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Our experienced team has unrivalled expertise in the Higher and Further Education sectors. As advocates and advisers, they are always on hand with the support our Members need.

Paul Cusition
CEO and Director

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8672

Paul joined UMAL as CEO in January 2018. Paul began his career as an Accountant in private practice, qualifying in 1981. He then joined Sun Alliance (now RSA) where, following a number of roles, he became a Director for their Global Risks Division, which encompassed their Major Clients and London Market Operation.

In 1999, he joined Travelers, a major US Insurance Group, where he became their Chief Underwriting Officer for their International operations, covering UK, Lloyds, Ireland and Canada. He was also a Director of their Lloyd’s Managing Agency.

In 2012 Paul was recruited to become the Active Underwriter of a Lloyd’s Syndicate which had been purchased by Private Equity Investors. Following a successful turn round of this business Paul established a Managing General Agency writing business on behalf of Munich Re which was sold in December 2017.

Paul has over 35 years of experience in a wide range of Insurance operations and has been an FCA approved person since 1998.

Member Relationships

Claire Ford
Member Relationship Manager

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8677

Claire joined UMAL in April 2019, following a 20 year career with Zurich. Claire has a broad range of experience across most areas of insurance at a Senior Management level and in a wide range of supervisory and operational roles. These included Claims, Underwriting Support and Project Management both in the UK and India. Most recently she was a Broker Development Manager for large Corporate Customers and Brokers.

Underwriting

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Leon Martin
PA, Travel & Motor Underwriter

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8681

Leon joined UMAL in January 2001. He previously spent 10 years working for a London-based travel insurer, where he was the Senior Claims Superintendent with specific responsibility for the day to day running of their busy claims department. He is specialised in travel cover and is the underwriter for the UMAL travel and group personal accident cover.

He also arranges engineering inspection services with various providers and deals with FCA-regulated business for HMSL including motor, legal expenses, event insurance and special contingency (kidnap and ransom), placing suitable cover in the market on behalf of UMAL Members.

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Matthew Ferguson
Liability Underwriter

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8684

Matthew joined UMAL in September 2017, bringing over 35 years of both UK and International liability insurance expertise to the team. Matthew’s career began with Commercial Union in Exeter, Devon, before progressing to Head Office in London. Further advancement took him to the International Risks team, before a transfer to Reading Branch as Senior Liability Underwriter. His final role was in the newly reformed Global Risks team back in London.

A 12 months spell at Ace, was followed by 15 years’ at Generali in London, handling both UK and International clients’ liability risks.

Matthew is an Associate of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Vassos Costas
Property Underwriter

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8683

Vassos Costas joined UMAL in  June 2021 as the Property Underwriter. Vassos has worked in the insurance industry since 1988 when he started his career with Chubb Insurance.  He has worked for a number of different insurance organisations in senior roles that have included London Market reinsurance underwriting, Head Office underwriting and consultancy with various Insurers,  including Royal & Sun Alliance, American Re and AIG.  Prior to joining UMAL he was the Regional Vice President of the Property Insurance Middle East & African operations for AIG based Dubai.  Vassos is a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Claims

Paul Francis
Head of Claims

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8674

Paul has been Head of Claims at UMAL since April 2020.

Paul has worked in the insurance industry since 1987 when he started his career at Eagle Star. Paul joined Travelers (then the St Paul) in 1998 where he performed several roles including Technical Claims Manager for a private and public sector book of business including private hospitals, utilities, NHS Trusts and local authorities generating EL, PL, products liability, medical malpractice, motor and property claims before becoming Senior Claims Manager for the EL and PL claims function across the UK and Ireland.

In 2016 Paul joined Haven Claims as their Technical Claims Manager, managing a large team of technical claim handlers responsible for high value and complex motor claims including personal injury claims of the utmost severity.

Paul is an ACII qualified Chartered Insurer.

Alison Terry
Claims Executive

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8676

Alison joined UMAL in August 2014. She brings 15 years of claims experience gained within the Lloyd’s insurance market. In her previous positions she worked in the financial sector having studied languages at University.

Max McCarron
Claims Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8678

Max joined UMAL in June 2019. He has gained experience from working for a specialist motor insurer where he played a key part in supporting a wide range of activities across claims. Max obtained a Bachelor of Laws with a minor in criminology from the University of Liverpool.

Jonathan Davies
Casualty Claims Executive

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8675

Jonathan joined UMAL in August 2021. He brings over 20 years experience in casualty claims gained within the UK commercial insurance and Lloyd’s insurance market. His previous roles primarily involved large loss casualty claims including EL, PL, Product Liability and Property Owners Liability.

Jonathan studied law in the UK and at the University of Amsterdam, has a Batchelor of Laws degree and is an Associate Member of the Chartered Insurance Institute holding Chartered Insurer designation.

Operations

William Ward
Head of Operations

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8682

William joined UMAL in August 2018. He brings over 30 years of general insurance experience to the team. William’s career began in Adelaide, South Australia, also spending time working in Sydney, the United States and the last 18 years in the UK. He is an insurance operations specialist, having worked for large commercial insurers throughout his career.

William has gained experience in most areas of insurance at a management level and in a wide range of supervisory and advisory roles, including; claims, underwriting, IT, business systems analyst, project management and most recently operations management and the development and execution of strategic business initiatives.

William is an Associate of the Australian Insurance Institute and has an MBA from Henley Management College.

Feras Hamoudi
IT Manager

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8688

Feras joined UMAL in April 2019. He brings over 20 years’ experience of managing and supporting business-critical software and hardware systems in leading business environments. He has extensive knowledge of IT technologies and processes, undertaking planning, deployment, integration and migration of dynamic management solutions within the business.

Feras is an expert in delivering a first-class support service, optimising access to information and communicating effectively with both business and technical stakeholders.

Feras has a BSc degree in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Westminster.

Richard Harper
Accountant

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8685

Richard joined the accounts team at UMAL in May 2013. He brings with him over 20 years of experience working in finance and accounting having worked much of his time for Toshiba Corporation within their European finance division. Following their relocation, Richard took on a temporary role as interim finance manager at Bromley College which led him to his current role at UMAL.

Richard has a broad range of experience in audit, accounting, finance, taxation and IT functions. He is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Julia Kyte
PA/Office Manager

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0207 847 8670

Julia joined UMAL in April 2014. Julia worked in various banking and finance institutions before moving to UMAL.

Julia is often the first point of contact at UMAL and will put you through to the relevant professional to deal with your query.

Harry Nagra
Company Secretary & Compliance Officer

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0203 859 1500

Harry joined UMAL in February 2017. Working closely with the CEO and respective departments within UMAL, he is responsible for four main areas within the Group, comprising: Company Secretariat, Regulatory Compliance, Risk Management and Quality Management.

Harry  is a graduate of the London School of Economics, a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Insurer with substantial experience in the Lloyd’s & London insurance market, covering: corporate governance, risk management, compliance & regulation, audit, financial management, corporate strategy, due diligence, mergers & acquisitions, and management consultancy.

Mike Stones
Head of Risk Management

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 07809 396011

Mike has completed Property as well as Health and Safety risk management reviews of UMAL Members since 1999, whilst initially working at UMAL’s principal re-insurer and then transferring to UMAL in 2006.

Mike was previously the European Technical Manager for a Global insurer, having worked in risk management since 1974 as an Insurance Property senior surveyor and Head of Liability risk management at a UK Insurer. On leaving University at post-graduate level, he gained a further post-graduate degree in 2002 in Environmental Law and Safety Law.

He has completed risk management inspections in over 30 countries, covering an extensive range of industries and processes, in a risk management career of over 45 years.

Mike currently sits on the Risk Management Group of the Fire Protection Association, producing published property and fire risk management technical standards and guidelines, these being extensively used in UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and South Africa. He also sits on the Business Continuity Working Group, the Insurers Forum and Massive Timber Construction Working Group at this organisation, which is the technical arm of the UK Property Insurance market.

He also sits on the Building Products Steering Group at the Building Research Establishment reviewing fire test standards for building materials on behalf of the Insurance industry.

Mike is a Chartered Insurer, a Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute, a Chartered Member of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, a Certified Member of the Institute of Risk Management and a Member of the Institute of Fire Engineers.

He also has qualifications in Quality Assurance Auditing, Sprinkler System Design and holds the Institute of Acoustics Certificate of Competence in Noise Risk Assessments.

Georgie Wilson
Marketing & Communications Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Tel: 0203 859 1494

Georgie originally joined UMAL as an intern whilst taking her degree in Business Management and Marketing at Nottingham Trent University.

After graduating, she joined UMAL full-time in June 2020, as their Marketing and Communications Assistant. Georgie particularly enjoys the communication and digital aspects of her role.

Jack Heppenstall

Data Analyst Intern

Email: [email protected]

Jack joined UMAL in 2021 as a placement student during his third year of studying Economics at Lancaster University.

As a data analyst he will be examining and finding patterns within information provided by members allowing for insights into emerging trends of risk. This brings in several aspects he enjoys including problem solving and communication.

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Meet the Directors

Our Board of Directors is comprised of highly experienced professionals from the insurance and education sectors.

Find out more >