Movers & Shakers: Joanne Hocking joins new Bury St Edmunds office of broker Hugh J Boswell

Joanne Hocking of Hugh J Boswell.

Joanne Hocking of Hugh J Boswell. - Credit: Archant

Joanne Hocking has been recruited by Norwich-based independent insurance broker Hugh J Boswell to work as an account executive at a new office in Bury St Edmunds.

She has spent her career in Bury and brings with her a wealth of local industry knowledge and connections, having previously worked for the Suffolk division of insurance intermediary Towergate.

Jo said: “I am very much looking forward to co-ordinating the growth of Hugh J Boswell’s Bury St Edmunds office and the exciting opportunities ahead.”

Hugh J Boswell has been supplying commercial insurance and risk management solutions from its home in Norfolk for more than a century and now has clients nationwide.

Peter Foster, managing director, said that a second office was now needed following significant recent growth in its East Anglia client base outside Norfolk,

“We have been keen to develop a base in Bury St Edmunds for some time so that we are nearer to our clients in Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex and can be more effectively integrated within their business communities,” he said. “This is the right time to make the move.”

: : Dan Greenhow has joined web and digital provider Infotex, based at Melton, near Woodbridge, as a digital marketing executive.

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He previously worked for W&O Events in London, managing on- and off-line projects for the likes of Starbucks, Toyota and Johnson & Johnson.

Having studied technical theatre and event management at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (and shaken hands with Sir Paul McCartney as you do) his work at W&O led him down a technical path and into the digital world.

Dan, who is a keen cyclist and also a sailing instructor, has already worked on a broad range of accounts carrying out tasks such as optimising Google Adwords campaigns, reviewing competitor analysis, search engine optimisation and conversion rate optimisation.

He said of hiw role at Infotex: “Working with medium-sized businesses allows us to develop closer working relationships with our clients and have an impact on their entire digital strategy rather than just one piece of the puzzle. This makes it really rewarding and much easier to influence the return on investment.”

Another recent arrival at Infotex is Russell Hodgson who has has joined the company after a period spent travelling and living in Australia.

He started as a junior web developer at the firm’s London office in May 2014 and has already produced work for several clients including a new site for CCS, a trading division of Cambridgeshire County Council.

: : Two former BTEC students at the Suffolk One college in Ipswich have been offered jobs as motor claims consultants within the repair management team at insurer LV=.

Rohima Khatun and Nicki Sapsed were among a number of students involved in a partnership between the college and staff at the Ipswich office of LV= to help prepare students for working life and encourage them to consider a career in the insurance industry.

During the students’ first year, people from LV= hosted workshops to teach them about various departments within a business, such as marketing, business improvement, event planning and claims operations. The students were also taught professional skills that could help them in any job they do, such as working in a team and presentation skills.

The people who ran the workshops identified seven enthusiastic students who could benefit from one-on-one mentoring during the second year of their BTEC course. They were paired up with someone from LV= according to the business area that they were most interested in.

The students came into the LV= office in Ipswich once a week and “shadowed” their mentor. As well as teaching the students about the business and giving them the opportunity to attend team meetings, the staff also helped the students prepare for working life by teaching them how to apply for jobs, including help with writing a CV, interview tips and practice interviews.

Rohima Khatun said: “I was paired up with an LV= team leader who acted as my mentor. She helped me explore the different teams within the office and gave me the confidence I needed to apply for a full-time job at LV=.”

Peter Horton, chief operating officer at LV=, added: “As a large local employer in Ipswich we wanted to give something back to the community that our people live and work in. School and college leavers may not have considered working in the insurance industry and we wanted to help them see that it can be a great career path for them.

“We have already benefited from this scheme as a business, because we’ve been able to tap into the local talent and employ two of the students from Suffolk One. They are both settling in well and doing a fantastic job. In fact, the scheme has been so successful that we hope to work with other local schools and colleges in and around Ipswich in the near future.”

: : Charles Clarke has retired from Ipswich-based surveying and project management practice Castons after 48 years’ service with the business.

Charles, known to colleagues at Charlie, joined the practice, then called Porritt & Palmer, in 1966 and qualified in 1974, becoming a member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in 1983 and a fellow in 1988. He was made an associate at Castons in 1982 and later became senior associate.

He has worked on a wide variety of local projects including Landmark House for Agilent Technologies in Ipswich, and its conversion into offices for Suffolk County Council and Suffolk Constabulary, Framlingham Technology Centre and many projects at West Suffolk, Ipswich and Addenbrooke’s hospitals as well as social housing schemes in Victoria Street and Samuel Road, Ipswich, and Bell Lane, Kesgrave, and a restaurant and offices for BT at Martlesham Heath.

A spokesman for Castons, which celebrates its 120th anniversary next year, said: “The contribution Charlie has made to Castons over the years has been immense, both in term of his work and the relationships he has forged.

“He has been a key member of our successful team and the respect he has commanded both in the office and within the local industry is considerable.”

?In recognition of his 48 years’ service, the partners presented Charlie with a Ridgeback cycle and the staff gave him vouchers so that he can complete his cycling wardrobe. A trip down the River Orwell aboard the Orwell Lady was also arranged to mark his retirement.

: : Ipswich-based marketing agency Banbury Howard welcomes Helen Dodman to its team of account managers.

Helen has joined the agency, now in its fifth year, to support a range of local and national clients.

With a degree in journalism that has seen her previously work for Cosmopolitan and BBC radio, Helen has worked in the marketing industry for more than 12 years, with specific experience in PR and media relations. She joins Banbury Howard after three years as the press and PR manager for the East of England Air Ambulance.

She said: “I’ve had a great welcome to the Banbury Howard team and am enjoying working with such a diverse client base. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be able to bring my years working across the private, public and third sectors, as well as my media experience, together.”

Banbury Howard managing director Sarah Goodwin added: “Helen has joined us in an exciting year of growth and celebration as we look forward to our fifth birthday in September. Her skills and experience are already proving a great asset to the account management team here at Banbury Howard.”

: : Two members of staff at Essex law firm Birkett Long are celebrating after being given promotions.

Lorraine Younger has been promoted to quality and administration executive and colleague Cheryl Burness is now executive secretary.

Both Cheryl and Lorraine have been with the firm for more than 10 years and say it has been easy to stay because the firm is so flexible.

“It really does help you with your work-life balance,” said Cheryl, who works in the Basildon office. “I started out working school hours and eventually took on more hours as my family got older.”

Lorraine, who works at the Colchester office, said: “It’s a great company to work for. My role is really varied and this is the longest I’ve stayed with any one company. We get treated very well.”

Joann Kebbell, associate and HR manager, said: “Birkett Long feels that support staff have ambition the same as solicitors and they should have the opportunity for promotion too.”