Managing director Andy Couchman spent over 20 years as one of the top product marketeers in financial services before setting up Bank House Communications Ltd in 1995. Andy says: "We focus on the nuts and bolts - making stuff work better and fit for purpose and explaining often complex stuff in a way advisers and customers best understand. It's engineering ideas."
Some of his achievements to date include:
• Reviewing well over 1,000 new and updated products for Protection Review and various other publications. His reviews have directly led to better products being developed and poor design being rectified. He's pretty good at the detail of making products work better and is passionate about innovation driving improvement.
• In corporate life, the market leading income protection product he managed wrote more new business than the next two competitors combined. He also managed, at senior level, health, protection and investment products. Again, in corporate life, he set up a mortgage introducer from scratch and it became UK market leader within 18 months, introducing over £6bn of mortgages a year to top lenders (which was a lot of money back then...). He also helped revolutionise the mortgage market for the benefit of its customers in the 80s.
• He has been involved in many innovative and successful customer focused solutions. For example, a revolutionary blue chip off balance sheet, securitised (using an SPV) mortgage product in the 80s, and in the 90s, a PMI product underwritten at Lloyd's using a third party administrator, and market-leading long term care insurance solutions. Today he is in demand as a consultant - helping firms develop solutions, strategies and systems for today's and tomorrow's markets and advising senior managers and directors (including giving independent advice to executives and non-executive directors). Sometimes he's just used as a second opinion - a check before big investments are signed off or launched.
• As Secretary to the CII's Society of Fellows in the 90s he oversaw its expansion from less than 3,000 to over 20,000 members, and helped develop new qualifications and a CPD scheme. He drafted the CII's highly praised code of ethics and conduct that endures in a continually developing form today and ran the CII's election to Fellowship programme and Morgan Owen Medal competition.
• He was brought in as founding editor of the UK's first ever specialist publication on health and protection insurance by Emap in 1994, and helped set up Informa's Health Insurance & Protection (where he was technical editor) and was founding editor of HealthCare Insurance Report and the Protection Review publications.
• In academic research, Andy has been involved in climate change since 1994, co-authoring an important CII-led study in 2009. Other research has included a co-authored CII/Cass Business School report on leadership and innovation and various market studies.
• Andy is a CII exam study books author and writes major elements of its online training programmes and is a contributor or editor to a range of hard copy and online professional technical and training publications.
• Andy chairs conferences, debates and workshops and is a popular and informed speaker on industry issues. He chaired a joint AMII/BIBA PMI group as well as many debates, workshops and conferences including for AMII, BIBA and Informa as well as for insurers and intermediaries, advisers and brokers.
Andy has worked with clients on projects including developing more effective strategies; new products/solutions (and improving existing ones); due diligence for VCs; training programmes (real time and online); running workshops; chairing seminars and brainstorms; giving personal briefings; mentoring; carrying out research; writing marketing and technical material and speeches; copywriting; ensuring new IT systems best meet marketing and business needs; making connections and introductions; creating website content, and giving advice and help.
Work in areas such as due diligence and strategy is protected by non-disclosure agreements so we can't tell you about it! But we can help if you need our unique blend of experience and expertise.
We have a tiny infrastructure based in the Cotswolds, but also work with other organisations to add necessary scale or with your team or with you on a 1:1 basis. We have no desire to expand our business people-wise (it's a lifestyle choice...) - so Andy handles the key tasks himself, and you won't end up being passed on to ever more junior consultants.
In 2003 we launched, with Peter Le Beau, Protection Review. As thought leaders in the UK's health and protection insurance markets, almost 400 people attended our 2019 dinner and over 200 the conference, making these among the most valued events in the industry. In 2010 Kevin Carr became the third key element of this partnership, joining as CEO, with Jo Miller now heading up our research lab too. The brilliant Roger Edwards joined in 2016. See www.protectionreview.co.uk
Andy believes passionately in protection (life and health) insurance and wants to make it work better and be more user-friendly for its customers, providers and others that share the vision of affordable, effective and value solutions that best meet people's life needs. But ideas have to be practical and do-able, not just good ideas on paper. Andy's particular skill is making things work. If such a thing exists, he's an ideas engineer.
Today's business organisations are lean and efficient but that makes Andy's role even more important. He has a remarkable track record and brings to every project ideas, energy and experience yet remains modest enough that he insists his successes are down to the teams and people he works with. For a chat on how we can help you call Andy on 07831 295317.
Andy Couchman is a leading consultant and prolific writer - he's written dozens of books and hundreds of reports and articles, is a popular conference chairman and speaker, and a consultant to a number of insurers and other organisations.
He started his careers as a life underwriter before moving into product marketing and held management positions with Reliance Mutual, Trident Life and Allied Dunbar. He established Bank House Communications Ltd in 1995.
Professionally, Andy is a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII), a Chartered Insurance Practitioner and holds the Cert PFS qualification. He is also a Fellow of the RSA.
He has been voted one of the top 20 most influential people in protection insurance by Cover magazine. He is also co-chairman of Protection Review.
Andy enjoys working with firms as a consultant and will also consider non-exective director roles, bringing his experience, contacts, professional skills, qualifications and independence to such important roles.
Outside the industry and his family, Andy's interests include motorsport and classic cars (in the Caterham 7 sports car he built and developed himself he won his class at the 2010, 2011 and 2015 Brighton National Speed Trials - the UK's oldest motorsport event, and he also has a much photographed 1968 Triumph Vitesse convertible), guitars (he plays and sings in the industry rock band The ADLs and plays acoustic and electric with various folk. He's also into photography, has made his own English longbow, renovated a 100 year old English mandolin and made a medieval lyre in sycamore, modelled on a 15th century instrument, a bowed psaltery and a 12 string electric guitar. He loves working on wood (often re-used or re-purposed) and has made a wooden rocking horse for his grandchildren and various tables (his table test is to stand on it). Lest he gets too big-headed, we should tell you that his wife has banned him from both DIY plumbing and painting for very good reason...
If you have any queries or wish to make an appointment, please contact us:
Andy Couchman, Bank House Communications Limited, Bank House, Great Rissington, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, GL54 2LP.
+44 01451 821982 +44 01451 821982
Or use our contact form.