Speakers List - COVER Protection & Health Summit 2019


CHAIRMAN: Adam Saville



Adam has been the editor of COVER since January 2018. An NCTJ-trained B2B journalist with a consumer publishing background, previously he was the deputy editor of DJ Magazine and has past experience writing about mortgages, captives/global risk and hedge funds.

KEYNOTE: Dr Phil Hammond

Doctor, Journalist, Broadcaster,

Campaigner and Comedian

He qualified as a GP in 1991 and is currently works in a specialist NHS centre for children and adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome/ME. Phil is also a presenter on BBC Radio Bristol and has been Private Eye's medical correspondent since 1992, campaigning for patient empowerment, open data in healthcare and for the NHS to be honest and transparent about the harm it causes as well as the good it does. In 2012, he was shortlisted with Andrew Bousfield for the Martha Gellhorn Prize for Investigative Journalism for a Private Eye Special Report about the shocking treatment of NHS Whistleblowers. Phil has also won awards for broadcasting, popular health journalism, comedy and teaching. He is Vice President of the Patients' Association and a patron of Meningitis UK, the Doctors' Support Network, the Herpes Viruses Association, Patients First and Kissing It Better.

Phil presented five series of Trust Me, I'm a Doctor on BBC2 and has appeared regularly on Have I Got News for You, The News Quiz, The Now Show, The One Show and Countdown. He has been a Lecturer in Medical Communication at the Universities of Bristol and Birmingham,. Phil's Radio 4 sitcom about GPs struggling with the NHS reforms - Polyoaks - was written with David Spicer and the third series airs in June 2014. Phil has written three books - Medicine Balls, Trust Me, I'm (Still) a Doctor and Sex, Sleep or Scrabble? - and released two DVDs of his tours (Dr Phil's Rude Health Show and Confessions of a Doctor). He has currently on his third UK comedy tour with Games to Play With Your Doctor and writing his fourth book, ‘Staying Alive - How to Survive the NHS' which will be published by Quercus in January 2015

KEYNOTE: Simon Thomas

Broadcaster, Presenter

& Campaigner

Simon Thomas has been a highly successful TV Broadcaster for nearly 20 years - starting as a Blue Peter presenter in 1999 and then spending twelve years as an anchor for Sky Sports, eventually fronting their flagship Premier League football coverage. Away from television, Simon hosted the Olympic Stadium in London 2012 in front of 80,000 people; and has hosted live events across a number of sports, including Football, Cricket, Grand Prix. He is a lifelong Norwich City Fan and now the proud President of the charity Bloodwise UK, a case extremely close to his heart. Simon has been speaking and writing about grief and mental health since his wife Gemma died in November 2017, just three days after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Indeed, his book ‘Love, Interrupted: Navigating Grief One Day at a Time' was published on the 13th June 2019; and describes the extraordinary journey Simon and his beloved son, Ethan, have been through together. In recent times, Simon has begun stepping back into TV Broadcasting with ITV's ‘This Morning' and is launching a Podcast Series in September called ‘Life Interrupted' in which he explores human endurance through the toughest times. In a series of interviews with well-known celebrities and notable people, Simon discovers how crisis and desperation can lead to hope and inspiration for a new and happy life.

STREAM CHAIR: Claire Ginnelly

Managing Director

Premier Choice Group

Claire Ginnelly has been in the private medical insurance industry since 1991. Before joining Premier Choice Group in June 2013, all her experience was gained working for large insurance companies and always working on the intermediary distribution. She has held senior positions within Standard Life Healthcare, as Head of Intermediary Sales, and Groupama Healthcare, as Head of Distribution. Claire started her career in Healthcare with Norwich Union Healthcare (now Aviva) and then moved to WPA before joining Standard Life Healthcare.

In June 2013, Claire joined Premier Choice Group as Head of Healthcare and became Managing Director in June 2015. Premier Choice is an intermediary specialising in Healthcare and Risk products.

STREAM CHAIR: Alan Knowles


Protection Distributors Group

After originally joining financial services as a web programmer, Alan was quickly tempted by the dark side of financial services and became a protection adviser. Alan now runs Cura, a multi award-winning protection intermediary, specialising in hard-to-place protection cases, such as people with health conditions. Alan is also the current Chair of the Protection Distributors Group (PDG), a group of intermediaries working together to improve customer outcomes in the protection industry.

STREAM CHAIR: Johnny Timpson

Financial Protection Technical & Industry Affairs Manager

Scottish Widows

Johnny Timpson is Scottish Widows' financial resilience and protection specialist. As a leading expert in his sector, he brings over 40 years' experience working in a variety of individual and group protection technical roles and distribution models.

He is currently the DWP Disability Champion for the Insurance Industry and Profession, Chairs the Access to Insurance Working Group and is a member of the Money & Pension Service FinTech and Mental Health Advisory Group. He is also a member of the CII's Insuring Women's Futures Programme Expert Advisor Panel and London Insurance Institute Inclusion and Diversity Committee. In addition, Johnny is a member of the Resilience Task Force chaired by Baroness Drake and also the Income Protection Task Force where he sits on both its Welfare and Building Resilient Households Working Groups.

Johnny is a former chair of TISA's Consumer Protection Policy Council and member of the ABI Protection Committee plus until its close, he was a member of the Seven Families Project team where he lead its corporate relationship work stream.

Mike Adams



Mike Adams is CEO of Purple, an organisation changing the disability conversation with businesses and disabled people.

Purple see disability as a value opportunity and Mike is leading the development of products and services which are beginning to transform the landscape across all sectors.

Purple Tuesday, created and co-ordinated by Mike, has achieved acclaim for its contribution to changing the customer experience for disabled people.

Mike's previous working track record includes being one of the senior management team at the Disability Rights Commission, Director of the National Disability Team for higher education and co-director of a disability research centre at Coventry University. He was also listed in The Disability News Service's list of the UK's top 100 most influential disabled people.

In 2013 Mike chaired the national Access to Work Expert Advisory Panel which produced more than 20 recommendations to modernise the Government's flagship disability employment programme.

Mike was awarded an OBE in 2012 for his services to disabled people.

Cheryl Brennan

Director of Corporate Consulting

Howden Employee Benefits & Wellbeing

Cheryl has over 20 years' experience within the Health, Protection and Wellbeing industry. She works with clients to help them design, build and implement employee benefit strategies that deliver for their business and their workforce - both now and in the future. She is particularly interested in how benefits are adapting to reflect the changing world of work. Cheryl regularly speaks at industry events and has won awards for the consultancy delivered by both her and her team.

Craig Brown


Legal & General Intermediary

Craig is responsible for the distribution of Legal & General's Protection and General Insurance products via intermediaries, as well as developing the relationships we have with over 27,000 partners in this channel. Intermediaries are a hugely important channel for Legal & General, accounting for a significant proportion of our protection and GI business. Craig joined Legal & General as Head of Supplier Management (Insurance), where he then progressed to Head of Claims Commercial Management (Insurance), then to Key Account Director before being appointed to Director of Intermediary.

Scott Cadger

Head of Protection Underwriting, Claims and Commercial Strategy

Scottish Widows

Scott is Head of Protection Underwriting, Claims and Commercial Strategy at Scottish Widows and has over 14 years' experience in the financial services industry. A qualified actuary, Scott has worked across all aspects of protection; pricing, underwriting, claims, transformation and proposition. Scott's main passion is getting fair outcomes for all customers, designing propositions that meet the needs of the specific market and customer.

Jo Coles

GB CRB Sales Leader

Willis Towers Watson

Jo has over 30 years of business leadership experience, successfully driving people & change across multiple business units & locations. She has done Sales, Marketing, Operations & Process Improvement roles during this time, working either as an individual contributor or as part of the senior leadership team, at country, regional & global levels.

Jo joined Willis in 2009 as Sales & Marketing leader for International, moved into the International COO role in February 2013 & more recently moved to GB, as CRB Sales Leader in May 2018. Prior to Willis Towers Watson, Jo spent over 20 years in General Electric, living & working in seven different businesses & countries around the world.

Jo became an Insurance United Against Dementia board member in 2018.

Hilary Doxford

Alzheimer's Society Ambassador

3 Nations Dementia Working Group

In December 2012, Hilary was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease. Hilary spoke out about her experiences of living with dementia to world health ministers at the 2013 London G8 dementia summit and met with David Cameron. Hilary regularly undertakes media work, and is actively involved in the dementia Research Network.

She has been appointed as the representative for England on the European Working group for People with Dementia and currently is Vice-Chair of the group. After speaking at the World Dementia Council meeting in October 2014, Hilary was invited to become a full member of the Council, becoming the first person with dementia to hold this position.

Chloe Gilbert

Clients Project Manager

Swiss Re

Chloe studied PPE and then Economics at the University of Cape Town. She moved to London to take up a position at The Bank of England before joining Swiss Re in 2017. For the past two years, alongside her Client Management role, Chloe has co-authored Swiss Re's flagship industry publication, Term & Health Watch, and is involved in Swiss Re initiatives with Government on welfare reforms. She is particularly interested in the relationship between Income Protection and Generation Rent.

Shayne Halfpenny-Ray

Policy & Public Affairs Adviser

Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)

Shayne Halfpenny-Ray is a Policy and Public Affairs Adviser at the Chartered Insurance Institute. He leads on the CII's programmes of engagement with Westminster, Whitehall and financial services regulatory bodies on key consumer interest issues across the insurance and financial planning sectors.

Since joining the CII he has also led on their involvement with Access to Insurance, and engaging with various consultations covering longevity, intergenerational differences and vulnerable consumers. He is currently managing a joint Scope/CII project on developing guidance for employers to increase access to employment in the insurance industry.

Before joining the CII, he worked at the Nuclear Industry Association as a Public Affairs and Communications lead, and has diverse experience in policy analysis, communications and campaign advocacy.
Shayne graduated from Canterbury Christ Church University with a 1st Class BSC with Honours in Politics and Global Governance.

Claire Hallmey

Wellbeing Manager


Claire Hallmey is Wellbeing Manager at Unum.


More biography information to follow...

Justin Harper

Head of Protection Marketing & External Affairs


Justin Harper is Head of Protection Marketing & External Affairs at LV=.


More biography information to follow...

Roshani Hewa

Assistant Director, Head of Protection & Health

Association of British Insurers

Roshani Hewa is the Assistant Director, Head of Protection and Health, having previously worked at the ABI as Assistant Director, Head of Savings Policy. She is responsible for leading the ABI's strategy and policy development on protection and health policy issues.

She joined ABI in September 2017 from Barclays, having joined in 2011 and was responsible for engaging with UK regulators (PRA/FCA/PSR) to optimise outcomes for Barclays; developing and communicating insights on regulatory engagement internally and externally. Primary focus was on Barclays UK businesses i.e. Mortgages, Personal Banking, UK Cards and Treasury. Prior to Barclays, Roshani worked at KPMG for 5.5 years, and is ACA qualified with the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Julie Hopkins

Director, Underwriting & Claims Strategy

Guardian Financial Services

Julie is a former reinsurance company executive with more than 40 years' experience. Her background includes underwriting and claims management roles as well as protection products.

Christine Husbands

Managing Director


Christine is the Managing Director of RedArc, a specialist company providing long-term help and support to employees, individuals and families suffering from serious illness, disability or bereavement, through its team of highly qualified, registered nurses.

She spent the initial part of her career in financial roles within the chemical industry before moving into financial services. Since then, Christine has held several directorships she is a Chartered Director and a Fellow of the Institute of Directors.

Christine first came across RedArc when she was involved in the acquisition of the business and she "fell in love" with it, she was delighted to pick up the reins in 2010.

Speaking of RedArc, Christine has said she is "proud to be helping so many people at often the most difficult times of their lives, whilst at the same time adding value to a wide range of clients within financial services and other markets"

Beth Husted

Rehabilitation Proposition Manager


Beth started her career as an Occupational Therapist working across a range of Hospital Settings from Stroke Rehab to cancer care, Chronic Fatigue and Rapid Response. She then specialised in Vocational Rehabilitation 11 years ago supporting individuals and employers with return to work facilitation.

Beth is now the manager of the Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Team; overseeing the Specialised Assessments outsourcing service, developing and managing the Employer Training programme (On Course), supporting the development and proposition of the Rehabilitation team and managing the team of Rehabilitation and Wellbeing Consultants with their case and account management portfolios to support customers with their absence and wellbeing programmes.

Beth has been pivotal in the creation and delivery of the Unum wellbeing calendars of 2018 and 2019 which has been utilised by thousands of individuals and companies. Beth has a Level 7 certificate in Human Resources, is a Mental Health First Aider and is a Trustee of the Vocational Rehabilitation Association.

Matt Janes

Neuroscience, Functional Medicine

& Mental Health Practitioner

Matt is a neuroscience and mental health practitioner, with particular focus on stress, anxiety and depression. With extensive studies in Neuroscience, Psychology & Mental Health, Functional Medicine and Heart Rate Variability, his area of speciality is the autonomic nervous system and its relationship with mental illness.

In 2018, Matt published Thrive, an online course which teaches the science of stress, anxiety and depression, plus practices of how to achieve and retain mental fitness by regulating the autonomic nervous system.

As well as helping individuals to achieve mental health, Matt teaches leaders and organisations how to achieve their potential through optimising their mental health and company culture. He is currently writing his memoir, ‘Saving Dad'.


Pippa Keefe

Head of Sales and Marketing


Pippa has over 10 years' experience in business development, sales strategy and driving growth in Protection.

At UnderwriteMe Pippa is Head of Sales and Marketing and leads the sales strategy behind the Protection Platform, insurance technology and marketing.

Debbie Kennedy

Protection Managing Director


Debbie Kennedy is Protection Director at leading financial mutual LV=. She has a wealth of experience in the life insurance industry and joined LV= in July 2019 from MLC Life Insurance, based in Melbourne, Australia where she was General Manager Business Design & Change and was previously Chief Underwriting Officer.

Prior to this she was Group Head of Protection Strategy at Royal London. Debbie has also held a number of senior management positions at Scottish Equitable, Swiss Re, AXA and Capita. Her focus has been on creating innovative solutions for the Protection market. From first to market predictive underwriting solutions to condition specific products for customers with Diabetes and those requiring Mental Health support she is interested in the power of digital to make propositions relevant and engaging for today's customers as well as customers of the future.

Jessica Leigh

Policy & Campaigns Manager


Jess is Scope's Policy and Campaigns Manager on their Financial Security brief. She is in charge of influencing policy change to improve disability employment and reduce the extra costs disabled people face in society. During a thirteen-year career in the charity sector, Jess has worked for a number of disability charities including The National Autistic Society, Guide Dogs and Whizz-Kidz. She has worked on campaigns to improve equality for disabled people in all parts of life, and improve public understanding of hidden disabilities.

Karen Leys

Protection Development Manager


Karen has over 30 years' experience within the financial services industry, spanning pensions, investments and protection. Her wealth of knowledge has helped many financial advisers develop and grow their client propositions, resulting in more clients and businesses being protected.

Katya MacLean

Chief Executive Officer (Interim)

Guardian Financial Services

Katya has over 20 years' experience in life insurance. Previous roles include Head of Protection Proposition at Scottish Widows and Chief Marketing Officer at Swiss Re subsidiary iptiQ.

Katharine Moxham


Group Risk Development (GRiD)

Katharine Moxham is spokesperson for Group Risk Development (GRiD), a position she's held exclusively since May 2009. Katharine works to generate a wider awareness and understanding of group risk products (employer-sponsored life assurance, income protection and critical illness) and their benefits for employers and employees. She regularly contributes to industry and business publications and debate, and has actively raised the profile of the group risk industry with the media and business organisations.

Prior to joining GRiD, Katharine built a profile as a driving force in the UK group risk market working for Towers Perrin, Aon Consulting and JLT Benefit Solutions, where she was Consulting Director of the Health & Risk practice. This broad-based industry expertise makes Katharine ideally placed for her role as industry commentator on issues affecting the group risk market.

Paul Nattrass

Commercial Director

Medical Solutions

With hopes of a career in professional football dashed at any early age, I started out working life in the Fitness Industry. Since then I have developed over 15 years' experience in health and wellbeing provision and consulting across a spectrum of services, including medical insurance, primary care, health screening, occupational health, musculoskeletal and mental health services. Previous roles have included positions at Bupa, Health Management and Nuffield Health, working in strategic account management, business development and leadership positions. I am currently Commercial Director at 24/7 GP service provider, Medical Solutions. Outside of work, I am learning acoustic guitar, although progress is glacial. I have also recently taken up open-water swimming, which is often equally glacial.

Vincent O'Connor

Senior Business Development Manager

Royal London

Vincent has worked in Financial Services for over 24 years and has experience from various angles as an Adviser within his own brokerage, for a Life Assurance Company and for a Network. Now at Royal London, Vincent is focused on supporting advisers while continuing to strive towards developing fresh ideas, angles, and concepts for advisers to use.



Debi O'Donovan


Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA)

Debi O'Donovan is founder and director of the Reward & Employee Benefits Association (REBA), which launched in 2015. It has 2,000 Professional Members, which are reward and employee benefits directors from medium to large corporates, as well as over 50 Associate Members, which are leading employee consultancies & advisers, group insurers, group pension providers and employee benefits providers. She oversees the thought leadership for conferences, research, networking and insight reports produced by REBA. Debi is a commentator on reward, workplace pensions, group insurance, employee benefits, employee wellbeing and related business disciplines, having researched, written and spoken on these subjects since 1998. She has nearly 25 years of media experience, of which she spent 16 years at Employee Benefits magazine, primarily as editor.

Craig Paterson

Underwriting and Claims Philosophy Manager

Royal London

Craig has been in an underwriting, claims or proposition development role since 2000. He started his career at Scottish Widows before moving to Bright Grey shortly after it launched in 2003 and then Royal London when Bright Grey rebranded in 2015. He's passionate about claims and the impact they can have on people's lives, not just the financial pay out but also the package of support services that can be provided - he can't overstate the feeling you get when telling someone that their claim's been accepted.



Matthew Reed

Co-Founder & Managing Director


Matthew Reed is the managing director and co-founder of Equipsme. The first new company to launch in health insurance in a decade, Equipsme provides affordable and simple health plans to companies who want to offer something to more or all of their workforce. Most of its customers are SMEs which have never bought health insurance for their staff before.

Matthew held a number of global and senior positions before trading corporate for start-up life. He brings 10 year's experience in general insurance, health insurance and developing digital platforms to the venture.

Christina Rigby

Product Owner

Royal London

Christina joined Royal London as a Proposition Development Manager in 2016, before changing role to become Product Owner for Royal London's Protection Solutions Squad. The aim of this team is to improve access to protection by developing well thought through propositions that address real customer needs. Her role feeds her passion to improve our customer's financial resilience.

Andy Rowson

Sales & Marketing Director

Holloway Friendly

Andy has worked within the financial services arena for many years and has over 20 years' experience in distribution focused roles.

Spending most of his career at Aegon, Andy has held roles such as National Sales Director and Head of Origen Workplace Solutions. He then moved to Pantheon Financial as their Group Director for Business Development before joining Holloway Friendly, as Head of Distribution. He has recently taken on a new role of Sales and Marketing Director.

In his spare time Andy likes skiing, mountain biking, rugby and spending time with his wife Debi and his two teenage children.

James Tait

Head of Protection

Pacific Life Re

James has been a significant contributor in building and maintaining our strong market share, reputation and presence in the UK & Ireland Protection market. He is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of UnderwriteMe, a member of our Senior Leadership Team and is heavily involved in a number of industry bodies, most notably chairing the CMI's Executive Committee.

Mark Toms

Protection Development Manager


Mark started working for Scottish Equitable in 1994, then in 2000 he joined the Aegon Protection team. He's been influential in the design of Aegon's protection proposition and marketing. Working with banks, employee benefits, professional advisers and corporate advice firms - he's helped develop effective protection propositions and relationships - to drive better protection advice for customers and their families.

Stuart Tragheim


Holloway Friendly

Stuart joined Holloway Friendly as CEO in June 2016. He has worked in the financial services market for over 35 years in a range of strategy, leadership and business development roles including with various market leading firms such as Lloyds Banking Group, Equiniti and LV=. He has also run his own strategy consulting business providing strategic and business development advice and support to financial services businesses.

Stuart contributes regularly to industry wide developments, having previously chaired the Investment & Life Assurance Group and been a Member of the Association of British Insurer's Distribution and Regulation Committee. Stuart currently sits on the Board of the Association of Financial Mutuals and is a member of the PRA Practitioner Panel Insurance sub-Committee.

Jiten Varsani

Mortgage & Protection Adviser

London Money

Jiten has been in Financial Services since October 2000. Starting in a Call Centre for a Fund Supermarket, he quickly worked his way up to become a Financial Adviser. Since February 2013 he has worked as an Independent Financial, Mortgage and Protection Adviser specialising in Lifestyle Protection Planning.

Alisa Wallington

Senior Product Manager


Alisa Wallington is Senior Product Manager at iPipeline. Starting out at iPipeline as a Business Analyst in 2011, Alisa moved into Product Management where she passionately introduced SolutionBuilder to the marketplace in 2014.

Alisa focuses on ensuring iPipeline's solutions continue to meet the demands and needs of their growing user base. With there no longer being ‘one size fits all', she believes we as an industry need to flex and adapt to the changes inside and outside of our industry.

Prior to iPipeline, Alisa worked at Chelsea Building Society for nine years, initially in the call centre providing customer support to new and existing borrowers and investors. Alisa moved to leading the mortgage retention team and then transitioning from the business into an analyst role for three years prior to joining iPipeline.

Richard Walsh


SAMI Consulting

Richard Walsh is a Fellow of SAMI Consulting (www.samiconsulting.co.uk). SAMI Consulting provides consultancy, research and training in scenario planning - and other futures and foresight techniques- to help organisations develop strategy and policy with an eye on the future.

Richard spent 6 years as Head of Health at the ABI. Before that, he was a senior civil servant responsible for strategic planning at the Department of Health. He has a special interest in the health and protection sector. He is the co-author of the recent CII report "Shaping the Future of Medical Records and Protection Insurance"; co-Chair of the Building Resilient Households Group and an Executive Member of the Income Protection Task Force. He also works on projects for individual private, public sector, and NGO clients.

Ed Watling

Health & Wellbeing Consultant

Mattioli Woods

Ed Watling joined Mattioli Woods in 2012 and has more than 18 years of healthcare experience, gained within both provider and broker environments. Having worked with clients both in the UK and globally, Ed has helped to develop corporate healthcare accounts for Danish provider, International Health Insurance A/S and BUPA. In a broking context, he has advised multinational corporate clients on their healthcare and personal accident requirements across several sectors, including energy, pharmaceuticals, construction, media, and security.

Ed is responsible for healthcare consulting group-wide, which covers a wide range of benefits: private medical insurance, health cash plans, employee assistance programmes, health screening solutions, and international healthcare. His role involves him in the design and implementation of bespoke health and wellbeing strategies for clients, including benefit procurement, product administration and employee communication.

Andrew Wibberley


Alea Risk

Andrew Wibberley - Andrew set up Alea Risk in 2015, with a mission to make insurance easy to buy. Over the last two years he has worked with like-minded insurers, IFAs, IT companies and service providers to do just that. This year he is particularly proud of working with one insurer to introduce a product aimed at rewarding diabetics and obese people for improvements in health, and another to eliminate GPRs from their new business process. Andrew was previously Head of Life and Health Underwriting at a major reinsurer and was Chair of the 2014 ABI Statement of Best Practice on CI.

"Alea" is both Italian for risk and (coincidentally!) the initials of Andrew's young family - wife Lottie, five-year-old Alex and Evie, three.