Penny Speed Meets… Mike Crane, commercial lines director, LV Broker

LV commercial director Mike Crane

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 LV’s Mike Crane.

What was your first ever job — and were you any good at it?
Selling very cheap Walkmans in Dixons

If an MP3 player could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
I’ve always been a bit of a Bowie fan, so Heroes to kick it off. Then I’ll have Truly Madly Deeply by Savage Garden for romance, and Pompeii by Bastille as my most played in the last week or two

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
Bananarama – if I’m allowed three

My colleagues won’t know this about me but...
I used to play the violin when I was young. I was awful at it and feel very sorry for the pain it caused my family

Favourite book of all time?
I’m listening to the Harry Potter audio books with my children at the moment – great storytelling

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Never accept that things have to be done the way they were in the past

My top tip for climbing the insurance career ladder is...
Never underestimate the importance of being part of a great team

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
I have a colleague who insists on going to the gym every morning, which makes me feel a little guilty that I don’t. But after a coffee and a cake I get over the guilt until the next day

My last supper would comprise...
Fillet steak and chips with a nice bottle of red wine

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
I have been very lucky to work with some great people who I have been able to learn so much from. I have also worked with a few who have taught me how not to do things, but I’m not going to share names...

When I’m not working I like to...
Spend time with my family and, if we get any sun, enjoy the great outdoors

Last film you saw?
Ted – I thought it was hilarious

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be...
My other career option when I left school was accountant – what a choice

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Warren Buffett for a bit of investment advice; Richard Branson – a risk taker with a rather nice island; Nelson Mandela – what a life, he certainly played the long game; David Weir – a Paralympic legend who can teach us all a thing or two about determination and humility; and, of course, my wife Isabel – she is the best cook and the best company

Marmite: food of the gods or work of the devil?
Food of the gods

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living? 
Mentioning insurance can be a bit of a conversation killer. I think you have to be in it to appreciate how exciting it really is

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
2000 BC. How did they really get those stones to Stonehenge?

Finish this sentence: Insurance is a great industry to work in because...
It touches so many aspects of people’s lives and at its best provides a great support in times of need...not many industries can say that

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 10 October edition of Post magazine 

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