Experienced innovators.

Our board of directors are experienced business leaders with unique backgrounds and skill sets.

Here’s a little bit more about them.
John Woosey, Managing Director

John began his career in advertising and marketing, launching his own agency back in 1989. After successfully marketing several products for his clients, he had his eureka moment and decided to build his own brand and take it to market. In 1997 he spotted a niche for golf insurance and the rest as they say is history.

John formed The JRW Group in 1997, which became the powerhouse behind several successful market leading, niche insurance products over the coming years. John brought in a strong Management Team around him and his drive and ambition was instrumental in growing The JRW Group to become the leading niche insurer in the UK. It was John’s vision which led to re-branding The JRW Group to “Ripe” in September 2017 and the next chapter of evolution began.

John now leads the management team and all operational aspects of the business, ensuring that the entrepreneurial ambition and pace continues throughout the business today, just as it did in 1989.

Paul Williams ACII, Chief Executive Officer

With over 30 years insurance industry experience, spanning all aspects of underwriting, MGA’s, insurance distribution and digital insurance, Paul has an enviable track record. From starting his career as a graduate trainee with RSA earning his underwriting stripes to leading some of the UK’s largest insurance businesses, Paul is a highly respected leader within the industry.

Paul spent a decade at Towergate, running many of their broking and MGA businesses ultimately sitting on their Retail Executive Committee as UK Broking Director with overall responsibility for £1bn GWP and their UK insurer relationships and deals before being head hunted as Group CEO of a top 20 UK digital insurance intermediary. After leading the sale of this business to a private equity firm he was again head hunted, this time by global broker JLT Group as Managing Director of Thistle, their UK MGA and digital insurance business where he was tasked with carrying out a turn-around and review. Having re-invented Thistle’s operating model and profitability, his is work there ultimately led to the sale of the business to a private equity backed consolidator.

Paul had known John and Colin for several years and joined the business in 2016, bringing his depth of insurance, product and digital knowledge and helping the team drive the business to where it is today.

Colin Whitehead FCA, Chairman

Qualifying as a Chartered Accountant in 1984 with KPMG, Colin spent 10 years as Financial Director and 10 years as CEO of Staniforth Public Relations and Marketing before selling this to Omnicom Inc in 2002. After being introduced to and working closely with John and The JRW Group, Colin joined as a Director and shareholder in April 2008.

As a qualified Chartered Accountant, Colin has been largely responsible for the corporate strategy and financial performance of the company and works closely with the Financial Controller and the other members of the Management Team to ensure that the right balance is struck between future growth and current performance.

Sarah Jones, Marketing Director

Sarah’s marketing career began in 2001 in the Acquisition team at Freemans, part of the Otto Group. Since then, she has held senior Marketing positions at Optionis Group, ACE European Group (now Chubb European Group) and The Warranty Group (now part of Assurant), and has an extensive background in digital marketing.

At Ripe, she heads up the 17-stong marketing team, including an in-house Design Studio, Brand and Communications team and Digital team. After being promoted to Marketing Director in 2017, Sarah is responsible for ensuring the Marketing team drive the future success and growth of Ripe and develop marketing strategies which continue to take advantage of new digital and technological innovations.

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