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Meet our Directors

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Meet our Directors

(L-R Peter Dowlen, Robert Newton, Peter Sutcliffe & Mark Nicholl)

Peter Sutcliffe (Managing Director)

Peter started has career within the Insurance industry in 1977 and worked for the Bradford Pennine Insurance Company (now part of the Royal & Sun Alliance) in Birmingham.  He moved south to work for a large broking chain before joining D G Carr & Co as a partner in 1991. Peter took over as a sole trader, following Derek Carr's retirement, in 1996 until he was invited to join the board of J Bennett & Son. 

Peter became Managing Director in January 2015.

Peter Dowlen ACII

Peter worked for a multi-national brokerage in the City for 10 years before joining J. Bennett & Son as a Director in 1984.

Peter is ACII qualified and has a sizeable portfolio of commercial clients. In addition, his passion for flying hot air balloons has led to the development of our Hot Air Balloon Scheme that insures over 300 balloons throughout the UK and Ireland.

Robert Newton ACII

Robert has 45 years experience in insurance broking and initially joined the company in 1972. He left in 1979 to develop the commercial lines division of J R Assurance Services in High Wycombe. That business was acquired by J Bennett & Son in 1989, and Robert rejoined J Bennett & Son as a director. A qualified Chartered Insurance Broker, he has specialist knowledge of Financial Risks and Commercial Insurance.

Robert is responsible for all aspects of the day to day running of the business from accounts and HR to ensuring that we keep up to date with the latest technology.

Mark Nicholl ACII

Mark has worked within the insurance industry since 1984 during which time he has been employed by what was then Alexander Stenhouse in Birmingham, before moving on to join Avon Insurance, part of the NFU Group, as an Inspector. Having obtained his ACII Qualification he joined a Provincial Insurance Broker in Oxfordshire in 1995 ultimately as Joint Owner and Director.

Mark has vast experience is all aspects of Commercial Insurance and is a welcome addition to the J Bennett & Son team where he is responsible for his developing client bank and has overall charge of our product development strategy.

Russell Thynne Cert CII

Russell runs Mathews Comfort Insurance Brokers in Oxford which became part of the J Bennett family in 2017.  Russell started as an apprentice there in 1999 and was appointed a Director in 2009,   

Mathews Comfort was established in 1851 ( and enjoys the privilege of being the only Insurance Brokers in Oxford itself, with the competition having come and gone over the years.  Russell ensures that it runs as smoothly as it has always done and looks after some of our largest and most prestigious clients.  He is a welcome addition to the J Bennett board. 

Steve Smart (Non-executive Director)

Steve joined us as a non-executive Director in 2011. He has over 20 years experience in the industry having started as a Broker, before qualifying as a Solicitor and working for a number of Insurers.

He has held a number of high profile roles, including sitting on the GISC Disciplinary Tribunal, being Chairman of the IUA Legal and Regulatory Committee and a Member of the Bank of England’s Financial Markets Law Committee, he was also General Counsel for AIG (now Chartis insurance) in the UK and is currently a non-executive director of Lancashire Insurance Company. Steve deals with the company strategy, compliance, and HR deployment.

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What people say about us...

J Bennett & Son has looked after our insurance for more than 20 years. Their advice on risk management has been invaluable, they even arranged for a specialist surveyor to ensure that our new buildings were fit for purpose.
Michael O’Connor
Adcal Labels Ltd
High Wycombe
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