Markel International's Jeremy Brazil on his route to the top

How did you make it to where you are today?

I have a degree in agriculture and, as a result, was offered a position at Willis Faber to look at crop insurance, broked for six years and then moved onto the underwriting side and into Lloyd’s in 1994. I’ve always been prepared to take on new responsibilities and duties, and have been lucky enough to have been presented with them over the years I have been with Markel.

What has changed most since you started in insurance?

Technology and slip, data and information quality.

What advice would you offer to someone just starting out?

Listen, learn, ask questions, and remember that it takes a number of years to gain a standing in the market and just 30 seconds to lose it.

What is the biggest mistake you ever made?

Professionally, there are always things you might have done differently with the benefit of hindsight. And personally? Admitting I am a Man U fan!

What has been your biggest success?

Being part of a marketplace that has survived and prospered through the difficult and challenging times over the past decade.

What is your unique selling point?

Listening, integrity and providing a service that the customer would recognise as superior.

What comes to mind when you think of contemporaries and friends in the industry?

An interesting and eclectic mix of people, and strong personal and professional relationships.

What do you do to relax?

I run a small farm that has beef shorthorn cows. It’s different to the day job but not always relaxing!

What is your favourite book/film/football team?

Lord of the Rings; Lawrence of Arabia; Man U

Jeremy Brazil is president of Markel International and active underwriter of Syndicate 3000