The Board

Executive Board

Paul Williams
Paul Williams
Chief Executive Officer

Paul Williams joined Brightside Group as Chief Executive Officer in February 2014. Since beginning his career on the Royal Insurance graduate scheme focusing on commercial underwriting and sales, Paul has held many senior positions in the insurance industry. He then went on to head up a number of broking organisations including Hill House Hammond Business, before becoming Regional Managing Director at the Towergate Partnership Ltd in 2004, where he spent ten years and ultimately progressed to UK Broking Director controlling £1.2bn of premium. A graduate of the Ashridge Business School Executive Leadership Programme, Paul has significant leadership experience, excellent connections across the industry and a proven record of income growth in commercial broking.

Paul Chase-Gardener
Paul Chase-Gardener
Commercial Director

Paul Chase-Gardener is Commercial Director at Brightside Group. Paul has been integral to Brightside Group success over the years.  He co-founded Brightside in 2005 and prior to this, he was Chairman and Finance Director at Group Direct Limited, which was subject to a reverse takeover by Brightside in June 2008.   Aside from Paul’s significant role within Brightside, he has also been a Non-Executive Director of IOFINA plc, an AIM listed iodine production company based in the USA.  Before his involvement with Brightside, Paul was Chairman of both Southern Rock Insurance Company Limited and New Law LLP (Solicitors).  In addition, he was the former Managing Director and substantial shareholder of Bladon Group plc, until a successful trade sale to Ingham’s Travel. Paul has a background in chartered accountancy, having trained and qualified with Price Waterhouse Coopers in London. 

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Ian Sutherland
Financial Director

James Jones
James Jones
MD (IQED) & Group Chief Operating Officer

James Jones is Chief Executive Officer of Injury QED at Brightside Group.  Injury QED is a market leading provider of medical reporting and associated medical services. James joined Brightside in 2006 as Head of Finance, before becoming Head of Commercial Development. As well as his role within IQED, James is responsible for the Group’s investor relations. Prior to Brightside, James trained and qualified as a chartered accountant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers. 

Kate Banks
Kate Banks
HR Director

Kate Banks is HR Director at Brightside Group. Kate joined Brightside Group in January 2014. Kate joined Brightside from ING Direct where she held the position of HR Director. Kate has held a number of senior roles in blue chip companies such as Tesco, Axa and Invensys. Kate has a high degree of commercial acumen as well as a proven track record in developing and implementing people strategies that drive business performance. 

Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson
Director of Retail Broking

Andrew, who is a Chartered Insurance Broker, brings 34 years' experience in the insurance industry to Brightside Group. The first half of his career was spent with the General Accident Group and the next 17 years were spent at Marsh, where, as a Managing Director of Marsh UK he was responsible for all Financial Lines outside the FTSE 250 and later took on the responsibility for Marsh's strategic carrier agreements contracted in the UK. Andrew joined the Executive Board of Brightside in May 2013 as Director of Retail Broking. At Brightside, Andrew is responsible for delivering the placement and distribution strategy for both personal and commercial lines retail insurance products as well as leading the on and offline retail business operation. Andrew is currently planning his own "Grand Designs" project to build his next home in Henley-on-Thames, where he already participates in a wide range of activities both on and off the river.

Simon Jones
Simon Jones
Director of eCommerce and Affinity Partnerships

Simon Jones is Director of eCommerce and Affinity Partnerships at Brightside Group. Simon joined Brightside in 2005, initially as IT Director.  Since then he has played a fundamental role in ensuring the continued development of all the Groups’ products and systems. Prior to joining Brightside, Simon was the founder of an IT and Telecommunications business which aimed to deliver software solutions to companies within the financial sector. 

Hazel Sweeney
Hazel Sweeney
Group Financial Controller

Hazel Sweeny is Group Financial Controller at Brightside Group. Hazel joined Brightside in 2002 as one of the group’s first recruits.  She joined initially as the accountant for Commercial Vehicle Direct, before progressing to Group Financial Coordinator in October 2011. During Hazel’s time at Brightside she has held financial controller positions in several divisions and group related parties. Prior to Brightside, Hazel trained and qualified with KPMG as a chartered accountant.  She has also provided a training and consultancy service to accountancy firms nationwide. 

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Graham Johnston
Group Risk Director

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Keith Jackson
Group Capacity & Carrier Director

Sam Fay
Sam Fay
Strategy Delivery Director

Sam joined Brightside Group in 2012 as Strategy and Programmes consultant, before progressing to Strategy Delivery Director in January 2014.     Prior to Brightside, Sam has held a number of senior positions in Strategy, Portfolio and Project/Programme Management as well as Business Transformation for blue chip companies including British Telecom and Energex.   She graduated from The University of Leeds in 2001 with a BEng(Hons), Management with Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering and she is currently studying Strategy and Innovation at The University of Oxford – Said Business School.  

Mike Feltham
Mike Feltham
IT Director

Mike Feltham is IT Director at the Brightside Group. Mike’s IT career began 20 years ago, designing and delivering distributed networks across Europe for an International Logistics company. He then moved in to the Geosciences arena, working for Racal, which later became Thales GeoSolutions Ltd and was instrumental in the software design and delivery for the world’s first subsystems that were able to reach depths of 4km. From here Mike moved into the defence sector working for Thales UK, a global defence company, spending time in both IS and in missile defence. After a 5 year tenure with Thales UK, Mike spent 8 years as the IT Director with the AirTanker consortium, a £13bn PFI delivering air-to-air refuelling.

Key Management Group

The Key Management Group consist of the Executive Board and other leaders within the Brightside Group.

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Stuart Grieb
Chief Operating Officer, Retail Broking

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Annette Read
Marketing Director

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Guy Billen
Commercial Proposition Director

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Christine Sorrell
Head of Premium Finance

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Paul Rowntree
Capacity & Pricing Manager

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Gemma Markey
Head of Insight & Analytics

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Stephen Peck
General Manager (Quote Exchange)

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Dave Gay
Head of Underwriting & Pricing

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Simon Thomas
Head of Software Development

Christian Freer
Christian Freer
Placement Director

Christian Freer is Placement Director at Brightside Group. Christian has been with Brightside Group for many years and has played a pivotal role in developing the Group’s insurer relationships, its product offerings and underwriting capabilities. Christian has been involved in the insurance industry since his university days when he pitched an insurance concept to a Lloyds Property Broker and gained his first role in the industry. This first role, led to a career in the London Markets prior to joining Brightside. A family man, Christian enjoys football and is a keen golfer, often combining his enjoyment of the game with his work and charity interests.

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Kevin Davies
Executive Director, Torquay

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Tristan Scaife
Service Director, Retail Broking