Insurance Post

Penny Speed Meets... Cathy Taylor, head of commercial underwriting and operations, Ageas

Cathy Taylor is head of commercial underwriting and operations at Ageas

Penny meets Ageas head of commercial underwriting and operations, Cathy Taylor

What was your first ever job – and were you any good at it? Silver service waitress in a restaurant. I think I was pretty good at it. It was great fun, though mashed potato was always a challenge
What is your career high point to date? Landing this role of course – although when I became the first female branch manager of another insurer back in the early 1990s felt like a huge achievement. How times have changed – for the better
If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate? I’d make provision for high-quality palliative care for anyone who needs it and in the place they choose
What would be your perfect day away from work? A walk in the Clent Hills, followed by a picnic looking across to the Malverns, then a gathering of family and friends, cooking a meal with singing and laughing and a glass of wine or two
Who would play you in the film of your life? Julie Walters. A fellow brummie with a cheeky sense of humour, trustee of my beloved Warley Woods. She also went to the same school I attended – many years after her I might add
What is the greatest luxury you afford yourself? Time with my family and the occasional glass of fizz – often combined
If you could edit your past, what would you change? Spending more time with my amazing father – he was taken away from us far too early
What book do you think everyone should consume, and why? The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do Better by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. This book demonstrates that more unequal societies are bad for everyone – the well-off as well as the poor
What was the name of your first pet? Tiger – she was a lovely tortoiseshell cat
What is the strangest thing you have ever had to underwrite? Some rather obscure covers for a public school that is in a partially Grade 1 listed building
What was the last gift you gave someone? I gave my nephew some dollars for a trip to the US – to congratulate him on his 10 A* grade GCSEs. I also lectured him on complacency
Wine or Beer? Wine
Blur or Oasis? Blur
Chocolate or Cheese? Chocolate

This article was published in the 15 January edition of Post magazine.

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