Direct Sales Team
Claims Team
Claims Team
Agents Team
James Collins
James CollinsManaging Director
James joined Gallagher as Managing Director of Insure4Retirement in 2015 and was appointed Managing Director of Deacon in January 2018. Previously, James spent four years at Ageas as Sales & Customer Services Director responsible for the RIAS and Castle Cover brands. Prior to his time at Ageas James spent 16 years in the retail telecommunications sector in a number of sales, service and general management roles.


Robert Graham
Robert GrahamAgent and Service Broking Manager
I have worked at Deacon for 15 years and currently lead the Agents Team. I have extensive experience in the development and transition of small and large portfolios. The team looks after more than 300 managing agents. We aim to provide a best in class service and constantly challenge ourselves to improve the range of products and services we offer.


Melanie Beeke
Melanie BeekeAccount Executive
Insurance is my second career. I worked in corporate banking, for JP Morgan for 15 years before joining Deacon in 2011, quickly progressing from administration to key accounts. I had a break of service to widen my experience and knowledge of the market, and welcomed the opportunity to return to the larger Deacon team in 2016 to support our agents.


Lucy Homolova
Lucy HomolovaClaims Negotiator
Nigel Feast, FCII
Nigel Feast, FCIICustomer Relationship Director
Named by News on the Block as one of the 100 most influential people in the leasehold world, Nigel was appointed Managing Director of Deacon in 2012 and stepped down to become Client Relationship Director in November 2016. A Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII), his vast experience has been gained working across a wide range of commercial insurance for major insurers and national brokers. Since 2008 he has focused exclusively on the residential real estate industry.


Vicky Elliott
Vicky ElliottSenior Claims Negotiator
I have worked within the insurance industry since 2009 and moved to Deacon in 2012 as a Senior Claims Negotiator. I enjoy supporting our customers with a step-by-step ‘beginning to end’ service, helping them negotiate the claims process and hopefully alleviating some stress.


Jamie Filkins
Jamie FilkinsRenewal Account Executive
Steve Allen
Steve AllenTeam Manager
I’ve been working in personal and property insurance for over 20 years and, with its enviable record for customer service, was excited to mark that milestone by joining Deacon. My focus is on giving customers’ confidence that they have the right cover at a competitive price, and that they can talk to a friendly expert at the end of the phone whenever they need us.


Duane Wellman
Duane WellmanAccount Associate
I have been helping people with different types of home insurance for more than 10 years, but residential leasehold is my chosen speciality. It can be complex, but few office-based roles in insurance give you the opportunity to be the named point of contact for your own customers and nurture long-term relationships.


Ben Chowdhiry
Ben ChowdhiryClaims Administrator
I started my career in customer services with another Gallagher company, Insure4Retirement. I transferred to Deacon in January 2019 where I support the claims team to help guide our customers step-by-step through the claims process. It can be a complex and stressful process for clients, particularly where multiple flats are involved. Claims handling is what we do every day and, using our specialist knowledge and experience, we aim to make the whole process as quick, easy and stress-free as possible.


Mark Savage
Mark SavageClient Service Manager
I joined Deacon in 2003 with the ambition of developing my career within the business. In 2010, I completed a Chartered Management Institute diploma to further advance my management skills and support the team to provide a first class service to our customers. I currently lead two sales teams providing products and services to both new and existing customers.


Laura Grabham
Laura GrabhamClaims Administrator
Pete Elford
Pete ElfordAccount Executive
I began my career at Lloyds TSB Insurance, where I specialised in personal lines policies, before moving to work for a high street broker where I was involved in every aspect of insurance, including sales, claims and customer service. When the opportunity arose to join the Deacon agent team, I didn’t hesitate to apply and was delighted when I was offered the job!


Jules McGowan
Jules McGowanClaims Negotiator
Chris Lowe
Chris LoweSenior Account Executive
I’ve always specialised in blocks of flats insurance, looking after residential management companies, freeholders and most recently managing agents. I joined Deacon in 2006, attracted by the company’s customer focus and career opportunities. In 2013 I was promoted to senior account executive and currently look after a selection of clients with large portfolios.


Clare English
Clare EnglishOperations and Claims Administrator
I spent more than 20 years in Financial Services at JPMorgan before joining Deacon, initially supporting the in-house claims team. My role quickly developed into becoming a key contact for Appointed Representatives, performing quality assurance reviews and producing management information. I enjoy working in a role which puts me in direct contact with clients so, if you’re an AR of Deacon’s, don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of assistance!


Chloe Emery
Chloe EmeryAccount Administrator
James Wheatman
James WheatmanAccount Executive
I began my career in insurance in 2000, gaining experience in high net worth, motor fleet, commercial and property markets. The past two decades have given me well-rounded knowledge of the insurance markets. I am Cert CII qualified and have been part of the Deacon team since February 2018. I thrive on being part of a team where the emphasis is on supporting each other to get the best outcomes for our customers.


Annie-Marie Sparks
Annie-Marie SparksAccount Executive
I started my insurance career with another Gallagher company. We’re actively encouraged to develop our careers in-house and when the opportunity came along to learn new skills a specialist broker, I didn’t hesitate. The collective experience of my Deacon colleagues and our shared values help me appreciate what great service and teamwork looks like.


Fenella Roberts
Fenella RobertsAccount Executive
I worked in personal lines insurance for high street broker for more than 30 years before entering the world of commercial insurance with Deacon. So, I think it’s fair to say I love what I do! Friends are often confused by the different types of insurance but, at its simplest, personal lines covers individuals, for things like vehicle and household insurance, whereas commercial cover provides products designed for businesses – and of course flats, whether that’s just 2 in a conversion or 200 in a purpose built block, are considered commercial premises for insurance purposes. For me, it’s a complex market and I thrive on the challenge to get our clients appropriate cover at a competitive price.


Sophie Brooks
Sophie BrooksTeam Manager
I have worked in property insurance for more than for 19 years. I joined the business development team at Deacon in 2011 and over the next six years gained valuable insights into the often complex residential leasehold sector, looking after freeholders, landlords and the directors of Residential Management Companies and Right to Manage Companies. I now lead the Direct Sales Team, where I manage the day to day running of the team and help them to achieve the best outcome for customers.


Andy Blackmore
Andy BlackmoreAccount Director
I started my career in financial services in 2003, working as an Account Manager in the IFA Intermediary Division of the UK’s largest mutual friendly society ’LV’. I made the switch to insurance broking, joining Deacon in 2010 as an account manager. In 2012 I left to expand my knowledge of the industry, before joining again as an account director in early 2015. I’m keen to help raise awareness and comprehension of what Deacon has to offer, because I believe our combination of product, service and people, and our commitment to innovation, is market leading.


Gemma Dixon
Gemma DixonAccount Executive
Prior to joining Deacon in 2011 I worked for one of the top three brokers providing insurance for tradesmen, landlords and manufacturers. I gained experience of block insurance in Deacon’s direct team before joining the agent team, where I enjoy regular contact with both new and existing clients.


Fernando Valdivielso Cert CII
Fernando Valdivielso Cert CIIAccount Director
My early experience was gained in reinsurance, commercial, liability, property and motor fleet, as well as broking at Lloyds of London. I joined Deacon in 2011. As part of my continuing professional development, I gained the Cert CII qualification from the Chartered Institute of Insurers, and I have also completed the Institute of Residential Property Management’s (IRPM) Foundation Course. As an Account Director, I take pride in getting to know my customers and to really understanding their individual needs. My customers tell me they like my collaborative approach and commitment to building long term relationships, which I believe is one of the key driver’s behind Deacon’s enviable 90 per cent renewal rate.


Michelle Smith
Michelle SmithTechnical Assurance Analyst (Claims)
I have worked for some of the largest insurance providers within the UK. I joined Deacon as a Senior Claims Negotiator in 2006 and have developed my career within claims to Technical Assurance Analyst. I particularly enjoy assisting with complex claims, training colleagues, meeting insurers and undertaking quality reviews.


Jade McPartlan
Jade McPartlanAccount Executive
Anna Garrett-James
Anna Garrett-JamesAccount Associate
Alec Frampton
Alec FramptonAccount Executive
Making a career move from retail to insurance with Gallagher in 2012 was the best decision I ever made! Here, I’ve received great training and support and now, as part of the Deacon team, I am in a position to really help people by ensuring they have all the information they need to make an informed decision when it comes to their buildings insurance.


Luke Tarlton
Luke TarltonTeam Manager
I’ve been privileged to lead some great teams at Gallagher, our parent company. If location, location, location is the mantra of the property market, then in insurance it must surely be people, people, people. It is the people in our experienced claims team who guide customers step-by-step through an often complex claims process, particularly where multiple flats and leaseholders are involved. And it is their empathy, not least to treat others like they would like to be treated, that makes Deacon such a fantastic place to work.


Laurence Hughes
Laurence HughesAccount Director
With more than 15 years’ experience and based near Birmingham, I cover the Midlands and North of England. The challenges for property managers here are much the same as everywhere else. Insurance is only one part of the complex property management matrix. My role is to help ease their workload when it comes to finding appropriate levels of cover at a competitive price for their clients, and then we go further. Should the worst happen, our delegated authorities and in-house claims team are hands-on in helping them and their clients navigate what can often be a complex claims process, particularly if multiple flats are involved.


Karen Jones
Karen JonesAdministration Assistant
Naveed Sadiq
Naveed SadiqClaims Negotiator
I started my career in 2013 with another Arthur J. Gallagher company, Insure4Retirement, where I became a team leader. When the opportunity came to broaden my knowledge of commercial insurance and further develop my career in insurance, I joined Deacon in July 2016 supporting a selection of key accounts.


Katie Crouch
Katie CrouchAccount Executive
My career in insurance began with another Gallagher company, Insure4Retirement, where I became a team leader. With plenty of scope to develop a career at Gallagher, in 2016 I took the opportunity to transfer to Deacon and specialise in commercial insurance. I started a family in 2018 and thanks to a great team ethos, I now enjoy the flexibility of working part-time in a supportive role which is perfect for me right now.


Chris Cadwallender
Chris CadwallenderAccount Director, Scotland
Chris joined Deacon in 2009 and has over 30 years of experience within major Insurance companies and broking houses. Chris is based and lives in Glasgow where he manages Deacon’s key Scottish & Northern Ireland accounts.


Samantha Cahill
Samantha CahillPA to MD
Dean Kressinger
Dean KressingerSenior Account Executive
Throughout my career I have specialised in property and commercial insurance. I started work with HSBC Insurance Brokers, where I gained experience in sales and customer service looking after small businesses and property owners. I joined the Deacon key accounts team in 2010, supporting managing agents, freeholders and insurance brokers.


Julian Kennedy
Julian KennedyAccount Executive
My career in household insurance began 11 years ago specialising in personal lines at Insure4Retirement, another Gallagher company. I seized the opportunity to work with Deacon due to their reputation for excellent customer service driven by their dedication to employee development. My role as Account Executive allows me to be responsible for both generating new business and processing renewals, allowing me to assist clients throughout the life of their policy.


Joe Capell
Joe CapellAccount Executive
I was working as a Senior Advisor at another Gallagher company, Insurer4Retirement, when I got the opportunity to transfer to Deacon. I didn’t hesitate and now enjoy a much more complex role specialising in residential leasehold insurance. I talk to freeholders and leaseholders every day, providing information on buildings insurance to a host of add on products like terrorism. It’s a really interesting and often challenging sector, and I’m looking forward to developing my career here.


Amy Davies
Amy DaviesClaims Negotiator
I work within the Deacon claims team, where it’s my job to negotiate with insurers to get the best outcome for our customers. When a customer registers a claim it’s important to act immediately, ensuring information is collated and provided quickly to minimise delays and get a quick resolution. With 10 years’ experience and a deep understanding of policy documents and schedules, I’m can also help minimise the risks of disputes arising between our clients and insurers. This is the last thing anyone wants and it’s my job to ensure the claims process is as smooth and hassle-free as it can possibly be for all involved.