Our Leadership Team

Partners& brings together highly talented and experienced professionals to create a dynamic and passionate management team. We’re thrilled to be working together, with our clients and with our broader ecosystem, to provide specialist advice and support for our clients.

Stuart Reid

Chair

I’ve always been motivated to do things differently, better than the competition, and to be successful in doing so. Equally, I believe it’s important to have fun. That’s what we’re doing with Partners&.

Stuart has been the driving force behind some of the UK’s leading insurance businesses including Stuart Alexander, AJ Gallagher and Bluefin. He has served as Vice President of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII); Chair of the CII Broking Faculty; Deputy Chair of the British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA), and Chair of BIBA’s Large Brokers Committee, demonstrating his commitment to quality standards.

Phil Barton

CEO

I believe there is a short-termism in the market that is getting in the way of advisers serving clients. We’re intent on changing that and creating a better way, building long term partnerships with clients, insurers and other key stakeholders. Our business is determined to put clients, our team and relationships at the centre of our decision making.

During almost 40 years in the insurance and financial services sector, Phil has developed a track record for building highly successful teams and businesses. His extensive experience in building successful advisory businesses gained through many leadership roles with Jelf and Marsh, has given him the insight and vision to create a new form of advisory business that will challenge current market practice.

Phillipa Sherman

CFO

The notion of partnership is woven across our business. My aim is to continue to build on that and develop strong working relationships between the finance function and the business so that we can work together to optimise opportunities as the business grows.

As a highly experienced CFO, Phillipa brings skills and capability gained from her involvement with a wide range of businesses and sectors including financial services, high street retail to high-growth, fast paced SME environments, all of which reflect the profile of our client base. She is an innovative problem-solver who considers the impact of issues from multiple perspectives: commercial considerations, accounting implications and regulatory impact.

Natalie McClean

Chief People Officer

We have a sense of being in this together, with a very clear purpose, and that’s what will make Partners& special for our clients and our people.

Natalie has developed and led successful and innovative HR teams at RBS, Jelf, Hero, Motocorp and most recently, Oxfam. Her distinctive capability is grounded in an amazing track record of developing and implementing approaches that promote progressive and collaborative workplace cultures.

Ed Finch

Ed Finch – Managing Partner, Markets

We’re on the brink of a technology revolution. We now have an opportunity to fast track our development and create the best client offering in the market.

Ed was appointed Managing Director of MRIB in 2008, having worked with Independent earlier in his career. As MD, Ed led MRIB’s development into a leading Chartered Insurance Brokers and Financial Advisory practice. He is dedicated to creating a work environment based on transparency and maintains a fundamental belief in the provision of first-class service.

Chris Jelf

Group Commercial Director

Focusing on client service excellence is what brings the most reward and satisfaction on a professional and personal level, and I believe that’s when we win with, and for, our clients.

Chris has built a market leading reputation for outstanding client service, a skill he learned early in his career at Royal Insurance and Midland Bank Insurance Services, and which he embodies today. With his renowned professionalism, energy and drive, he founded Jelf Group in 1989, growing it to be the British Insurance Awards, Broker of the Year in 2015, prior to its sale to Marsh & McLennan. Chris combines an unswerving commitment to the principle of seamless advice with always seeking to exceed expectations.

Lee Davey

Managing Partner, South West

It’s all about the people – whether it’s our team in the office or the clients that we serve. The value of relationship has never been more important. It’s our key differentiator and it’s instilled in our DNA.

Lee started his career at Hill House Hammond, where he held various sales and leadership roles, before joining Towergate and Jelf, where he led the South West region. With his exceptional people skills and inspirational leadership style, Lee has always been an advocate of client service and people development.

Jonathan Miller

UK Sales Director

What struck me about Partners& is its purpose and its values, both of which run right through the organisation. I also wanted to work with the best professionals in our industry and be part of an organisation that is challenging the status quo, bringing the client back to the centre and promoting the partnership between brokers, clients and insurers.

Since starting his career with Alexander Forbes as a graduate trainee, Jonathan has built a leading reputation and specialist knowledge in the food and drink and M&A sectors, most recently at JLT and Marsh. Jonathan is also very active in a number of charities and is a committee member of Kids Out, a Director of Birmingham Food Council and has recently co-founded BFPS Black Leaders Network.

Neil O’Sullivan

Managing Partner – Midlands

We know that in many sectors today, the focus on the client has waned. Our aim is to challenge that. We want to act as an example to the industry that when we get on our clients’ agenda, it’s a win-win – we understand them better and are able to provide better advice and we gain their loyalty, which is great for us as a business.

Neil is a client advocate through and through. He started his career as an underwriter before moving into sales management and business development roles with major insurance brokers including Gallagher and Bluefin, before founding Lewis Oliver Insurance Brokers Ltd, an independent firm of insurance brokers in 2016. He joined Partners& in May 2020 as a client partner, before moving into a sales leadership role in the Midlands region.

Nick Jones

Managing Partner, South East

To be a part of a revolution is very exciting. Partners& is the company that is going to lead the way in this industry by putting the client first, every time. I am hugely proud to be shaping and developing the insurance broker model as part of the best advice led business in the industry.

Nick started his career in insurance with the A Plan Group before moving to Focus Oxford LLP as a Partner of the firm responsible for the development of the insurance division. In 2017, Nick led an amicable MBO to buy the Insurance division and create his new company Focus Oxford Risk Management Ltd. The Focus philosophy was totally aligned to Partners& and therefore joining Partners& was next natural progression.

Darren Humphray

Managing Partner - Private Client

We are creating a culture that the most talented advisors in the UK want to be a part of. Everything Partners& is doing is centred around people - believing the best client experience is only possible, when the people serving them are genuinely engaged and doing something they passionately believe in.

Over the last 20 years Darren has enjoyed success in a variety of senior roles for both regional and global insurance brokers, focussed on strategic leadership, client experience, employee engagement and organic growth. Most recently, Darren was a shareholder and Board Director at Stackhouse Poland. Darren is on the Executive Committee of Partners& and leading Partners&’s high calibre and vastly experienced Private Client team.

Ross Dingwall

Managing Partner, North and Scotland

Over my 30 years in the insurance industry, I have had the pleasure of working with many brokers across the UK and building long lasting partnerships that benefited the client, the broker and the insurer. This team’s values and their ambitions are very similar to my own and I am excited about the contribution I can make to build the number one insurance advisory business in the UK.

Ross joins Partners& from Hiscox where he held a number of roles since 2000, including UK Sales Director, UK Broker Channel Managing Director and most recently, Distribution Director, overseeing Broker, Direct, Schemes, Partnerships and Marketing. He was also a member of the UK leadership team for the last 12 years and partner since 2014.

Alex Rowe

Non-Exec Director

The values we hold as a company represent a genuinely new way of doing business. The focus on partnership, true collaboration, being approachable and an enabler is refreshing and vital in today’s competitive landscape.

Early in his career, Alex developed and led the family Commercial Laundry business to its acquisition by a national player. Since then, he has developed a non-executive career spanning insurance, financial services, life sciences and the not for profit sectors. Alex is also a trustee of the Wild Planet Trust.

Jonathan Kelly

Partner, Capital Z

Our 30 year successful track record, investing over $3billion in the US and UK insurance market is predicated on our skill at selecting outstanding management teams. We at Capital Z believe wholly in the strength of this management team.

Jonathan is responsible for sourcing, evaluating and structuring investments within the financial services and insurance industry for Capital Z, a specialist investor in the UK and US insurance distribution and underwriting market. Prior to Capital Z, Jonathan was a Senior Vice President of Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette, specialising in corporate finance and merger and acquisition transactions in the insurance and reinsurance sectors.

Ewan MacDonald

Managing Partner – Scotland

The cultures of MacDonald Group and Partners& are a perfect fit. We have always had our people and clients at the centre of our business, and I feel this ethos is very much at the heart of Partners&. I am very excited by the opportunities that lie ahead and to be working with such a talented team as we grow our business in Scotland.

Ewan started his career with the family business in 1992, initially looking after the personal motor and household clients. He progressed into handling all lines of commercial related business across the organisation and ultimately, led the business to develop a very strong reputation in the Scottish market for service and delivery. In addition to his insurance career, Ewan is a professional men’s curling champion, having played for his country over 250 occasions in the World Junior Curling Championships, World Men’s Curling Championships, European Championships, European Mixed Championships and Olympic games.

Malia Brown

Marketing and Communications Director

Our culture is what will differentiate us. It’s based on our values and reflects the energy, dynamism and optimism across our business.

Malia brings experience in creating compelling brand, marketing and communications strategies that inform and engage, honed over the years from PR agencies in Washington, DC and London to in-house marketing and communications roles in Jelf, Hyder Consulting and Arcadis.

Charles Bettinson

COO and Regulatory Director

Charles leads both our Operations and Regulatory departments, to ensure that our clients’ requirements are at the centre of our service.

He has over 25 years’ experience in the industry working for insurers and brokers and most recently he advised a number of FTSE companies. He is FCII and FIRM qualified and also holds a Master’s degree in Insurance & Risk Management.

Ellie Smith

Head of Risk

At Partner& we’re building something special and I’m excited to be part of this team. We are focused on putting our clients first and making this a great place to work.

Ellie is responsible for developing and implementing the group risk management framework and strategy, ensuring we maintain our professional standards and continue to develop an organisational risk culture. Ellie is a qualified chartered accountant and previously held roles at RBS and Deloitte.

Swati Chopra

Chief Information Officer

Partners& is all about making a difference with technical, operational, and organisational agility to ensure we serve our clients right the first time.

Swati has a proven track record for successfully delivering leading digital transformation, process optimisation, innovation programmes within the General Insurance, London Market Insurance, Telecommunications and Technology sectors honed over the last 20 years. Swati is on the Executive Committee and in her role as the CIO, devise, continuously adapt, drive the Data & IT strategy and to head the delivery of key strategic projects to accelerate the success of Partners&.

Tracey McCreath

Director of Operational Performance

I believe what makes Partners& different is our focus on putting the client back at the centre of our world, which is where I started my career, but now I have access to the technology to really help our clients in ways I never dreamt of back then.

Tracey’s client service experience includes working with a range of businesses, from start-ups to multinational FTSE 100s requiring complex global placements. In the last 15 years, she has turned her attention to specialising in media, arts and entertainment before moving into the operational side of the business.

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