Penny speed meets... Nigel Phillips, commercial director, CDL


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 CDL’s Nigel Phillips.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Working on a farm, aged nine. I got £2.50 for 60 hours’ work, it was amazing

If an MP3 player could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Wow – what about Spotify? That’s the ultimate soundtrack. Otherwise, Losing My Religion by R.E.M.; Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana; and I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Kim Wilde

Favourite book of all time?
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
To question and challenge everything (my wife thinks it’s really annoying!)

What would be your chosen superpower?
Jedi mind control

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
Simplify everything – it doesn’t need all the bureaucracy

How would a typical school report about you read?
‘Nigel – you can do better...’

My top tip for climbing the insurance career ladder is...
To have passion and enjoy it

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
Putting on an ‘out of office assistant’ message. Who is ever out of contact these days?

My last supper would comprise...
Chateaubriand, dauphinoise potatoes, spinach and a great red wine to wash it down with

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My wife

When I’m not working I like to...
Play with the kids (I am one)

Last film you saw?

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
In Maui – as a watersports fanatic

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Socrates for his philosophical views; Donald Rumsfeld for his classic lines on what we don’t know; Dara O’Briain for the laughs; Steve Jobs for intel on the next big thing; and Katy Perry – for her fantastic singing voice...

Marmite: foods of the gods or work of the devil?
Love it

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
Ancient Greece – I’d spend some time with the great philosophers, before they were killed for crazy thinking

Career high point to date?
Helping take CDL past the £30m turnover milestone

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? (Be honest now)
IT and Insurance – a winning combination

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
The pace of change is accelerating. It’s great to be involved in the (r)evolution

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

This article was published in the 6 March edition of Post magazine

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