NICOLA MURPHY, ROMERO INSURANCE BROKERS' BRANCH MANAGER
I’m Nicola Murphy, Nottingham Branch Commercial Department Manager.
My responsibilities include looking after the team, I help them keep their workloads ticking along, and I also handle for David Wagstaff (Sales Director), so I’m part-broker as well. My job is pretty much to make sure everything runs smoothly – and occasionally tap in with Jo Pullan (Company Director).
How did you fall into insurance?
I’ve done insurance since I was 18. I started at a broker called Cowens intending to only do a year out before going to university – and obviously that never happened. I worked there for ten years, and then was a branch manager at another firm before having my little boy. I ended up speaking with David Wagstaff and he pulled me into the Nottingham branch. That was three years ago!
What would you say to someone who’s never been in the Romero offices?
I would say the first thing that drew me here was the family-friendly side of it. It’s not a big corporate company where everyone is a number. Everyone knows everybody else, we all get along, it’s all family-friendly.
How important is a healthy social workplace environment? What’s the environment like at the Nottingham branch?
We are quite different to the Leeds branch where it’s a bigger outfit. Here, we have a bit of a laugh, we have breakfast together, we have our own Christmas parties; it’s just a really friendly place to be. We don’t do lts of social events together because the team is scattered all over the place (some of us are about 40 minutes to an hour away which makes it difficult). Because of this we tend to do more things in work time. Sometimes we’ll have a chilled breakfast morning rather than constantly be hectic and work-work-work-work.
In summertime, the whole team went out drinking in Nottingham, treated by Joanna. It’s the perks of being a smaller office.
What makes you want to stay at Romero?
The team is what’s keeping me here. Some people say the perks, but you get perks at most businesses; health benefits and the like. But I think the most important thing is clicking with your team – you spend 8 hours a day with these people! I spend more time with them than I do my own family. Obviously at Romero’s you are treated well, and if you work hard you get looked after, but you must put the effort in.
This is the only place I’ll work, I don’t think I’ll move now. I’m one of those people who always wanted a forever job. I don’t want to be skipping around, and before – at my previous brokers – I thought I had that but it got too big. I love working for David, and my team is a really good team. There’s nowhere else I’d work now.
What would you say to someone who's just started out at the Romero offices?
I’d say don’t look at the money, perks, company car. I’ve had those things at other places, but it doesn’t make up for a team that you don’t get on with. This is what you want to look for at work; you don’t want to come in and dread the people you work with.
What’s been your best day at work?
My best days have been seeing our Oliver (Oliver Lee, Broking Assistant) progress. From first coming in to now picking up his own cases; from having never done insurance to seeing him coming up through the ranks. He’s still a graduate but he’s doing so well. For me, to be his manager, it’s nice to see the young generation come into insurance and grow.
If you were a biscuit, which biscuit would you be and why?
Hobnobs because they are the SAS of the biscuit world. However, since coming back from holiday the team think I’m more like a Rich Tea – apparently I’ve gone soft.
What’s the coolest thing you’ve owned?
I had a Honda S2000, and an MX5 but that flooded. The Honda was electric blue, so definitely that.
What's an album or artist you know too much about?
It’s got to be Take That. Pray is my number one, I even knew the dance to it at one point.
Do you prefer to be busy or do you prefer an empty planner?
Busy – That’s work and social!
Are you a member of any clubs?
The caravan club. We bought a caravan in lockdown so I am a member of the caravan club as well as running clubs. My little boy loves it, he thinks there’s no better holiday than caravanning
What could you give a 40-minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?
Fitness and training. I run everyday and I’m currently training for the Nottingham half marathon.
How has working at Romero changed your impression of work in general?
If you work hard, then you get rewarded, and no where is that more true than at Romero. Put the effort in and you are looked after – and I think that’s a good ethic for a business. Work hard, play hard.
If you were stranded on a desert island and could take one book, one luxury and one song, what would they be?
One book: A map or an atlas.
One luxury item: A speedboat.
One song: The Top Gun anthem to come on while I’m escaping on my speedboat.