Penny speed meets... Matt Long, associate director, commercial development, Bennetts Bike Insurance

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 Bennett’s Matt Long.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Stacking shelves at a local corner shop – I was a legend with a pricing gun

If an MP3 player really could only hold 3 tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Bad – Michael Jackson, Let me be your Fantasy – Baby D and DOA – Foo Fighters

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Sadly it was a Lamborghini Countach, which was replaced by the Honda Fireblade – both of which I’d still love to own

My colleagues won’t know this about me but....
I’m a pretty open book, so it’s likely to be something uncool I’ve kept quiet, such as I went to elocution lessons as a child and was in a classical guitar group

Favourite book of all time?
I’ve recently enjoyed Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ autobiography

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
There’s a few of my dad’s that aren’t printable, but the one I live by is “there’s no such word as can’t”

What would be your chosen superpower?
Definitely Wolverine’s ability to heal, then I’d finally attempt all those daredevil things I’m too scared to do

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
I’m concerned about the economy, the issue is being masked by low interest rates. A ‘one-day only’ Prime Minister has the potential to make unpopular decisions without being distracted by party image and re-election

How would a typical school report about you read?
I was generally a good student, well liked with good results but could do better if I spent less time fooling around

My top tip for climbing the insurance career ladder is...
Have an opinion, have a plan and have a ‘can-do’ attitude

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
It’s like the Great British Bake Off. Stop making cakes, I’m fat enough

My last supper would comprise...
Minted lamb shank from my favourite pub in Yorkshire

Who has been the most influential person in your life to date?
Too hard to pick; I’ve been lucky and had lots of positive influences

When I’m not working I like to...
Play football with my kids, play the guitar (badly) or ride a track day on my Triumph 675r

Last film you saw?
Disney’s Frozen at the cinema with my kids

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
an architect. I’d love to design my own house

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) very briefly noting what they bring to the party:
Karl Pilkington and Stephen Fry for the humorous debate, Dynamo for the entertainment, Kurt Cobain for the rock-star tension and Drew Barrymore for glitz

Marmite: foods of the gods or work of the devil?
Work of the devil

Career high point to date?
It was joining Bennetts and mixing my passion for biking and insurance. Sponsoring the Isle of Man TT and Moto GP riders has its benefits too

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? (Be honest now)
I work in motorbike insurance, which generally gets more interest than other insurance products

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
Not very imaginative, but Ancient Rome

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
it’s constantly changing and offers variety and challenge

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

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