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Meet the GGH Team: John Kaye, Head of Business Development, EMEA

Head of Marketing Alex Conabeare recently caught up with John, who joined Generali Global Health in November 2018, to find out a little more about him and his role within the company.

What was your professional training and experience before joining Generali Global Health?

My first foray into the private medical insurance market was with AXA PPP in 2000, as part of their UK domestic operation. But it was the 15 years at Cigna that “prepared me” for my current role at Generali Global Health. My experience at Cigna extended to client management, sales and ultimately general management. During my time there I was always based in the UK, but my various roles covered Europe, Middle East and Asia so you could say I have been permanently mobile. 


What does a ‘typical’ day at GGH look like?

I can honestly say there isn’t a typical day. The day most often repeated, however, is the commute from Worthing in West Sussex to our Leman Street office in London. My days in the London office will usually involve liaising with colleagues to develop the GGH’s proposition and secure new business in our global markets. When not in the London office, I am usually spending time with brokers and my direct reports in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.


Do you hold any other industry positions?

Not currently, as I haven’t found the time to make that commitment yet.


Have you ever lived abroad as an expat?

No - although there are many clients and brokers in Dubai who thought I lived there in the mid-noughties… as I was there so often. I have discussed opportunities to live and work abroad but the planets have not yet aligned on a personal level!


If you weren’t working in the IPMI industry, what would you be doing?

As a youngster, there was the possibility that cricket could become my career. Ultimately, despite representing my county Lancashire all through youth level, I always knew I was not quite good enough to make the grade.


How do you look after your own wellbeing? 

Good question. Over time, I have learned the hard way that you have to maintain perspective in your work. Enjoy the good times, don’t get too down about the bad times and always put you and your family first. 


What are your main interests outside work?

I have three boys aged five, nine and 12 who keep me busy! They are all sport obsessed. If I’m not coaching their football or cricket teams, I’m driving them to athletics meetings, sports matches of all kinds, occasionally refereeing/umpiring or even playing while they watch from the sideline. 

We love our family holidays, whether that’s a winter break in a Cornish cottage or a couple of weeks on the beach. I play a little guitar, read a lot (on planes!) and walk on the South Downs as often as I can. If I can squeeze it in, I like to play a little golf too.


What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?  

When we had our first child a friend told me to stop once in a while to take everything in, as that time in your life goes so quickly. When I do that (and I have to remind myself at times), I realise how lucky I am. My Mum and Dad always practised and preached the rule to treat everyone how you would want to be treated. I’d like to think that has characterised my working and personal life whether I’ve been in a junior or senior position at work, being served in a restaurant or helped with my luggage in a hotel. A more privileged, comfortable upbringing or a working title and a higher salary does not give anyone the right to assume superiority. This culture was also one of the things that attracted me to GGH.


What song would you choose as your theme tune? 

Bridge Over Troubled Water. It always sends shivers down my spine.


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