Hastening towards Richard Branson

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Emmanuel KenningSo Andy Haste is leaving RSA huh, but what has that got to do with olives?

I've always found it interesting how the palate changes. I remember, when I was young, hating olives. Now I admit to being borderline addicted to them.

In my more youthful days I also was not a fan of the Daily Telegraph either, other than for its sumptuous coverage of cricket of course, but recently I have started to enjoy Charles Moore's musings.


In a recent offering he argued that the message "we are all in this together" was somewhat lacking. He wrote, and obviously I paraphrase, that our political leaders appear incapable of painting the wider picture of hope and progress, and that "we will all get out of this together" was the sound bite that really needs to be on our politicians' lips. And I agree.


And so to the exit of Mr Haste. I don't recall meeting him or indeed speaking with him. According to a man far wiser than I, @postedjswift, Mr Haste was not often a communicator with the trade press.

Aside from some self-indulgent navel gazing does this really matter?

I argue yes. If it's not an oxymoron too far, I also argue that insurance has had a, relatively, "good" recession.

Yet just as I have never met, nor spoken with, Mr Haste so I have also never heard him on television, on the radio or indeed anywhere really. (And before you say it, yes I know I'm confusing two things, even I'm not so foolish as to think trade and national media are the same.)

Like I say, it is nothing personal. More an indication to me of a wider malaise.

How many young people leaving school think, I want to work in insurance. Be honest dear reader how many of you "fell" into insurance? The vast majority I wager.

Yet it is an industry that at its best rebuilds lives and saves businesses. I've only been working as a journalist around it, so to speak, for two years. I've found it full of interesting, thoughtful and motivated people who provide fascinating arguments and interesting debate on topics that reach into every part of modern society.

Insurance can clearly offer a rewarding and stimulating career with a variety of challenges and let's be frank decent financial rewards.

So why is there no Richard Branson for insurance? When are we going to see someone who can take the industry and raise it to the prominence that it clearly deserves. Ask anyone about insurance and you'll hear about price, opera singers, failure to pay claims and probably meerkats.

You probably won't hear about the careers it can offer or its good recession.

Perhaps insurance needs a leader that can play the media game a bit better.

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