Name: Simon Burgess
Job title: Managing director
Where do you live? A small village in the Essex countryside called Felsted.
Describe your current job: I ensure that my staff function effectively as a team to achieve our corporate strapline ‘hard work enriches’ – well enriches me in any case. This is achieved by the appropriate sale of the best and cheapest life and protection policies to clients via the internet. My businesses are now listed at the head of the page on most major search engines.
What was your first job?
Dustbin man. This was a brilliant job – 120 per week and as much as I could eat. Some might say I ate too much.
What was your last job?
I was an underwriter at Lloyd’s specialising in protection and ASU insurance. Some of the stuffed shirts there were less than impressed with some of my self-promotion stunts, one of which included a topless lady posing in front of the famous Lloyd’s building. She was definitely crying out for some cover.
What have you done in between?
When I started Burgesses, I and my co-director had just one employee. Today, while we still employ only seven people, we have a turnover exceeding 50m in premiums.
What was the defining point of your career?
The turning point in my career was taking the decision to leave Lloyd’s and embark upon a career that benefited me, and one in which I could work in an environment that was both creative and enjoyable. I now earn more in a week than I did in a year.
And the most embarrassing?
It’s hard to isolate a single embarrassing moment but competing for top spot must be when I insured prostitutes against work-related strains and appeared on the front page of The Sport newspaper under the headline ‘City toff insures hookers against headache and backache.’
Do you have a mortgage?
Yes, with Halifax.
What’s your favourite restaurant?
My favourite restaurant has to be Caf矓pice Namaste in the City. It specialises in Indian food with passion and combines this with brilliant service and style.
What is the most you have spent on dinner for two?
I once spent 4,000 on a meal while in Monte Carlo. I had just won 17,000 at the casino. I have to say that was the first and last time I played or spent that amount of money on one meal – or even several.
What’s your favourite band?
Easily Led Zeppelin. Ideally it needs to be played rather loud while breaking the motorway speed limit (but if you are my insurance company I’m only joking, really).
What’s your favourite tipple?
I have been teetotal since my 40th birthday, so no favourite alcoholic tipple for me I’m afraid.
What are your hobbies and interests?
No hobbies can fill my leisure time better than spending time with my children and my wife Sara.