Diary of an Insurer: Altus Consulting’s Mark McDonald

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Mark McDonald, personal lines insurance director of Altus Consulting, tries to persuade a five-year-old to wear a coat, uses his commute to catch-up on podcasts and prepares to launch a broader claims consulting proposition.

Monday

Mark McDonald – Personal Lines Insurance Director, Altus Consulting

Straight back into it after a relaxing weekend with my family – what better way to start a Monday morning than a team planning call. 

On a weekly basis we get together and balance the team’s work across the client projects we are engaged in, ensuring that we match our team of consultants to the most appropriate project, so that the client is always getting the best possible Altus team on the job – always a juggle, but worth it all round.  

Then it’s time to head into our Bath office as I’m interviewing at lunchtime. With the growth plans of our business, we’re currently recruiting for consultant analysts to join our team through our Aspire programme.  

This time it’s a second-round interview with my colleague who runs the programme, and the first of three this week.

After that, it’s back home, with the way back being on calls with our colleagues from Equisoft in Canada to follow-up on actions from events we jointly attended earlier in the month. Lots of good opportunity as we work on building out the Altus Consulting propositions into new markets.  

Then it’s home, a few more emails (a lot of my day has been spent in Outlook), plus some prep for tomorrow’s meetings, followed by some complex logistical challenges to deliver my children to their chosen sporting activities.  

Tuesday 

trains-platform

Into London this morning. Usual rush to get out the door (I really should get up just five minutes earlier), then prepping on the train in.  

With a commute of about an hour into Paddington, I use the time to read the latest insurance news, listen to an insurance podcast, and get ready for the day.  

9am call with the team, feeling really positive with the number of strong follow-ups from recent conferences – lots of meetings to coordinate and conversations to continue.  

Then I’m out to meet a contact in the media for a coffee. 

Back into the office for a call regarding some potential work with a large insurer.  Lots of change going on (isn’t there everywhere?), and we feel we’ve got a good story and background experience that would help. Positive vibes coming back, so follow-ups added to the ever-increasing to-do list. 

Caught up with a couple of the team over lunch, then a one-to-one with my director. We talk pretty much every day, but set aside specific time to have a genuine “how are you” conversation.  

There’s a lot going on in at the moment, so it’s a good opportunity to talk through things – as they say, two heads are better than one. 

The afternoon brings a working session with a leading industry figure on their strategy for their organisation – lots of areas that can be focussed on, so I’m acting as a sounding board and providing external context to the strategy.  After a solid couple of hours, it’s coming together well.

Finally, to cap off the day, I head off to an evening event – not only good content, but a chance to catch up with a few industry friends, and always good to hear what people are working on as well as meet some new faces. 

Then it’s home – think I was saying something about how good my commute was… well, Paddington this evening was “fun” thanks to a broken rail.  Ah well – at least I’m on my way home now. 

Wednesday

Curry ingredients

Back into our London office today, which was strangely quiet, but gave me the space to get my head down producing a couple of packs to support conversations we are having – I really believe in having appropriate content for discussions, ensuring it’s meaningful and has relevant insights for the recipient, plus has no spelling mistakes. 

Had an in-depth discussion with my colleague who is working across multiple claims-focussed engagements, focussing on our broader claims consulting proposition and how that’s coming together for bringing to the market. 

Final task for the day is a review of a blog written by another colleague about a recent event – a nice piece of content, and he summarises it well – artificial intelligence, AI and more AI.

End of the day, I headed out to meet up with an old friend who I haven’t seen for a couple of months.  Good to catch-up, plus a very nice curry as well.

Thursday 

Insurance agreement_tech_bright future_for CMS

Met a technology vendor first thing, great discussion about the state of the market, where they’re positioning themselves and working on a joint proposition to help an insurer client work with them, and vice versa the vendor understanding the bigger picture strategy and direction at the client – both very important to the success of any size of technology implementation. 

Outside of meetings, today was planning for our Insurance team strategy day that’s coming up. Altus Consulting has recently launched our overall five-year strategy, with a number of key objectives, which is super exciting. Lots going on for us as we continue our growth trajectory – exciting times lie ahead. 

Friday

London

Back into our London office again this week, after the craziness of Friday morning school drop-off.  It’s getting colder, but trying to persuade a five-year old to wear his coat proved particularly challenging this morning.

Further interviews today, then discussion around the candidates with others in the management team. Really looking forward to welcoming our new team members, watch this space.

Later on some internal conversations on work beginning next week, then on to finalising a contract with a new client too. 

Some final emails to round off the week, then home, and the weekend beckons.  Looking forward to a relaxing weekend, as well as standing in the freezing cold tomorrow morning watching my kids play football.

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