Penny speed meets … Simon Drew, chief executive, Inter Resolve

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 Inter Resolve’s Simon Drew.

What was your first ever job – and were you any good at it?
Sales assistant in a yacht chandlery and I was a brilliant, natural born sales person despite being an accountant

If an MP3 player really could only hold three tunes, what would you select for the ultimate soundtrack to your life?
Number of the Beast – Iron Maiden; Kashmir – Led Zeppelin; Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns ‘N Roses

Who was your top teenage pin-up?
I didn’t have a pin-up per se but was really into heavy metal and cars so had a few posters up

My colleagues won’t know this about me but…
I did a lot of dinghy racing some years ago, and most also don’t know I’m a heavy metal fan

Favourite book of all time?
Any book by Frederick Forsyth, especially The Fist of God, a great, gripping thriller set around the first Gulf War of 1990. It’s full of espionage and intrigue

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
I used to work with a guy when I was in logistics who used to always say: “That’ll do won’t do.” It’s always stuck with me

What would be your chosen superpower?
Invisibility, as you can do anything and go anywhere. And I’d go to the White House, of course

If you could be Prime Minister for the day, what change would you instigate and why?
I’d start to build the new airport in the Thames estuary

How would a typical school report about you read?
Simon is good at maths, a good listener and good team player, but has an attention span of 10 mins

What’s the most annoying thing people do in your office?
Don’t observe a clear desk policy and leave the kitchen in a mess

My last supper would comprise…
Fine curry or fillet steak, chips, onion rings and veg

Who has been the most influential person in your life to date?
I’ve met many influential people throughout my career, but I’d pick my first boss, an amazing lady by the name of Jackie Collier-Smith who ran the yacht chandlery. She helped me distinguish very quickly between right and wrong and was a strong character. I learnt a lot from her

When I’m not working I like to…
Walk my dogs across the fields of Hertfordshire, play golf, ski and occasionally sail in the Med

If I wasn’t working in insurance I would probably be…
An international yacht delivery skipper

Name your five ideal dinner party guests (dead or alive) noting what they bring to the party
Ayrton Senna, for obvious reasons; Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden, who is also a qualified commercial pilot and fencer; Nick Faldo, an amazing golfer; Margaret Thatcher, I was a fan of the Iron Lady, she was strong willed and made the right decisions at the right times; and Jeremy Clarkson

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

What do you say when strangers at a social gathering ask what you do for a living?
I work for a company that saves insurers lots of money by promoting mediation to settle disputes

If you could travel back in time, where would you go?
The last concert Pink Floyd played as a complete band

Insurance is a great industry to work in because…
It has become a pioneering industry. Technological improvements such as telematics, enhanced data gathering via smart phone apps and instant responses mean people are now aware of the product options available and able to tailor their needs



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