“How could I refuse?”
That was how Boshers director Mark Lavington (pictured) described the thinking behind his acceptance of the offer that led to his insurance career. In this Q&A with Insurance Business, the one-time pedicab rider shares how he started out at the brokerage and how it became a holiday home insurance specialist.
What brought you to the world of insurance?
Thirty years ago my then girlfriend Nicky, now wife of 27 years, spent a year and a half travelling and working in Australia and New Zealand. On returning to Devon, Nicky re-joined the family insurance brokerage where she had worked since leaving school. Meanwhile I took a position in a local hotel as a pool attendant while considering my future career prospects. Having studied business, finance, and marketing, it seemed to be a great opportunity when my soon to be father-in-law invited me to take a pay cut and study for my financial planning certificate. How could I refuse? So, in short, I married the boss’s daughter and the rest is history!
In your years at Boshers, what have been the biggest challenges for you and the holiday home insurance specialist?
One of my biggest personal challenges was taking the decision to switch from working in the business as an IFA (independent financial adviser) to working on the business building our holiday home insurance book into the success that it is today. Once we found another firm of advisers who had a similar ethos to looking after their financial services clients as us, the deal was done and I haven’t looked back – changing the culture of the business and building a team that has learnt to not only embrace but love change.
What do you envision for the business?
Boshers has been a great success; our clients are loyal and we have worked hard to achieve a great reputation within our niche. We have just launched a new website and are constantly reviewing our approach to marketing. It’s a rewarding business to be part of.
How has the Purple Partnership helped Boshers?
Joining the Purple Partnership back in 2009 allowed us to focus on building our holiday home insurance scheme business. In particular, Purple takes on much of the insurer relationship management responsibility allowing me to spend more time developing the business. Purple is a light touch network, offering great support and superb access to markets. They also bring quality services and resources such as access to premium finance and compliance advice that an intermediary like Boshers needs. It’s important to feel part of a larger family and build relationships with other brokers – all areas where Purple has delivered for Boshers.
Where would you be if not in insurance?
I love to spend any spare time on, in, or under the sea, occasionally up a mountain. My favourite things in life are spending time with Nicky, my daughter, and friends sub-aqua diving, sailing, and skiing. If I had pursued another career it would likely have been in leisure or tourism, maybe even in the holiday cottage industry!
Name one thing your peers probably don’t know about you.
When backpacking in Australia I spent four months working as a pedicab rider in Cairns. Agreeing fares with the Queenslander locals needing a ride home when the bars closed was an interesting experience which help honed my negotiating skills!