Programme 2020

Programme 2020




09:00 - 09:45


Group Photo

09:45 - 10:00


Editor’s Welcome

10:00 - 10:10

Siân Barton


Insurance Age

Siân has been writing about the insurance sector since 2014 and is currently editor of Insurance Age.




Opening Keynote Address: The UK economic landscape post-General Election

10:10 - 10:50

With the results of the UK General Election in. How will the result affect the insurance community and what could it mean for both macro and micro-economic trends in the UK in Europe. What might be the impact on the broking industry, and how can we prepare for forecasted changes? The keynote session will enable brokers to best prepare whatever the democratic process throws their way. 


Regulation amid political uncertainty – what is the impact on broking?

10:50 - 11:35

Whoever is in power brokers will always find themselves strongly regulated. Is a European exit likely to mitigate any of that? Should it? Our session delves into these key questions while also examining

  • Understand how you can meet the requirements of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)
  • Learn how Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) is good business practice and how it can benefit your company
David Sparkes

Head of Compliance and Training

British Insurance Brokers’ Association

David has over 35 years of experience in the insurance industry and since 2002 has focused on insurance broking compliance. During that time David led a group's firms through authorisation, as well as providing technical compliance advice to a number of firms, from the international to the very small, on UK regulations.

David is able to bring a 'regulatory mindset' to his role at BIBA (which he took up in August 2013) having spent a number of years at the Financial Services Authority where he focused on insurance broker supervision.


Coffee and Networking Break

11:35 - 12:00


First Interactive Focus Group

12:00 - 13:00

A detailed exploration of the key topics stirring conversation in our sector, enabling you to question insurers about the policies affecting your customers.

Suggested topics for interactive workshops include

  • Understanding your clients to produce the best schemes 
  •  Creating the right technology infrastructure to accelerate your business 
  •  Identifying and developing your schemes 
  •  Market Trends: New products for 2020


A chance to reflect on the morning’s events over lunch with colleagues and peers

13:00 - 14:00


Second Interactive Focus Group

14:00 - 15:00


Coffee and Networking Break

11:35 - 12:00


Third Interactive Focus Group

15:30 - 16:30


Room Check in and use of Sopwell House Grounds

16:30 - 19:15


Drinks Reception

19:15 - 20:00


Enjoy a three course dinner, exclusive entertainment and networking in a relaxed atmosphere

20:00 - 23:30

Emma Hayes

Chelsea FC Women Manager

Chelsea Football Club

Emma Hayes was appointed manager in August 2012, replacing Matt Beard after his three years in charge, and succeeding in leading the team to Women's FA Cup for the first time in 2015, quickly following it with the Women's Super League title to complete a historic and memorable double. She was the only female manager in that league at that stage and the previous season her side had finished close runners-up, thereby qualifying for the Women's Champions League for the first time.

Having won the Spring Series in 2017, Hayes' side completed a second domestic Double of Women's FA Cup and WSL title in 2018. We also reached the semi-final of the Champions League for a second time.  

Hayes's career in management spans over a decade and she earned huge plaudits after leaving her native North London for successful spells in America.

Hayes joined W-League side the Long Island Lady Riders in 2001, for a two-year spell during which she was the youngest female head coach in W-League in history. She scooped the National Coach of the Year award in 2002.

This was followed by a spell at Iona College, where Hayes collected another individual honour, being named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Coach of the Year in 2004, before leading her side to the 2004/05 MAAC Conference Championships. She returned to English football in 2006.

Hayes served as assistant first team coach at Arsenal Ladies, as the Gunners achieved unprecedented success, winning 11 major trophies during a three-season spell in north London, including three Women's Premier League titles, three FA Women's Cups and the UEFA Women's Cup crown. Her role in the Arsenal backroom staff was combined with her position as Academy director, overseeing the development of young players at the club, many of whom currently feature in the Women's Super League.

After a trophy-laden spell in north London, Hayes headed Stateside once again in 2008, holding a series of managerial positions at clubs in the Women's Professional League, beginning with a spell at Chicago Red Stars. Her time in Chicago as head coach saw her assemble a squad of US internationals and established European names, combined with the cream of American college soccer talent. She was also director of soccer operations, building the club infrastructure into a sustainable, professional franchise before her departure in 2010.

After spells as a coaching consultant at Washington Freedom and technical director at New York Flash, Hayes returned to the UK in 2011.

Hayes was made an MBE in the Queen's 90th birthday honours list in June 2016 and was presented with it the following December.

She promptly led Chelsea to another trophy, the WSL Spring Series title in the first half of 2017, and in October that year she signed a new three-and-a-half-year contract. In May 2018, just as the Double was being completed, she gave birth to a son. 



09:00 - 10:00


Agents of change: Inclusion and diversity in the work place

10:05 - 10:35

The financial Services sector is one of the largest and most important industries in the UK economy, however less than 22% of women make up the executive board.  With the financial service being the second worst industry with an average of 24.8% of a pay gap. How do we shift the perception of our industry from a male dominated sector to an inclusive work place?

Jennifer Thomas

Head of Internal Communication & Experience DLG

Board Trustee Working Families

Jennifer Thomas has risen quickly to the top as a corporate communicator, having beentalent-spotted for rapid promotion at every company she has worked for. Currently, Jennifer is transforming the profile and reputation of Direct Line Group (DLG), now as Head of Internal Communications, Experience & Sustainability and previously as its Head of Financial

Jennifer is part of the Group’s Strategic Leadership Team, responsible fordeveloping the Group’s internal communications strategy, including employee engagement,
the incorporation of the employee value proposition and corporate brand as welldeveloping and executing a new corporate social responsibility strategy. Jennifer was
involved in the IPO of RBS orchestrated by DLG and the biggest stock market listing of 2012.Jennifer had a former career as a UK Championships 400m runner and hurdler for England.

Yvonne Smyth

Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion


Yvonne is the Group Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Hays plc, with over 23 years professional recruitment experience.

Yvonne spearheads Hays’ commitment to being recruiting experts by ensuring that our major recruitment linked activities and insights are designed to positively promote and create more diverse workforces and inclusive workplace cultures. Working directly with customers, in partnership with subject matter experts, community groups, and through colleagues, Yvonne has been responsible for creating and curating a suite of resources designed to inform, support and enable our customers to progress their D&I linked commitments and navigate their careers.

Yvonne is the national specialism director for Hays Human Resources, the largest HR specialist recruiter in the UK. She is responsible for the HR national strategy within this high growth and pivotal specialism consisting of over 70 consultants across 45 locations. Yvonne is also the national specialism director for Hays Legal and Hays Company Secretarial, a team of over 35 experts across 7 locations.

Recently Yvonne was featured in the SIA 2019 Global Power 150 Women in Staffing list, which recognises the female leaders and influencers in the global market space. Prior to joining Hays, Yvonne initially trained and qualified as a litigation lawyer with international law firm Norton Rose Fulbright.

Johnny Timpson

Group Chair

DWP Disability Champion for Insurance and Access to Insurance Working

Johnny Timpson is Scottish Widows’ financial resilience and protection specialist, he has over 40 years’ experience across a variety of individual and group protection technical roles and distribution models.

He is currently the DWP Disability Champion for the Insurance Industry and Profession, Chairs the Access to Insurance Working Group and is a member of the Money & Pension Service FinTech and Mental Health Advisory Group. He is also a member of the CII’s Insuring Women’s Futures Programme Expert Advisor Panel and London Insurance Institute Inclusion and Diversity Committee. In addition, Johnny is a member of the Resilience Task Force chaired by Baroness Drake and also the Income Protection Task Force where he sits on both it’s Welfare and Building Resilient Households Working Groups. 

Johnny is a former chair of TISA’s Consumer Protection Policy Council and member of the ABI Protection Committee plus until its close, he was a member of the Seven Families Project team where he lead its corporate relationship work stream.

Sharon Bishop

Chief Executive Officer

Close Brothers

Sharon is an organizational leader, with a proven track record of delivering transformational yet sustainable commercial results. Her breadth of experience in successfully harnessing cultural change, strategy and proposition development, and complex technology innovation have been honed over 30 years in the UK Financial Services industry - including retail banking, mortgage lending, commercial and consumer finance.

Sharon is the CEO of the Premium Finance business within Close Brothers Group plc, an FTSE 250 company. This position reflects a 15-year journey across a variety of businesses and roles within the Group

Nicholas Piachaud

Head of Advocacy and Analysis

Varkey Foundation

Nicholas is the Head of Advocacy and Analysis at the Varkey Foundation, where he manages engagement with global education leaders and policymakers as well as the foundation’s portfolio of polling and research in over 35 countries. Nicholas also oversees the programming and speakers for the Varkey Foundation’s major advocacy events.

Nicholas is an international advocacy expert with over 10 years’ experience working for international NGOs focused on human rights and education, and has lobbied and spoken at the United Nations Human Rights Council, the OECD, the European Union’s Commission and Parliament, and the UK Parliament. In his previous role at Amnesty International, he frequently appeared in international media from Al Jazeera to BBC World, CNN and Sky News, was quoted in major newspapers including The New York Times, and wrote op-eds for Newsweek and the International Business Times.

Today, Nicholas’s work includes the development and management of the Varkey Foundation’s programme of advocacy for high-level policymakers and philanthropists. This includes managing the Atlantis Group, an international advisory body of 26 former ministers of education and heads of government which is working to address key issues in global education. In his previous role at Amnesty International, he also developed and managed international campaigns that drove tens of thousands of engagements and appeals across the world. He studied at the University of Oxford.

Lisa Powis


Fintech enthusiast

Lisa Powis has worked prominently in the Insurance Industry for over 30 years winning many Industry awards. She is known for the role of founder and CEO of the Fresh Insurance Group, a multi-niched Personal Lines Brokerage with over 80,000 policyholders, writing over £60 million Gross Written Premium. After sixteen years of impressive trading, Lisa sold Fresh to the Vantage Group in May 2018. 

Lisa  maintains an active interest in InsureTech, disruptive technologies and sits on a two advisory boards, Iotatech and PremFina. She is also part of Scale Up Group UK, helping grow global champions and has recently mentored Technology organisations with the Accelerator Academy.

In 2016, Lisa founded the charity ‘Painting Our World in Silver, dedicated to fight loneliness in the elderly population


Closing Keynote

10:35 - 11:20


Editor's Closing Comments

11:20 - 11:30

Siân Barton


Insurance Age

Siân has been writing about the insurance sector since 2014 and is currently editor of Insurance Age.