An Exclusive Interview with Victoria Barton, our Newly Appointed Head of Insurance

Victoria Barton

Firstly, congratulations on your new role! What made you want to move into the insurance arena at Enness?

Thank you! I was definitely ready for a new challenge! I’ve been broking high value mortgages for 8 years and naturally insurance was something we’d discuss with clients as part of their advice service. I found I was able to get clients to engage on this topic (particularly since it’s a delicate area) and learned there was a whole range of solutions we could be exploring, especially for HNWI’s. So, Islay and I decided this was a huge opportunity for both me and Enness. I’m really enjoying it so far! 


What prompted the decision to introduce this new range of insurance services, and how do they align with Enness Global’s overall strategy?

Obtaining finance is one of the life events where we encourage our clients to review their insurance needs. We realised that nearly every client has had some potential need for insurance or protection. As with mortgage advice, HNWI’s needs are generally more complex and require trusted advisors. The services go hand in hand so this felt naturally like the next step for Enness.


What specific insurance needs or gaps did Enness Global identify that these new services aim to address?

It’s fair to say that every one of our clients has unique circumstances. Many are overseas, often with multiple international residences and sources of income. The same is true of our corporate customers who also range greatly, in size and specialism. Of course, unique circumstances also mean unique needs, so we offer a range of options. I think where we differ is that these specialised policies can all be taken care of within Enness so the client knows they have expert advice without needing to go to one place for a commercial policy and another for a personal one. This was something which was important to us as we know how valuable our client’s time is!


Enness Global is renowned as the ‘go to mortgage broker of the super-rich’. How has this heritage and expertise contributed to the design of these new insurance offerings?

We have always prided ourselves on providing a highly exclusive, discreet and personal service that we execute with precision and efficiency. The same principles apply to the design of our new insurance range – the client is always first in our thinking.


Could you also highlight some key features and benefits of Enness’ new commercial insurances, and who these policies are aimed at?

Sure! The commercial side is interesting as it’s so diverse.  The majority of trading businesses will need commercial policies to protect them from various events and will likely need some basic form of liability cover. However, many of our clients are entrepreneurs within specialised fields and need tailored policies for their specific industry.

For example, a firm advising or providing a service will need some form of professional indemnity cover, whereas a firm with a heavy online presence or infrastructure will need some cyber protection. And then of course we need to make sure the people behind the business are protected, whether that’s the shareholders or even key employees. So, lots of areas to discuss when it comes to protecting and insuring businesses!


Universal life insurance is perhaps something that people haven’t heard of before, could you explain a bit more about its unique purpose?

Universal Life Insurance (ULI) is a fantastic insurance option for our high-net-worth clients and is already a very popular choice in many other jurisdictions. In short ULI is a sophisticated wealth planning tool that can provide significant benefits to the policyholder. But given this, it requires the right advice, particularly around tax.

ULI is what we call a ‘whole of life’ insurance product (which means it can be used to protect mortgages, cover IHT liabilities or for wealth creation purposes). It’s also investment linked, meaning it can actually be utilised in the client’s lifetime, offering potential future financial benefits as well as protection. Furthermore, the policyholder can also surrender the policy for the cash value should they wish and get their money back (unlike traditional policies). So, it has a lot to offer many of our ‘typical’ clients.


With regards Enness’s new high value home insurance, how has the customer been at the forefront of the design and development process for this new services?

Often our clients are purchasing high value homes or a ‘non-standard’ property, for example based on its construction method, usage or acreage etc.  Or, it may be the client is living predominantly overseas, which is also often the case with our clients. All these elements require a more flexible underwriting approach. The policies we recommend have tailored cover to the property as opposed to blanket cover, while also providing ample cover as standard, as opposed to ‘add-ons’. Many of our clients have high value belongings such as art, jewellery & antiques and therefore specialist knowledge & expertise in these areas is another layer of protection for our clients.

Also, the policies can be utilised to include vehicles, which can be more cost effective than having standalone motor insurance. Finally, these policies come with a dedicated account manager who will process claims on your behalf to remove the stress and ensures the claim is paid out as swiftly as possible – in my opinion this is one of the biggest benefits to the policies we recommend.


Insurances are a part of everyday modern life, providing protection and peace of mind. Do you have any advice for those considering taking our new insurance cover, such as what they should be looking for?

As with any financial arrangement, the correct advice is paramount. Unfortunately attempting to put insurance in place yourself can often result in being underinsured and a strong possibility of paying for a policy which would not pay out should a claim be made owing to a lack of full understanding at underwriting stage.

Individuals who have HNW status can often have more complex financial needs and therefore it’s important the advisor has an understanding of this and how insurance interlinks with their overall financial affairs. Our experience dealing with the financial affairs of HNWI means we are already very well accustomed to dealing with more complicated income streams, assets and ownership structures. 


On a more personal note, what aspect of these new insurance services are you most excited about, and how do you envision them making a positive impact in the industry?

Definitely the Universal Life Insurance offering. This product is super interesting to talk to clients about given its multi-faceted components. I truly believe this product is a hidden gem for our clients and I think it would be a disservice if our clients didn’t know this product existed – which so many don’t! I hope that ULI becomes a more well-known option within the HNW sector, with Enness in mind when it’s needed.


It’s a huge endeavour to bring to market new products and services – well done!! What has been the biggest learning from this process you think others could benefit from understanding?

Thank you! As I mentioned, it has been quite the project but also rewarding! There are so many elements to juggle, but the main focus has always been around our clients and their needs, making sure they have the best service and outcome possible. If you lose sight of that you can end up developing the wrong products or services, which doesn’t benefit anyone. I’m really proud of the range we’ve developed here and I can’t wait to see how it takes off!


Given the dynamic shifts in the financial landscape, what guidance or insights would you offer to young women aspiring to enter and succeed in this profession today?
It is safe to say that finance is still a man's world. But believe me, there are some amazing females in this industry, and you can become one of them. When I first started in this role, it was my first experience of being a minority, but I learned that gender is completely irrelevant. Your colleagues are my colleagues; your contacts are your contacts. Treat everyone exactly the same, and if you find yourself obviously amongst a room or meeting of mostly men – be proud that you are there. 


And finally, are there specific women role models in your life who have significantly influenced and inspired you and whom you'd like to acknowledge?
I come from a working-class family, and my mum didn't have a career, so I didn't find my role models at home. However, once I moved to London, it felt like a whole new world. Seeing successful women in finance drove me to push myself – I wanted to be successful too! 
However, my greatest inspiration by far is to working mum's. Until I had my son, who also has medical challenges, I never fully appreciated how tough it can be to be a working mum. I have such respect for mothers who want to keep the careers they fought so hard for – the dedication, the motivation and tenacity required to do both, in my eyes, is the very definition of inspirational.



The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not constitute advice or a recommendation. They do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Enness and are not intended to indicate any market or industry viewpoints, or those of other industry professionals.