I have just been prompted to reflect upon 2021 and look back on what has gone on this year. After looking like we might struggle to keep going in 2020, we approached 2021 with a degree of trepidation. It has turned out to be a rock and roller of a year in many ways and therefore this is no easy task, but here it goes….
What a start! 4th January back to work to start 2021 with the wind in our sails and a smile on our face ready to hit 2021 with gusto and enthusiasm, safe in the knowledge that we had been promised no more school closures and lockdowns. 6pm, Boris graces our screens to announce all schools closed and back in lockdown from the following day.
That’s the Covid and political aspect of this review out of the way and this topic will not be raised again in this review as I think we have all had enough of it!
Fortunately for me and my kids it did snow in January so a couple of sledging and snow days were had up at Leith Hill!
From a work point of view here at Synchronicity Insurance, despite all of the uncertainty, we had a pretty positive start. We got back in touch with all of our clients and signed up three new clients and successfully helped two of hire people for their teams. We also made our first placement as a business in Portugal.
The first month of the financial year for us, and a chance to kick our year off in positive fashion. We successfully completed a couple of key assignments by introducing a Technical Claims Manager and also a Head of Underwriting to two different companies. We also recruited a number of Group Risk specialists to a key client that we started work with in 2020.
Whilst things were still incredibly unsettled, there was an air of optimism and a genuine sense that things were looking positive for the year ahead.
After a great February for us, we hit March full of positivity. Unfortunately, March hit back with a flurry of cruel blows which resulted in a month full of chaos, calamity and things going wrong both inside and outside of work. I think the nature of all that has gone in recent times has now resulted in us developing a stronger level of resilience to problems that we previously may not have had – one of the few positives of this pandemic. So, we dusted ourselves down, got back up and finished the month strongly.
As a business we also set up a partnership with Health and Protection to sponsor their awards evening in October 2021. Exciting times!
Outside of the office, work commenced on ‘The Doug Out’. A bar/office/den which is built in memory of my Dad who passed away in March 2020. This is the setting for lots of our Teams calls that our clients dial in to so a few of you will have seen the end result of this!
An eclectic blend of work! Nurses, analysts, product managers, marketing and sales roles were all a key part of what was a very positive month. We started working with a new client, that is a little different to what we are used to doing, and it has turned into a hugely successful partnership over the course of the year.
With things feeling very much back on track, we decided to do our bit to get everyone back together and talking again by arranging the Synchronicity Insurance Cup 2021 at Horsham FC. After initially worrying that we would not have enough players, we were blown away by the positive response and amount of interest. We will come onto the outcome when we get to June….
May was a more traditional type of month for us deal wise. We helped place a number of people into account management and business development roles which has traditionally been our strongest area of work over the years.
May was also a critical month in the life of Synchronicity Insurance as I had the good fortune to be presented with the opportunity to grow our team. Opportunities like this don’t come along every day. Onto June to see who…..
Chloe Waters joins the team!!! In my eyes this is comparable to when Shearer signed for Newcastle, Michael Jordan re-joining for Chicago Bulls, Tom Brady to Tampa Bay – the list goes on. Chloe took to life here like a duck to water and is an amazing addition to our team. The missing piece of the jig saw!
June also saw the playing of the Synchronicity Insurance Cup. I never realised how stressful it would be to organised an evert like this! Thanks to support from my right hand man Stuart Perry, Horsham FC and our sponsors (GBG, H&P magazine, Pinnacle Cost Solutions and Capulus) the game went ahead and was a huge success. The final score was irrelevant (although my team won!) as everyone had a good laugh and shared a drink or two after. We were also delighted by the amount of supporters who made the effort to come and watch. Next game is 11th February 2022.
Workwise, we expanded our reach into Benelux by making another key hire based in Holland. We love our international work and are continuing to develop further into Benelux and other territories.
The summer of sport was upon us! Football was due to come home at Wembley (it didn’t of course and unfortunately I was there to witness it), the Olympics were taking place in Tokyo and I was off zip wiring with the family in Wales (Juliet still hasn’t fully forgiven me). Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson also flew into space in July so that could be the next Small family challenge…
The Olympics were a particularly uplifting event this year, probably more so than ever before. Loads of great performances from Team GB and amazing 4th place on the medal table was one hell of an achievement. Lovely stuff!
Work, and the market in general, just felt incredibly positive and the figures and activity of our business reflected this. Deals with Global IPMI Groups, Reinsurers, Brokers and Assistance Groups proved to make for an exceptional month.
Always a funny month in the recruitment world as there is always at least one person in a recruitment process away on holiday. A time for spinning lots of plates and trying to keep processes moving along as smoothly as possible when you can’t always get hold of people.
One of the very few positives of covid (for us anyway) was that everyone was more contactable this year as not many of us dared to go away! This meant that things moved relatively well and a good August was had by all!
A month where we tore up the record books and smashed through the month with record figures! September was a clear indicator that the market was in a really strong position and that the wheels were not only moving again but absolutely flying along at a rate of knots. I always say to our clients that we are a good barometer as to how things are going, as we can only do well if the market is doing well. Fair to say that September was a good month.
We also got to support Wolfram Syndrome UK by being part of their golf event at Mannings Heath GC. This was a great event and lots of money, and awareness, was raised.
Another special mention to Emma Raducanu for winning the US Open! What an achievement!
It seems like we got three months of work into one with October as there was lots and lots of stuff going on! On a personal level, I managed to have my first ‘proper’ holiday for over two years with Juliet and the kids, and Mike Ashley finally sold Newcastle United. Happy days!
On a work level we were privileged to sponsor and present the ‘Best Diversity and Inclusivity’ award and the Health & Protection awards. This was a truly great evening and a great chance for us to get meet up with clients new and old on an evening of fun and frolics. It was great to see everyone face to face again and to toast all of the nominees and winners.
You may recall that I mentioned that September was a record month a couple of paragraphs back? Well, that didn’t last long did it? November had a look at September and said ‘hold my glass’ and proceeded to absolutely smash it! As many of our clients will know, Stuart and Chloe are exceptional at their jobs, but I think even they were surprised at how well they did.
We also got to have our first team day out for a while as we attended the Champions Tennis event at the Royal Albert Hall. A thoroughly enjoyable day out and a chance to let our hair down for a day.
As I am writing this on the 15th December, I don’t know exactly how the month will go in full but the signs are good! What I can say is that we have loved dealing with all of our clients in 2021.
We have lots of changes that are going to happen in early 2022. It is going to be eventful and stressful in equal measure, but we are going to be doing what we do even better than ever!
Have wonderful and magical Christmas and New Years and we will see you on the other side!