Penny speed meets... Artur Niemczewski, chief executive, Garwyn Group

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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 Garwyn’s Artur Niemczewski.


What was your first ever job – and were you any good at it?
During university I worked as a tour guide taking Polish tourists on coach trips around Europe, everything worked well — until a few senior citizens went missing in Seville

If an MP3 player really could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Steppenwolf — Born To Be Wild; Inner Circle — Bad Boys; Marc Cohn — Walking in Memphis

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Nena of 99 Red Balloons fame – anyone remember her?

My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
I know how to build a nuclear bomb

Favourite book of all time?
Against the Gods – The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L Bernstein

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
You are only as successful as your team

What would be your chosen superpower?
Predicting the future – insurance (and investment income) would be so much easier

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
Tougher punishment for insurance fraudsters... and world peace!

How would a typical school report about you read?
“Artur ignores his teachers”... otherwise it was straight As. Boring

My top tip for climbing the insurance career ladder is...
Do everything to make your team succeed

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
They are all hard-working dedicated insurance professionals, but perhaps we need to have a bit more fun?

My last supper would comprise...
My wife has a Masters degree in human nutrition. As always, she would fix something very healthy that lowers your cholesterol, body fat and blood pressure

Who has been the most influential person in your life to date?
My customers — a group rather than a single person. I always ask for their views and use them to steer the business. It works every time!

When I’m not working I like to...
Push my limits at kitesurfing — despite accumulating injuries and advancing age

Last film you saw?
Horrible Bosses – lots of useful tips for life in the office

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
A rocket scientist ... wait a minute... actually, I was one!

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) very briefly noting what they bring to the party
Albert Einstein – E=mc2; Marie Curie – radioactivity; John Forbes Nash – game theory; Henryk Sienkiewicz – Quo Vadis; Nelson Mandela – end of apartheid

Marmite: foods of the gods or work of the devil?
Who in their right mind eats tar?

Career high point to date? 

My first month as Garwyn 
CEO, joining a team of highly-skilled professionals in UK liability claims

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living?
“We at Garwyn protect British businesses from ‘no win no fee’ lawyers and escalating compensation culture...” after which I hand out Garwyn leaflets

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
The Renaissance – to meet Leonardo, the genius

Finish this sentence: insurance is a great industry to work in because...
it is an intellectually challenging business with lots of potential. Honest

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

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