Cooper Gay's Toby Esser on how he got to where he is today

How did you make it to where you are today?

Ambition, drive and hard work!

How has the industry changed since you first joined it?

Technology has completely changed our industry since I first joined. Although to some extent the London market is still dragging its feet in embracing new technology, there has been a total transformation in the way we communicate.

What would you say are the key challenges ahead for you and the industry?

The lack of growth in the market in general is a challenge for every business, given the economic conditions. This has led to a predominance of mergers and acquisitions in recent times.

What are the biggest opportunities?

Given the current inefficiencies in the market, there is always the opportunity to make our industry more efficient and generate better margins.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in reinsurance?

Provided they have a good social manner, are responsible and willing to work hard, and are responsive, they will do very well.

What is the biggest mistake you’ve made?

There have been a few, but I maintain that it’s far better to look forward than backwards. You should always learn from your mistakes and then move on.

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

I have always found the insurance market generally to be occupied by fun, amiable people.

What do you do to relax?

I’m always relaxed, but I love all sports, both playing and watching.

Toby Esser is the chief executive of Cooper Gay