Penny speed meets... Greg Gladwell, CEO Crawford & Company, UK & Ireland

Crawford & Company UK & Ireland CEO Greg Gladwell

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 Crawford 
& Co’s Greg Gladwell.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Pressure-washing paint-stripping acid off reclaimed doors and furniture as a teenager, which I now realise was completely in breach of health & safety regulations. So mundane it was hard to shine or be poor

If an MP3 player really could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
on Sunshine — Katrina and the Waves; The Winner Takes it All – Abba; and Brothers in Arms — Dire Straits

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Kylie – still is

My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
When I was at 
college I was in the Musicians Union and played the piano for money, including sessions at a ladies keep fit class!

Favourite book of all time?
by Lee Child or Patricia Cornwell

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You reap what you sow in the long run

What would be your chosen 
Speed — so I could cram more into every day

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
focus on getting our own country running properly, rather than 
interfering elsewhere

How would a typical school report about you read?
Open, honest, hard-working and practical; enjoys creating possibilities and positive change

My top tip for climbing the insurance 
career ladder is...
insurance world is a 
village, so people soon get to know what you stand for and whether to do business with you

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
Lingering — most meetings can be finished in 20 minutes

My last supper would comprise...
A proper Indian meal, as you would find served in India

Who has been the most influential person in your life to date?
Hilary Wilson, an independent coach, who has given me great counsel over the past 15 years

When I’m not working I like to...
Golf, family, golf, Norwich City, golf, Menorca, golf…

Last film you saw?

I Am Number Four (with the kids)

If I wasn’t working 
in insurance I 
would probably be...
An auctioneer

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Lee Mack – 
humour; Kylie Minogue – 
glamour; US General Colin Powell 
— leadership insights; Steve Redgrave — my sporting icon; and whoever happened to be the current Prime Minister – to shape the thinking and get the lowdown on all the 
consipracy theories

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

Career high point to date?
My current role is just perfect for me right now

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? (Be honest now)
I work for a US loss adjuster based in London

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
I always wanted to be a pirate

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
We help people get their lives back to normality after disaster strikes

Would you like to be probed by Penny on one of her speed meets? Get in touch via [email protected]

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