Founder, Owner & CEO of SJL Insurance Services
Area of expertise
Simon oversees all areas of business, commercial and property insurance at SJL Insurance Services. Since 2001, SJL has insured any type of business in the UK. Since we became an official Lloyd’s of London broker in October 2017, this has meant that we also now insure international clients based in many countries across the world.
Media enquiries for Simon Lancaster email:
ku.oc.ydaertsacdaorbnull@yrreK – please note that Kerry will be able to respond a lot quicker than Simon so it’s best to email Kerry. Feel free to CC Simon if you want to.
What made you want to set up SJL Insurance Services?
I hadn’t considered starting my own business; not until I was made redundant at the age of 23. Whilst struggling to find a job offering insurance services at a company that appealed to me, I had a light bulb moment. I thought I could set something up myself, better than the companies that I was being presented with! Therefore, I obtained a £500 grant from the local chamber of commerce (which enabled me to get a PC, desk and chair to go in the spare bedroom).
As part of obtaining the grant, I had to go on a 1-week business start-up course where we had to take it in turns to outline our business plan. Most were modest, but admirable such as sole trader ideas (cake baking, gardening etc). When it got to my turn, I told them I wanted to build a national insurance broker company, employing over 50 people and turning over millions of pounds. They all laughed, but who could blame them. I started to work in my mum and dad’s spare bedroom the next Monday with nothing but a blank sheet of paper and blank PC screen.
I worked every hour God sent. I’d start working at 6am out of the office and get on the road until 6pm then at 6pm I’d get back to the office and work until midnight. I faced challenge after challenge and knock back after knock back; but with perseverance, things slowly began to work, and the insurance broker business grew to what SJL Insurance Services is today!
How long have you been working as an Insurance broker, or within the Insurance industry?
I have been working in the Insurance industry ever since I started my apprenticeship at age 17. Between then and running SJL Insurance Services.
What do you enjoy about working at SJL Insurance Services?
I think I have to say the people. Forming mutually beneficial relationships with customers/insurers/brokers/partners is really important to me. Working at a company that develops and supports staff and watching them and the business grow (from just me in my spare bedroom, to where we are now and beyond!)
What has been your proudest moment at SJL Insurance Services?
Anything to do with the SJL Foundation. We set up the SJL Foundation to support charitable projects that matter to our employees, customers and suppliers and I’m so proud of the work we have done and the money we have raised through the Foundation so far.
What do you do when you’re not working at SJL Insurance Services?
When I’m not working I spend time with my family (my wife Sarah, four sons and extended family). I enjoy socialising with friends and getting to see the world on holidays. I also like reading, keeping fit and politics.
What are your interests or hobbies?
Doing as much travelling as possible. I like to follow sport (particularly supporting Liverpool), going to the gym and running. I manage my sons under 11 football team (Worcester City) which keeps me busy!
Where is the best place you have ever visited?
I’m lucky to have been to lots of amazing places. My favourite were probably Thailand and touring America.
If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would it be?
Ambitious, driven and kind.
If you’re weren’t the owner of SJL Insurance Services, what would you be doing instead?
I would probably be working elsewhere in the Insurance industry.