The CEO and founder of SJL Insurance Services, Simon Lancaster is awarding a gift of a Rolex watch to his longest-serving employee Rob McKechnie, for 15 years of service. They celebrated the recent anniversary by Simon buying Rob a Rolex watch.

Rob McKechnie said: “Kudos to the man who convinced me to leave a large insurer to go and work with him in the spare bedroom of his flat 15 years ago. Working with him has made me a better person. The biggest thing is to treat people with heart and compassion. He taught me to be fair in every negotiation whether dealing with insurer partners, clients or staff – and to never forget your morals. I am proud to work for Simon, proud of SJL Insurance Services, and proud to call him a good friend.”

Simon said: “I have valued staff from the very beginning. I believe that if you treat staff well, you will reap the rewards, and so do they, and that philosophy continues to this day. Rob was my first employee 15 years ago and joined when I was still working out of my spare bedroom.  I started SJL in 2001 with a blank sheet of paper and not a penny to my name and worked every hour God sent on my own for 3 years to get the business started. I’d be out all day in meetings, leaving at 6am and returning at 6pm, then running the office from 6pm till midnight.”

“Recognising that I had taken the business as far as I could on my own, I took a gamble on recruiting my first member of staff as his salary was half of my profits at the time. I was extremely lucky that he was so good and made such a success of it. It has been a pleasure working with him for 15 years. Fast forward 15 years and we’re now one of the UK’s largest owner owned brokers, a Lloyds broker, we insure any type of business in the UK and businesses abroad as well, with 63 staff and turning over in excess of £18.5m which is growing every month.

“Rob is fiercely loyal, extremely hardworking, clever, conscientious and talented. He has made a major contribution to our success story and it has been a pleasure working with him. In addition to our business success – there has not been a single day over the last 15 years that we haven’t laughed out loud. He is now a senior manager of SJL and a close personal lifelong friend, so it was a successful recruit.”