What was your earliest memory? Cubs — I specifically remember playing crab football. Another early memory was school sports day. My friend always won everything and would be rewarded with a big pile of sweets. Although he was best man at my wedding, I’m still bitter about it!
Did you go through training/university or straight into work? After school I went to Manchester University to do a History of Art degree. I then went on to do a law conversion at The City University in London, which is essentially a law degree crammed into a year — the toughest thing I’ve ever done, but hugely rewarding.
Who have been your mentors? I’ve been fortunate enough to come across several inspirational people throughout my career, but I distinctly remember Stephen Martin, who is now senior partner at Steamship Mutual. He interviewed me for my first job in the shipping industry and we’ve gone on to be good friends. He’s certainly someone I continue to respect.
Ambition or talent, which is more important? Ambition. My favourite quote, which I used to have at the side of my desk in Marsh, was from Calvin Coolidge, the 30th US president. “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not: unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
What is your biggest extravagance? Wine. I am hoping to have all my retirement drinking sorted out before I stop working. My hoard is with Berry Brothers in Basingstoke. It has to be claret.
Nick Roscoe became chief operating officer of UK start-up Concirrus in December 2018, heading its drive to change the marine insurance market through technology. Concirrus’ artificial intelligence insurance software platform, Quest, uses machine learning analytics and industry data sets to enable active management of risks.
Roscoe had previously worked for insurance giant Marsh from 2005-2018. In 2010 he became managing director, business development, and sales leader, UK marine, building new business lines including charter default and insurance for armed guards who protect vessels. Three years later he was appointed sales leader, UK specialities, and in 2016 he became sales leader, global specialties.
In the 10 years before that, he led Sedgwick’s P&I claims team, where he developed Brokers Notes — now the Marsh P&I Portal — and the slipless placement system used today. He began his career in marine insurance at Steamship Mutual in 1990 in freight, demurrage and defence claims, negotiating charterparty disputes.
What would you have done if you hadn’t gone into shipping? Written and presented art history programmes on TV.
How do you relax? I love reading crime novels, especially if they are set in Scandinavia. I have Swedish heritage, and this is my attempt at connecting with these roots.
What would you like to own that you do not possess? A riad in Marrakesh to visit in the colder months.
Where and when are you happiest? Playing golf with the family in Scotland. My “home” course is Elie in Fife but the best I’ve played at is Turnberry.
What would you change in shipping if you could? Universal use of electronic bills of lading would be a great enabler. Just think of the data potential!
Is politics important to you? No. Whilst the Brexit outcome will inevitably impact all our lives, I am more interested in dealing with the outcomes than following the process.
What would your 20-year-old self say to you today if you met? “What happened to the hair?”
What keeps you awake at night? Nothing. I often wonder if I fall asleep before or shortly after my head hits the pillow.
Which four people, living or dead, would you like to invite to dinner? Catherine the Great, Abraham Lincoln, Paul Cezanne and Socrates (the Brazilian footballer, not the philosopher).
What are your favourite song, book and film? I still like punk, although it is banned at home because it’s too noisy — I used to love Stiff Little Fingers. My favourite book is probably Vanity Fair — Becky Sharp would have also been welcome at my dinner for four. My favourite film has to be Legends of the Fall, which inspired my Montana trip.
What is the most important lesson you have learnt? To stay away from the karaoke machine. There was a time many years ago when the broking team at Ferrari in Genoa set me up to sing my first karaoke song. They told the organiser that I was an English rock star in breach of my recording agreement. As I took the microphone, the room went silent. It was ugly. I am still scarred.
What are your best and worst characteristics? Worst: Apparently, I am infuriating because I have a tendency to leave the fridge door open. Best: I’m a Yorkshireman and very proud of it.
What is your greatest achievement so far? Driving my wife around Montana on an 1800cc Harley-Davidson for a week without killing her.
What has been your greatest disappointment? Choosing to support Arsenal Football Club. This has given me years of discomfort.
What ambitions do you still have? I want to see much more of the world from a motorcycle, starting with the lower Himalayas.