Getting to know: Ollie Calvert

We know from talking to our clients, that one of the things they like most about working with Romero’s is the people. They appreciate our experience, expertise and the dedication we show on every account.

So in a new series on the Romero blog, we’re going to help you get to know our staff a little better.

And we’re going to start with our brand new(ish) Head of Brand and Marketing, Ollie Calvert!

Ollie joined Romero two months ago, so this seems like the perfect opportunity to catch up with him, ask him how things are going and find out what makes him tick.

Q. Hi Ollie, how are you enjoying your time at Romero so far?

It’s been great. I can’t believe two months have passed already. I’ve loved the freedom the role has given me to build something from the ground up and do some really exciting things. Being able to build the role from scratch and have the opportunity to take the reins to develop and grow the brand is the ideal! What I’ve been really impressed with is the passion that everyone has for what they’re doing, and it’s absolutely contagious.

Q. What’s been your favourite thing about being here?

Hands down it’s the people. It’s amazed me that even in a business this size, everyone is personable, friendly and welcoming. I’ve not felt like the ‘new kid’, and it’s been great to have the support from the whole team from the word go. Everyone I’ve spoken to is so bought in to the philosophy that the whole business has, and when I’ve caught up with clients they clearly feel the love as well. Hearing them talk positively about the business, and reading some of the testimonials we have has been really inspiring and just shows the importance of what we do to real people’s lives.

Q. And what have you found most challenging?

With a business of this size, probably getting to know who everyone is and what they do. It’s a new industry to me, so I’ve been on a steep but fascinating learning curve. But with time, and spending periods with each department to get to grips with what they do, I’ve seen how the whole ecosystem comes together to offer this great service to our customers. It’s easy to think a business like this could be really corporate and cold and I thought that may be a challenge, but it’s the complete opposite here. It’s a people lead business, delivering on behalf of people.

Q. If you had to sum up your role in one sentence, what would it be?

Helping everyone in the business put our best face forward. Making sure that any way the world interacts with us is the best, most motivating and engaging it can be.

Q.You’re Head of Brand at Romero. What exactly is ‘brand’ and why is it important?

I may be biased, but brand is one of the most important weapons in a business’s arsenal. A strong brand, is our personality. It tells the world what we stand for, who we are, what we do and how we do it. A brand is what makes us unique and differentiates us from everyone else.

Think about your favourite car, the clothes you choose or what phone you pick. Is it because of the specific horsepower, the material it’s made of or the performance of it’s processor? Probably not. The reason you’ve chose all those things you live with in your everyday life is their brand.

It’s something you identify with on a personal level, and what is really exciting about doing this for a B2B business, is that the market as a whole hasn’t generally caught up to the value of a strong brand. Where everyone else talks about product, we’ve got the chance to show people WHY we do what we do, not just what we do. Every broker can offer insurance that does a job for you, but only with Romero will you get the tailored product and personal service that makes you feel part of our family, and that’s why it’s so exciting to be developing a brand for this business, with people at its heart.

Q. What has surprised you most about insurance?

How diverse it is. Before you’re in it, it’s easy to have a one sided view of insurance, and that partly explains my next answer! But since joining Romero and getting that front line exposure to what’s involved, it’s absolutely fascinating. The variety of personalities, and skills that sit just within our four walls is amazing, and to see how creative lateral thinking and going the extra mile can make a difference for people is fantastic.

Q. And What would you like to change about insurance?

The perception. I feel like people view insurance as a dull, tired, old-school industry that’s not very exciting. And it’s simply not the case. It’s full of vibrant people and fascinating stories, and insurance is part of protecting everyone’s everyday life. And that’s really powerful. Far from being boring, it’s what helps save racing driver’s careers, keeps businesses operating after disasters and protects people from harm.

Far from being dull, it’s an exciting industry to be in, and I’d like more people to see that.

Q. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?

Part of the brightest and best independent broker in the UK, leading a diverse and dynamic team of creative professionals. That’s the aim! This is clearly a growing business and there’s so much scope for the future. As someone coming in to build this department from scratch, I can see so much potential to build a team of people around me to think differently, do things that no one else in the industry is doing and to make Romero famous for being the most exciting broker to work with and for.

Q. And what about the company as a whole? Where is Romero in 5 years time?

The number one commercial independent broker in the UK. With so much of the industry selling out and consolidating into networks, the power of independence will shine through. Being able to retain the personal philosophy that everyone at Romero lives and breathes without any dilution or confusion will be a great power and something that over time I’m sure will make us unique.

Q. You told us earlier that this is your first foray into insurance. Where did you work previously and what did you do?

I was previously a senior account handler in an integrated marketing agency. Working across a whole range of industries and doing all kinds of campaigns. From building a brand strategy for a growing charity, to launching huge experiential events for a national broadband company, to building a professional members network for one of the North West’s leading professional services businesses, it was a really diverse role that taught me a lot. But I was ready to take all that experience and channel it into one place to be able to make a real difference to a business, and that’s what brought me here to Romero.Q

Q. What drives you to succeed?

Without sounding too worthy, making a difference. As a marketer, we have amazing influence over the world around us, and the opportunity to use that for good is so important to me.

People live their lives in brands without even realising it, both at home and at work. And knowing that you’ve done something that will make a difference in someone’s day is really exciting and that’s what keeps me going.

And here more than ever before, that difference you make is really powerful. By being the voice that sways a business to work with us instead of someone else, and to know that if something goes wrong in their world that we’ve got their back is an amazing feeling.

Q. Sum yourself up in 5 words

Creative. Curious. Hospitable. Open-minded. Driven.

Q. So that’s the work bit out of the way. Now to the juicy stuff! What’s your perfect Sunday?

Now this is an easy one. Start the day early with a big breakfast, a mug of coffee and the newspaper, then pull on the hiking gear and head out into the hills with the dog, my other half and friends. A day in the fresh air getting miles under the belt and the buzz of reaching a summit can’t be beaten! And to finish it all off? Head home for a few pints of craft ale and cook a killer Sunday roast for everyone before sitting down in front of the Antiques Roadshow with a glass of red (I know, I’m old before my time)!

Q. If you were a flavour of crisps, which would you be and why?

Hmm… this is a difficult one. Perhaps Sea Salt & Black Pepper? Classic and reliable but with a bit of a twist.

Q. What’s your pet hate?

This is easier… Lateness and slowness. Being stuck behind someone on the pavement who’s dawdling, or people running late. It’s not hard to be on time and to pick your feet up and just get where you’re going!

Q. If you were stranded on a desert Island and you could have access to one bit of magic, would it be the magic to take you home or the magic to summon someone to join you?

Another tricky one – I like the idea of the peace and quiet of a desert island, but I think when it came down to it the magic to take me home would win. Life is all about people – family, friends and perhaps more importantly, dogs! And I couldn’t live without them all… so I’d be tapping my heels together because there’s no place like home.

Q. And finally, Why should someone get in touch with you and how should they do it?

Obviously because of my amazing conversation skills and witty repartee. Okay, maybe not. But in all seriousness, we’re here to do things differently as a business. Put our personality forward and have an opinion on the things that matter in ours and our clients and partners worlds. So it’s important for everyone here that we’re part of conversations across the industry to lead the way in showing the world that insurance is a dynamic, and exciting place to be. So I can definitely talk about that! And you can find me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and email, so… take your pick! I’m always happy to chat.