Jonathan Doughty, Commercial and Strategy Director for Bodily Injury tells us why he made the move to join Hastings Direct and gives us an insight into how his team contributes to Hastings Direct’s success. Could you be interested in being a part of this team’s bright future?
Tell us about your background and what led you to Hastings Direct?
I have a 25 year career of claims handling. Most of my early career was handling complex and large loss injury claims in the UK and all around the world, primarily in connection with accidents within the oil and gas exploration sector, saturation diving and the maritime sector. Seven years ago I joined the leadership team of one of the first abs law firms (a law firm owned by non-lawyers in this case an insurance brokerage) which quickly became owned by the BGL group. My focus was developing a capability to handle medium and large loss claims and to grow revenue. After an acquisition of the business, extensive business transformation and sale of the business I consulted for the incoming leadership team for a year whilst consulting more broadly in the legal, financial services and insurance sectors. After an intense period of personal growth during the business transformation I had led previously I was looking for a role within a dynamic growing business, where I could meaningfully contribute to the business success, but also support my personal development…and most importantly have fun doing so.
Can you tell us a bit about the work you do and the work your team do at Hastings Direct?
My team are focused on supporting real process and business model improvements to optimise our bodily injury claims spend to best in class when compared to our peers. We also have a key role in steering the claims area and the business through the next wave of regulatory reform which impacts our business, the whiplash reforms. We interface with the claims areas of the business, underwriting, claims operations, data analytics, finance, and Advantage, together with the broader market to shape and deliver the overall injury claims strategy, which is designed to allow us to out-perform our best competitors. This in turn can meaningfully accelerate the growth of Hastings Direct by reducing claims costs and supporting policy growth.
Looking to the future, what are you excited about for Hastings Direct and how will your team look to contribute to those plans?
I strongly believe that Hastings’ core competencies in data and analytics, quickly delivering meaningful change, quick but rigorous decision making and simplicity give Hastings a compelling competitive advantage over our peers. Our Hastings 2.0 vision is as compelling as it is credible, and I’m really excited about the journey supporting us to that goal and well beyond. We operate in a challenging and ever changing market and I believe Hastings has the trajectory and capabilities to be regarded as best, both at what we chose to do now, and also whatever we turn our focus to in the future. It’s my team’s role to support that journey by being better than our peers at what we do and how we do it.
What makes Hastings Direct different from other places that you’ve worked?
In some ways HD is similar to BGL group where I worked before – a large scale business with a closely connected and comparatively small leadership team. At Hastings this means there is an ability to take, and most importantly, implement decisions quickly. All of my new colleagues have been friendly, helpful and engaged and there really is a universal voice to welcome and support you into your role. During my discussions with Hastings, before and whilst joining, I had a number of conversations with Toby van der Meer, who was keen to support my transition into role and counsel me to take my time in finding my feet and building my network. I can’t imagine many plc’s of this scale where the Group CEO takes such a direct and real interest in his colleagues at all levels – it really is very powerful. Hastings have been very understanding of my home life and I’m empowered to work how and where I can be most effective. I live some distance from Bexhill and if I chose to relocate then there is support available, but I can also choose to spend my time at the London or Leicester offices, or at home, whatever makes most sense to my day. I really do appreciate the openness and support about something which in other businesses can be an unnecessary barrier. It really is up to me – how refreshing!
Why should someone consider joining Hastings Direct?
If you’re engaged, wanting to share and learn, empowered to act and take responsibility, but welcome a warm and energetic environment then Hastings could be the perfect family for you. We have fun, work hard to see our business excel and want to win, but look out for each other on the way. We also don’t believe there is any one type of person who is right for us, we are allowed to be who we truly are, and within parameters work when, where, and how we chose and are goaled on our contributions and the difference we make. I think I’ve found the perfect environment to be at my best….and of course there’s the beach and the lovely countryside around Bexhill, and top class environments at both Leicester and London.
If you would like to find out more about the opportunities in our Claims team, click here