I was brought up and educated in Scotland. Went to schools in Glasgow, Dumfries and Perth, graduated in 1980 from Business School in Aberdeen. Sept 1980 joined the Royal Bank of Canada in the City of London, after being introduced to various departments of the Bank i joined the Treasury Division and started trading the Foreign Exchange Markets. In 1984 became a Treasury Corporate Advisor to the Bank's multinational companies in London and Europe.
Summer 1985 moved to Credit Suisse London to head up the Treasury Corporate team, where I advised the Bank's Swiss companies and private clients and to expand the Multinational companies' relationships in London and Europe. My last International Banking position was with State Bank of Victoria (a small Australian Bank owned by the State), I moved there to head up a new division marketing the Treasury Department to the Banks throughout Europe and build up contact with Multinational Companies that had exposure with Australia. Unfortunately after being there for a year the Bank closed in 1990 due to bad loans to the Australian newspaper moguls. It was within a few months that we decided to move to Sarasota, as we had bought a condo on Siesta Key that summer.
In the Spring of 1984 I married my wife Alison, we now have three grown children, my daughter works in Manhattan, Stuart and Scott both work locally in Sarasota, (by the way if you are looking for a local Sarasota Realtor, contact Scott.) We moved to the US in August 1991 when the children were 6, 4 and 3. To be able to live here in 1992 I bought a retail and catalog business in Tampa that specialized in Teachers supplies. I had the business until 2000, after growing it from two to six retail stores, from six employees to fifty full & part time employees; expanding the business into the Parent market and reducing the catalog bid business.
In 2001 I obtained my Health and Life Insurance to be a Florida Agent. My intention was to help Parents obtain a loan for students going to University. I picked this field as Vicki was reaching that stage to look at Universities and we were wondering how to finance hers and the boys University educations.
Within weeks I determined that I was not happy with the Insurance company and teamed up with an Insurance classmate to work as an Independent agent for Aflac, offering voluntary benefits to employees. It is an area of Insurance that I still offer but with other carriers that provide a greater cash benefit when a claim is made.
It was through Aflac that I met up with my business partner, Brian Knauer of Florida Insurance Brokers, we teamed up in 2004 to market the new health plans that offered Health Savings Accounts. Business was very good with companies wanting to lower their premium costs and give their employees responsibility for their medical care and control costs. The last few years with the economy and the introduction of Obamacare our group business has suffered, due to less companies offering benefits, with Individuals being able to obtain subsidies on the Marketplace , and the Insurance carriers cutting commissions.
I have branched out offering more individual products, that are more often sought in Retirement and the years before, when retirement starts playing on our minds. This is a natural progression for me as I grow closer to that age along with our friends. It's never too late to do something but often best to do it earlier or when you can qualify. I have been fortunate to team up with a fantastic General Agency that: You're part of a team to "Be in Business for yourself, not by yourself." Their attention to detail is second to none. From the initial plan selection and illustration, to the end when the Policy is placed in your hands.