in both the individual and group markets as well as advising on corporate and wealth management areas. He is the co-chairman of the income protection task force where he was a founding member and integral in the seven families campaign. On this subject he has toured the UK talking to audiences of advisers, insurers, reinsurers and HR professionals on the impact that 7F has made.
He regularly trains advisers on all protection subjects. He is consulted by insurers on product development and is a regular contributor in the press. He is also a founder member of the PDG and sits on the FTRC forums.
He was also the first person to advocate employer sick pay statements and integral in the call for mandatory annual protection statements.
He is also the adviser representative on the resilient households’ group.
Chris McWilliam is Principal & Chartered Financial Planner at Aon Pensions & Financial Wellbeing.
Katharine Moxham is spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD), a position she’s held exclusively since May 2009. Katharine works to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness) and their benefits for employers and employees. She regularly contributes to industry and business publications and debate, and has actively raised the profile of the group risk industry with the media and business organisations.
Prior to joining GRiD, Katharine built a profile as a driving force in the UK group risk market working for Towers Perrin, Aon Consulting and JLT Benefit Solutions, where she was Consulting Director of the Health & Risk practice. This broad-based industry expertise makes Katharine ideally placed for her role as industry commentator on issues affecting the group risk market.
Sarah has over 15 years’ experience in the third sector, in particular ensuring people affected by poor mental health are given the right advice, information and support to enable them to lead healthier, happier lives. In 2017 she set up our flagship service, Mental Health & Money Advice, the first UK-wide service aimed at improving both financial and mental wellbeing.
Sarah also leads our training and consultancy team. Utilising knowledge and experience gained from working directly with people affected by poor mental health, as well as writing and delivering training to a wide range of audiences on mental health related issues, and from delivering consultancy to public and private sector organisations.
Keith joined Holloway Friendly as Senior Underwriter in August 2018. He has spent the last 40 years in underwriting at various levels, including Chief Underwriter with Lincoln Financial and Sun Life Financial of Canada (a great opportunity to visit head office in Toronto and an underwriting conference in Las Vegas!).
Keith has also provided services as a contractor to L&G, Abbey Life, HSBC, Scottish Widows, NFU, Axa to name but a few. Underwriting traditional products such as Life, Critical Illness and Income Protection but also Long Term Care and Impaired Life annuities. He was also on the committee designing a generic application form for the ABI.
Outside of work Keith is married and is an active member of a local community church in Gloucester. He enjoys playing drums, country walks and DIY and is currently constructing a carport as well as going through the adoption process!
Claire Russell is CEO & Founder at Mental Health in Business.
Vanessa Sallows is the Claims & Governance Director at Legal & General and has over 30 years’ experience working in the NHS, private industry and the protection market. Vanessa has responsibility for the claims and rehabilitation teams and oversight of the medical underwriting philosophy within Legal & General’s Group Protection business. Vanessa is passionate about the psychology of work, what prevents individuals from working during periods of ill-health and helping people return to ‘good work’.
Vanessa developed the pro-active claims management, early intervention and vocational rehabilitation approach that Legal & General use to assess & manage their Group and Individual Income Protection claims. Vanessa led the implementation of the Mental Health First Aiders (MHFAs) within Legal & General and in conjunction with colleagues developed and delivered Legal & General’s Not A Red Card campaign.
Terry is a mental health and personal safety expert, with extensive experience as both a frontline practitioner and trainer.
He is helping some of the UK’s largest companies look after the mental wellbeing and personal safety of their employees.
He’s passionate about helping companies create a safer, healthier workplace, by placing wellbeing at the very core of what they do. Not only because it’s the right thing to do, but because it makes good business sense. Happy, safe employees make better employees.
As a former frontline officer and supervisor in the Police he has first-hand experience of managing personal crisis, both from members of the public and staff.
He understands that our health and the way we feel has a huge impact on the way we behave, the decisions we make and our productivity.
When he’s not teaching or speaking Terry spends much of his time running around after his 9 and 7 year old children.
Andrew Wibberley - Andrew set up Alea Risk in 2015, with a mission to make insurance easy to buy. Over the last two years he has worked with like-minded insurers, IFAs, IT companies and service providers to do just that. This year he is particularly proud of working with one insurer to introduce a product aimed at rewarding diabetics and obese people for improvements in health, and another to eliminate GPRs from their new business process. Andrew was previously Head of Life and Health Underwriting at a major reinsurer and was Chair of the 2014 ABI Statement of Best Practice on CI.
“Alea” is both Italian for risk and (coincidentally!) the initials of Andrew’s young family - wife Lottie, five-year-old Alex and Evie, three.
Andrew Wilkinson is Director at Moneysworth Life Insurance.
Rhys Williams is Strategy Director at communications agency Quietroom. He has over 20 years’ experience as a copywriter, strategist, consultant, coach and public speaker. He’s an evangelist for protection insurance and a true believer in the difference it can make to people’s lives.
Rhys will talk about how a set of traumatic experiences in his childhood have shaped every second of his working life - and how a conversation with a RedArc nurse at a protection industry conference helped him start to resolve things. He’ll also be offering his views on how employers can better support people through experiences like his.