Out of office
- Credit: copyright: Archant 2014
This month, we meet Mark Whitmore from Priory Insurance Brokers in Wymondham.
Mark Whitmore, 42.
Managing director of Priory Insurance Brokers, 4 Fairland Street, Wymondham, NR18 0AN; 08453 304305; www.prioryinsurance.co.uk
What’s been your career path?
Being mad on sport, I left school and went to work at Center Parcs as a sports assistant. After two years I decided I wanted to go in to banking and finance, and my father offered me the opportunity to work for his company as a trainee insurance broker – two years later I was still there and was keen to develop my account and client base. We found an office in Norwich and he gave me £300 to purchase computers and office equipment and basically said: ‘There you go . . .’ I took the opportunity and expanded the business, increasing staff and learning very quickly the responsibilities that came with the role.
In the office, your three biggest challenges?
Educating the public that online comparison sites are not as competitive as they may seem and that the service levels are often nowhere near what you would get from us. As an independent local broker, we are able to offer advice and recommend the suitability of a policy to our clients giving them the protection they require.
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Secondly, keeping on top of regulation and juggling this with spending the correct amount of time with my great clients and fantastic staff. Thirdly, making sure that I try to get a balance between work and home life.
Out of office, your three favourite pastimes?
We are in the process of finishing a renovation project after we moved last year.
Having taken my coaching badge, I have recently taken on Wymondham Town Under 13s football, which is great fun. Spending time with the family is the obvious one. Anyone who has two lively children will know this can be difficult when you are a taxi service, as they are never in the same place at the same time, but when the opportunity arises to get together, it’s great!
Are you a member of any clubs – professional organisations or leisure?
My wife, Leanne, enrolled me at Wymondham Tennis club but I have yet to play there as the football seems to take up most of my time. I am also a member of a wine supplier.
First record – and what you are listening to today?
It’s so long ago now that I cannot remember. I do like country, but most of the time I’ll listen to whatever CDs the children make me endure.
First car – and what do you drive now?
A red Vauxhall Cavalier that I bought from Shipdham. It lasted about six months before I wrote it off when the tyre blew out in Attleborough and we ended up in the railings in the town centre. I now have an Audi A6.
What’s your exercise of choice?
Jogging and cycling – there’s nothing better and more relaxing than going out into the countryside after a hard day.
Where is your dream holiday?
It has to be France and the French lifestyle. Everything seems to slow down and I can relax a lot quicker when I get there.
Favourite place in Norfolk?
Other than my home, I think Norwich is a great city as it has so much to offer, but I also like Cromer on sunny days as it reminds me of Normandy. You can’t beat the Parson Woodforde at Weston Longville on a cold winter’s day with the open fire.