At the company, there is an intense focus on young talent and individual potential. We would like to highlight some of the success stories at the Romero group as well as discuss the internal career pathway.
We spoke to individuals from within the Romero group who have walked a fair way along the internal career pathway. Individuals include Helen Tipping, Lucy Tyson and Jade Casey from Club Insure, and Emily Roche from NDML. Both Club Insure and NDML share the same ethos and philosophy as Romero Insurance Brokers, such as their joint talent development programme.
We asked each of them how they started in insurance, their experience moving up through the company, and their awareness of the internal career pathway. The four successful women have very different stories, currently at very different stages of their career, and offer their opinions on what its like to work at an independent insurance brokers. We also queried them on whether they would recommend their career path to new starters or graduates.
Helen Tipping, our Operations Manager for Club Insure and NDML, tells us of her history within the insurance sector. A longstanding member of the group, Helen is an excellent advocate for the career pathway an independent broker offers.
“Before working in the insurance sector, I was employed by an estate agent – involved in the branding and managing of show homes. My sister, Sue, who knew I was looking for a career, set up a meeting with her employer, Justin Romero-Trigo. Justin sold me on a new role where I would be marketing for his company, NDML.”
“Although my title when I first started at NDML was Marketing Coordinator, it was nothing like my old role at the estate agents. I had to quickly learn how to do the bulk of the job which was prospecting bars and nightclubs. Its fair to say I didn’t enjoy the role initially, but I am not a quitter. It became apparent that my strengths shined through in my organisational skills and my attention to detail.”
“Over time, management noticed I would be better suited in other areas. They created a new role called Business Support Manager where I was allowed to recruit to help with the workload.”
“I really appreciate management for trusting in me and giving me the opportunity to build up a new section of the company. I feel it also shows the flexibility of the company to be able to curate roles to suit the skills of the individual and it outlines the great close relationship I had with my employers.”
“Over 5 years I was able to improve my skillset, including adapting to the needs of my workers, remaining flexible and adhering to management’s strict timescales. This was when I was offered the opportunity to jump to Operations Manager. This was quite a big, sudden gear change. It was again a new role for the company, a blend of jobs that I had to juggle, as well as responsibility over 15 new staff.”
“But I actually really enjoyed the new responsibility afforded to me. I never felt unsupported by the company and found my feet quickly within the following 6 months. The business grew exponentially and is the thriving Club Insure team we see today.”
“Now with 30 staff to manage, and the role remaining quite hands on, I’ve allocated team leaders to take up some responsibility. Just as I was offered opportunities before, I feel there is definitely room for growth at Club Insure; I have seen so many of my colleagues excel! My skillset is now quite diverse, having been with the company for 14 years. I require flexibility, confidence in my decision-making, organisational skills, identifying training needs, having the awareness and recognising whether someone is having an off-day and building relationships with my staff. Each of these traits I can safely say I learned while at the company.”
“My management style I’ve developed is not too micro-manage, but to give my colleagues space and to check-in when I can. I feel a strong sense of trust within the work culture, a trust that was afforded to me throughout my life here.”
“It’s such an exciting time for Club Insure and NDML; we have dealt with the pandemic brilliantly, the team just gets on, people are pleased when others do well, and we are always receptive to new ideas. There is a freedom and a trust, but a trust that is earnt.”
“I think if you are a young graduate or are considering a new career, working as part of a large insurance broker like ours is perfect. There is a clear career pathway – for example from admin to account handler to account manager – and you’ll see some interesting claim stories along the way. There is a lot of learning to be done over a short period of time and the progression is swift. As long as you work hard, you can move up through the business, as many have done before.”
“Would I do it all over again? Yes.”
– Helen Tipping
Emily Roche, our newly promoted Senior Account Handler, has walked a fair way down the Romero pathway. Emily looks back at her beginnings, starting in administration, and recalls the variety of people and teams she’s worked with, as well as the skills developed – and perhaps forgotten – as responsibilities grow and change.
“Well, straight-out of university I worked for an outsourcing company in Leeds which refunded PPI. It was a short-term contact, just six months, and I was looking for a job. I knew I wanted somewhere local, somewhere where I could develop; insurance wasn’t particularly planned, I fell into insurance I’m sure the same way many people do.”
“My first job role at Club Insure was as an administrator. I completed my CII while working in admin, then I moved to a Club Insure account handler role, but I didn’t do that very long before becoming a Club Insure account manager. This process only took about 2 years, and the movement over was quite swift.”
“After a little while as working as an account manager I was appointed Team Leader for Club Insure – this was about a year ago. And recently I’ve been made senior account handler for NDML, only last week in fact. Already I’ve had to learn new skills, its quite a different way of working in this new role with new responsibilities.”
“I’m appreciative of my time as an administrator. While as an administrator, I learned about the basics of insurance, getting a feel for the office environment in an insurance broker and also various office-related skills. Whereas when I moved to an account handler, I needed to develop phone-skills since many of our clients are dealt with over the phone. I also needed to improve my technical knowledge.”
“I feel Club Insure and the team supported me through my development. People around me are always there to help with my queries and when I have questions. We have Alan Hornby as well who delivers sessions on the more detailed elements of insurance. I’m now doing my diploma with the company.”
“I think during my time at Club Insure I’ve learnt a lot and yet I’ve still got more to learn. In any company, it’s really important to feel trusted and to feel free to act within the responsibilities of my role. My relationship with Helen Tipping, my manager, is strong and I feel we maintain great communication. She knows I like to be busy and the work never feels stagnant. It’s comforting to know management is so involved and actively tries to keep staff engaged and interested.”
“As one of her team leaders, I’ve taken over responsibility for the holiday chart and have become a We Are Wellbeing Champion. I help to organise training and am trusted to make influential decisions – this is a trust I feel I’ve earnt.”
“My new role as senior account handler definitely brings with it challenges, but nothing too far out of my depth. There are new processes and I’m dealing with more new business now. Before, I was working quite individually which meant I could control my own timescales; but with my new role, more executives are involved, meaning I’m now working more collaboratively. I think it’s all part of the career pathway, to have to adapt and learn to work differently in unique situations.”
“I’ve enjoyed my time here and I’d definitely recommend the pathway to graduates. Opportunities arise, there is rapid movement and change but I also think it depends on the individual – there’s something for everyone. A strong social aspect, a great culture, and management take the time to know who you are. I’ve had a really positive experience, and the future for me currently involves getting settled into this new role.”
– Emily Roche
^ Alan Hornby, Group Training Manager
Lucy Tyson, Account Handler for new business at Club Insure, now holds a few years experience in the insurance industry. Having completed her CII certification and moved in account handling, Lucy recounts the reasons why she has been able to develop her career so quickly.
“After studying business at college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to work in admin so I emailed Romero to ask about apprenticeships or work experience opportunities. Thankfully there was a position at Club Insure in new business.”
“This was mid-2017 and I wanted to work somewhere local to me. The insurance sector wasn’t a necessity, it was more I liked the work environment and I liked the people I was working with. Two years in and I was given the opportunity to progress to the more senior role of Account Handler, dealing with Club Insure renewals. The way up the company was always clear to me and I’m happy to have been offered the opportunity to achieve and develop so quickly.”
“Our regular team catch ups and annual appraisals are useful for assessing and recognising my progress. I have felt supported by the company since moving into this role with more responsibility. My manager is very approachable and supportive too which really helps!”
“From the very first day, the career pathway at the Romero group was clear to me. When I started I was immediately given the opportunity to study towards my cert, which I have now completed. I don’t know for certain how my career will progress from here but I feel it’s very much up to me, it’s what I decide – I know there will be new opportunities for me at the Romero group in the future.”
“At Club Insure, every day is different. I am always having to deal with new queries, each helping me improve my knowledge. My confidence has improved a lot too, the confidence in my abilities and my widening skillset.”
“At the Romero group, you are asked to work in new teams and on new projects. I think this is beneficial because getting to know how different people work, how different teams work, help the company run more efficiently. It’s also good to meet new people and get to know individuals from different teams whom you wouldn’t normally come across. “
“Working within a company that places such a high value on promoting internally is important to me. And within an insurance broker, the job is always interesting and varied which helps to keep me motivated. Honestly, I don’t think anybody grows up with the ambition to work in insurance, at least I didn’t, but I’ve been surprised at the diversity and different roles available at a broker.”
“I recommend working at the Romero group to my friends. It’s a big company with a lot of different roles to be explored. I think graduates should definitely explore the company and try to see where their skillset would be best suited.”
– Lucy Tyson
Jade Casey is fresh out of what we consider the fledgling phase of a career in insurance. She has flown through the development programme with flying colours and now has been rewarded with more autonomy and responsibility. Jade has grown an inordinate amount in her first year and has started exploring the different roles within an independent broker.
Hired in the midst of a pandemic, Jade is now a fully qualified Account Handler for Club Insure - not bad for someone still in their teenage years.
“I found the company’s website when I was looking for an apprenticeship last year. I had just finished sixth form and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, so I took a leap of faith and threw myself into something I had never even considered before – insurance. I decided I’d just see where it takes me.”
“When I was looking for an apprenticeship there wasn’t many opportunities out there due to COVID. When I emailed The Romero group directly, I don’t know what I expected I just hoped for the best. They got back to me and before I knew it I was working in the administration team. This was September last year, mid-pandemic, so to get hired was a relief.”
“At the company, everyone is encouraged to keep improving and to aim high. There are always opportunities to move into different role – whether its just moving department or gaining more responsibility in a more senior role. I think Romero always encourages you to progress in your careers the way you want to, for example if you do want to take on more and you are interested in learning something new then they will usually be able to find a way to sort this for you.”
“During my time at Club Insure, I have already moved up to being an account handler. Throughout the process, everyone in my team was very supportive and they were always happy to help explain why things are the way they are. My team leader and manager were always friendly and helpful as well, which always helps to make you feel more comfortable when taking on a new role.”
“My skillset has definitely improved in a variety of ways; I think dealing with different people and scenarios has helped my communication ability and helped me become much more confident. Learning and growing within a job keeps you much more interested and motivated to keep working hard and continue developing.”
“It might not be something many have considered before but there are plenty of opportunities at an insurance broker. I’m pleased to be at a company which focuses on promoting internally. The job can be challenging but it is sure to always keep you interested.”
“For new graduates I would recommend they investigate Romero’s different departments. There are lots of different roles which continue to interest me when I learn more about them – so I’d recommend a new starter should research the role that most interests them and then go for it!”
– Jade Casey
For more information on the career pathway at the Romero group, or on how to get involved at Romero, contact us. Perhaps you are a graduate who wants to improve their skillset and join a successful organisation, or you are a prospective partner, enquire with our team today.