Steve is a familiar figure at Anthony Jones Insurance Brokers. As Head of Commercial Motor and a company director, in normal times he spends a lot of time out and about visiting commercial motor customers. During lockdown these meetings have moved online, although Steve confesses he’s feeling a bit zoomed out and much prefers seeing people in person.
Why did he join Anthony Jones?
He joined the business in July 1996 after a stint at an insurance-related company as the office junior. “Sometimes it felt like I was at the photocopier for 7 hours a day. Not an enjoyable experience!”
He spoke to his dad, who was a director at Anthony Jones at the time. He found Steve an opening in the Personal Lines department, where he cut his teeth for a year before joining the commercial motor team. He hasn’t looked back.
Conscious that he was working for the company where his father was a director, Steve set out to prove his worth. He worked hard and was rewarded by being made an associate director. When his father retired in 2006 Steve became a full director and was appointed to the Board.
Born and brought up in Bromley, Steve took the leap and moved out to Eastbourne in 2009, just as his eldest son was about to start school. It was a big wrench to leave Bromley but his wife’s family live in the area and she was keen to be close by. Steve was drawn to the idea of living on the coast and the slightly slower pace of life. For Steve, one of the positives of lockdown is the clear roads. Before the pandemic his daily commute could easily take a couple of hours on a bad day. Nowadays that’s been halved to an hour each way along an almost empty A21.
What about life outside work? What does Steve do to relax at the weekends?
With 3 children (as well as his eldest son who is now 15, he has twins, a boy and a girl, who are 8), he and his wife have their hands full. “We like to get out as a family as much as we can. There’s lots to do around here and, before lockdown, we would visit zoos and theme parks, take a picnic to the beach or go for long walks along the cliffs. We’re only a 5 minute walk to the beach so spend a lot of time there in the summer.”
“I like football too. I don’t play any longer, but I’m an avid Charlton fan. Perhaps the less said about that the better!”
What’s he doing with his spare time during lockdown?
“Trying to keep the kids entertained. We’re still going for long family walks and feel lucky to have the sea on our doorstep. It definitely makes things easier. Like everyone, our choices are quite limited at the moment. To be honest, a trip to the supermarket is like a day out!”
What films does he like and what’s he been watching on TV?
Favourite films include Pulp Fiction, Green Mile, Back to the Future and It’s a Wonderful Life.
Steve loves a good boxset and has been enjoying comedies such as Ricky Gervais’s After Life. He also likes scary things and has recently been watching Haunting of Hill House on Netflix.
What would he choose for his last meal?
“It would have to be either an Indian or Thai curry washed down with a beer. Or an Italian with a glass of wine. There’s a great Italian restaurant on the harbour in Eastbourne that we often take the kids to. We’ll definitely be back there as soon as it reopens.”
If he was cooking at home, who would be his number one guests for a dinner party?
“I’d love the chance to talk to Barack Obama. Ricky Gervais, Mickey Flanagan and David Jason would have to be there too. I think they’d be very entertaining. And, if he was still alive, Mohammad Ali. I really admire him.”