Penny Speed Meets... Simon Winnard


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 Keoghs’ Simon Winnard.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Shelf stacker at Kwik Save. They let me loose with a Stanley knife and I still have the scars to prove I wasn’t very good

If an MP3 player really could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
A Boy Named Sue by Johnny Cash; Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2; and Highway to Hell by AC/DC – an eclectic mix

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
King Kenny Dalglish and the great Liverpool team of the 1980s

My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
I play the blues harmonica and sing (both very badly)

Favourite book of all time?
On the Road by Jack Kerouac

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Treat people the way you want to be treated

What would be your chosen superpower?
An inbuilt lie detector – very useful in my line of work

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
I would make medical doctor/surgeon a legally protected title – you’d be surprised how many struck‑off doctors are still practicing

How would a typical school report about you read?
Easily distracted – if Simon put all his energies into his school work, he’d go far

My top tip for climbing the insurance career ladder is...
Find something that you are passionate about (yes, even in insurance), work hard and enjoy it

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
Having the patience to put up with me

My last supper would comprise...
A Sunday roast washed down with a JD & coke

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

When I’m not working I like to...
Spend time with my wife and three kids and watch Liverpool and the Oldham Roughyeds (look it up)

Last film you saw?
The Hobbit

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
A poor aspiring novelist

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive), noting what they bring to the party
Kenny Dalglish – legend; Albert Einstein – genius; Billy Connolly – funny; Oliver Reed to keep the drink flowing; and Al Pacino for his talent and presence

Marmite: food of the gods or work of the devil?
Food of the gods – try it with cheese on toast

Career high point to date?
Speaking on behalf of UK health insurers at the inaugural Global Healthcare Anti-Fraud Network Summit in the US

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? 
That I investigate doctors who commit fraud – admittedly not the whole picture, but it usually grabs their attention

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
Germany 1944 to watch my grandfather escape from a prisoner-of-war camp and see just how close I came to never existing

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
It protects what’s important to us all and makes a real difference

Would you like to be probed by Penny on one of her speed meets? Get in touch via Stephanie Denton.

This article was published in the 13 June 2013 edition of Post magazine

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