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Kelly’s Career – A three-part series with our Operations Director Kelly Lane

The indispensable Kelly Lane, Operations Director at Clegg Gifford talks us through her daily life at CG.  Seven years into her tenure she leads the Operations Department which is the engine room of this award-winning Lloyd’s broker. 

Kelly begins by telling us how she came to work in insurance:

I got headhunted for a specific project by our now CEO Toby Clegg.  They were looking for a different perspective and skillset than what was available in the Insurance sector, someone who had an alternative operational background, a new perspective. Basically, they wanted somebody who could turn insurance on its head which Is something I did pretty well, depending on who you speak to!

I feel Clegg Gifford is really good at recognising the need for diverse skill sets even from industries outside of insurance and finance, as opposed to just within.  I think it is important to be able to recognise and identify where your business is lacking certain skills and talents and be bold in taking action to remedy that.

Having come from retail I think there is a close correlation between the sectors because the sales element is there and ultimately it’s about customers.  So I was more prepared for the transition than I thought at first.

Tell us a bit more about headhunting, is it a common practice at Clegg Gifford?

No, the majority of our staff join us directly through traditional recruitment streams – online, by word of mouth, LinkedIn and via agencies.  Headhunting is not the norm, but it is something that we are open to.  In my case, CG needed a new skill set. They wanted someone who was driven, could own project management, wasn’t afraid to stand up and put their head above the parapet.  I was also prepared to undertake some of the HR elements that needed to be done at the time.  But equally, my ability to document processes and procedures was a vital part of my repertoire, which they were looking to onboard at the time.

We do sometimes lack skillsets within the business, or a certain type of person, or personality.  So, we will go out headhunting for the business as and when needed.  We have headhunted some key hires this year, due to our new strategic goals within Clegg Gifford, as we move into an exciting phase in our Branch Development journey.

Given its insurance careers month, what would you say to someone thinking about a career change to join insurance?

Do it! You have no idea how your skill set could be redeployed within this exciting and fast-paced sector, so many skills are transferable and we are open to that. People think insurance is really terrifying because it’s a regulated industry, but believe me, it is not scary at all, honestly.  We pride ourselves here at Clegg Gifford on being open to different skills, experiences and perspectives and are an outward looking business.  We love to search beyond the boundaries of insurance and bring fresh faces into the industry.


Part two: Kelly’s Career – it Takes a Team

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