2023 Speakers

2023 Speakers

Martin Sixsmith

Writer, presenter, journalist and broadcaster

Martin Sixsmith was born in Cheshire and educated at Manchester Grammar School followed by Oxford, Harvard, the Sorbonne and in St. Petersburg, Russia. He was a Slavics Tutor at Harvard and wrote his postgraduate thesis about Russian poetry.

From 1980 to 1997 he worked for the BBC, including postings as BBC correspondent in Moscow (for five years), Washington (four years), Brussels (four years) and Warsaw (two years). He covered the end of the Cold War and also reported from Poland during the Solidarity uprising and was the BBC's Washington correspondent during the election and first presidency of Bill Clinton.

From 1997 to 2002 he worked for Tony Blair's Labour Government as Director of Communications (a civil service post), first with Harriet Harman and Frank Field, then with Alistair Darling and finally with Stephen Byers. He left after raising concerns about the Government's laissez-faire attitude to telling the truth.

He is a writer, presenter and journalist, broadcasting on literature and music on BBC Radio Four and working on the political sitcom series, 'The Thick of It', on BBC TV.

His first book was a novel about near-future politics called Spin published in 2004. His second novel, a political satire entitled I Heard Lenin Laugh, was published in 2005. In 2006 he was commissioned by BBC Radio 4 to present a series of programmes on Russian poetry, literature and art.

In 2008 he worked on two TV documentaries for the BBC exploring the legacy of the KGB in today's Russia and he also presented a BBC radio programme, The Snowy Streets of St. Petersburg, about artists and writers who fled the former Eastern bloc.

In 2009 Martin wrote 'The Lost Child of Philomena Lee' about the separation of a mother from her child by the nuns of an Irish convent during the 1950s, and the subsequent attempts of the mother and child to contact one another. The book was adapted into the film Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears, starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan (as Sixsmith) for release in November 2013.

In February 2010 he published Putin's Oil, about Russia's energy wars and their consequences for Moscow and the world.

Charlotte Mueller

European Chief Economist

Swiss Re

Charlotte Mueller is the European Chief Economist at Swiss Re, based in Zurich, Switzerland. Her current responsibilities involve driving macroeconomic analysis and forecasting, covering topics like the inflation, GDP growth and the interest rate outlook for Europe. She is also supporting the Swiss Re Institute in broader thought leadership research. Before her current role, Charlotte was working in the macro investment strategy team within the Asset Management division of Swiss Re. Charlotte has been working at Swiss Re for 8 years. Charlotte has an international background, of dual Swiss-Swedish nationality, grew up in Asia and completed her university studies in the UK.

Ed Gaze

CEO and co-founder

IRL (Innovative Risk Labs)

Richard Webb


Manchester Underwriting Management

Richard has over 37 years’ insurance experience and started his career with General Accident. In 2000, Richard moved to Hiscox Insurance Company where he took on responsibility for establishing the London Branch. During 2004, Richard moved to HCC International as a Director of the Professional Indemnity Division. In 2008, he took on the role of Head of Marketing & Broker Development working with all underwriting divisions of HCC International.

In 2010 Richard joined Manchester Underwriting Management (MUM) as a Director working across the business. In 2021 Pen Underwriting Limited acquired MUM and following the integration Richard has now taken on the role of Managing Director for UK Financial Lines & Specialist Liability. This includes the UK Professional Indemnity, MUM Casualty and UK Solicitors PI businesses.



Nick Wright

Chief development officer

Pen Underwriting

Nick joined Pen at its launch in 2014 and headed up its Commercial division until July 2020 when he became Chief Development Officer.

He now drives business development across Pen, with responsibility for mergers and acquisitions, talent acquisition, new product launches, innovation sales and distribution.

Prior to Pen, Nick held various senior positions in the insurance industry including Managing Director of Fusion, the specialist risk managed property and liability MGA.

Nick is married with 2 older children. He is a keen skier, likes a round of golf and for his sins supports Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club.

Richard Coleman

Managing director - UK general insurance


Richard started his career as a graduate trainee and spent nearly 20 years at Zurich. He held a variety of roles including leadership of the Personal Lines Broker and SME businesses, and was latterly MD of Zurich’s UK Commercial Broker business.  Following 2 years as European Director at Collinson he joined as MD of Ecclesiastical UK in 2020. On a personal note, Richard lives in West Sussex, is a father of two, and enjoys travel, running, skiing and golf. 

Tony Goddard

Chief Executive Officer


Tony joined the company in 2001 shortly after graduating from Durham University with a 1st class Masters of Engineering. After 20 years of leading the development of the platform Tony stepped up to the CEO role in early 2023

Jeff McCracken
Jeff McCracken

Chief Customer Officer


Jeff joined Acturis in 2012 with 20 years of industry experience with Close Premium Finance where he specialised in business development and e-commerce. He has a vast experience of managing strategic business relationships and heads up the Acturis sales and marketing function as well as managing a number of key broker, insurer and partner relationships.

Helen Bryant

Managing director - digital & legal protection


Helen has over 20 years’ experience within Allianz having joined as a management trainee. She has held a variety of positions during her tenure including as a senior manager within the Bancassurance, Premierline and broker markets businesses. In her current role as managing director, digital trading and legal protection Helen is responsible for Allianz’s digital trading accounts and capabilities as well as the Allianz Legal Protection business. Helen also acts as a
director for Polaris, the industry body designed to improve the digital trading of insurance.

Rob Gowers

Distribution manager, digital trading


Rob started his career with Allianz as a senior motor underwriter in the London market. In his current role as distribution manager for digital trading, Rob brings the best of Allianz to our brokers to support growth opportunities across all digitally traded lines of business.

Geoff Turner

Broker Distribution Director


Geoff joined Ecclesiastical in April 2018 and he now leads the Broker Distribution team and more widely the distribution strategy for Ecclesiastical Intermediary business in the UK, prior to Ecclesiastical he was at LV for 5 years where he held similar Distribution roles. .

Geoff was late to GI joining the industry in 2010 having previously worked in financial services and retail management, he’s always felt the transferable skills gained here have been fundamental to his contribution to date.

Away from work he has a young family and has a keen interest in DIY, gardening and generally the outdoors. He’s also passionate about supporting the local community where he serves as a parish councillor.

Jonathan Swift

Content Director

Insurance Age