We need you, Beyond Birmingham – BII

Mark HandsAbout Mark Hands

  • Career began on the 1st September 1987 at General Accident’s offices in Wolverhampton as a 16-year-old Clerical Assistant.
  • 28 years later, Head of Trading – North at LV= Broker, with responsibility for Branch offices in Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham.
  • Travelled the length of breadth of the UK, managing offices and businesses in various locations including a long period on project work in Scotland.
  • Serving member of the BII Council
  • President of the Insurance Institute of Peterborough between 2005 and 2007.

We need you! I’m looking for brokers who may work in the Birmingham area but reside in the Black Country to contribute to The Black Country Committee of the Birmingham Insurance Institute. I’m already working with a number of brokers in the area and I’m keen to expand the relationship.  Wherever my work has taken me it isn’t long before colleagues, brokers and customers alike will know that I am extremely proud of my Black Country roots, in particular my love of all things Wolverhampton, often talking about the industrial heritage of the area, explaining how our local dialect is structured and how we even have our own cuisine.

Insurance has been very kind to me over the years,  I have had a lot of fun and made some great friendships along the way. The work I have done with the CII is important to me – I have always wanted to give something back to the industry.

As you will no doubt be aware the Birmingham Insurance Institute is the largest insurance institute outside of London with some 5,400 members, and draws upon a significant number of people not only from Birmingham, but from the towns within the Black Country including Wolverhampton, Sandwell, Dudley & Walsall.


Networking at the Black Country Living Museum

Whilst it’s difficult to find two Black Country people who will agree on the exact border of the area, it’s population is widely documented as being circa 1.1M people, almost equal in size to that of the population of Birmingham.

The insurance market in the West Midlands has become extremely Birmingham centric and following a conversation with current BII President, Richard Scott, we agreed to explore how the BII can adapt and try to meet the needs of its membership within the Black Country.

Whilst we felt that there was a need to do something, we wanted to test the water first. With that in mind we held a networking event at the Black Country Living Museum on 17 September 2015 to help gain an overview of what is wanted from the BII locally and hopefully prove interest in the concept of some Black Country focused initiatives from the BII.


A proud history and a bright future

The historical museum provided a fantastic backdrop to the evening and the night itself was extremely successful. Not only did we have an old-fashioned knees up and sing-song around the piano whilst drinking traditional Black Country ales, but I had chance to get an understanding of what the local membership and employers wanted from the BII. We captured some great ideas and a number of people present expressed a desire to get involved in making things happen. We now have enough ideas and volunteers to begin to shape a framework for a committee – The Black Country Committee of the Birmingham Insurance Institute.

There is plenty for us to get our teeth into, and with a group of like-minded individuals who share my passion for the industry and the area, I am sure we can and will be extremely successful.

If you’re interested in getting involved please email me.

Categories: Commercial Lines


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