Insurance Post

Penny speed meets... Andrew Sherwin, operations director, Aquarium Software


Being an insatiable socialite, Penny Black is always eager to probe the personalities behind the professional veneer of her industry friends. What better way to squeeze in and share as many intimate revelations as possible than her very own ‘speed meeting’ column? This week, it’s the turn of Aquarium Software’s Andrew Sherwin.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Growing up in a lovely traditional British seaside town, as a youngster the natural jobs were to run donkey rides or have a candy floss stall. In fact, opting to do neither of the above, I was probably the town’s best silver‑service waiter

If an MP3 player could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Human by The Killers (I like to think I remain so, even under extreme pressure); ‘Till I collapse by Eminem – my anthem for working life in general and the insurance industry specifically; and Top of the World by Professor Green, as I believe positivity always wins out in the end

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Farrah Fawcett, or any of Charlie’s Angels would do nicely for that matter

My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
I love art; it is a secret passion. One of my favourite artists is Geoffrey Key from Manchester, who is now getting the national acclaim he deserves, especially after a successful one‑man show at Messum’s in Cork Street

What would be your chosen superpower?
I would definitely be able to fly. Then I could miss out on the lovely British traffic that the M6, M1 and M25 have to offer

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
I would instigate the importance of learning fiscal responsibility, in the under-fives. Spent all your money? No crisps! It was a rule we learnt very early in the good old days and some of those traditional values have skipped a generation or two

My last supper would comprise...
Pâté, cod loin, and crème brûlée, all beautifully silver-served by the best waiter in town

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
The maître d’ at the first hotel I worked at, as a naive 16-year-old in Lancashire. He taught me that respect for others and humility would go a long way – especially if the food was late

When I’m not working I like to...
Get out on the motorbike. I’ll fire up the Aprilia V-twin and head to the hills, hopefully avoiding Penny’s many speed cameras. It blows the cobwebs away

Last film you saw?
Gravity? Newton would not have been impressed. The Wolf of Wall Street, on the other hand – wow!

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
Probably an out-of-work artist

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Ivano Beggio of Aprilia family fame; Sheldon, Howard and Leonard from The Big Bang Theory – very funny; and LS Lowry – what a talent

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
Ancient Rome. Pompeii well before the eruption, 50AD would do. To grow up there and understand what Roman life was really like – an incredible thought

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
Detail matters. And because people who can do detail can do very well in the insurance industry

Would you like to be probed by Penny on one of her speed meets? Get in touch via Mark Sands.

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