Introducing Alistair Danesh
We sat down with National Account Manager Alistair Danesh to find out more about his background and what he gets up to on a typical day at One Guarantee.
How long have you worked for One Guarantee?
I’ve worked for One Guarantee since the early days – I joined in 2019 but had a little involvement in the business prior to that.
Have you got any previous experience in the field?
In insurance... no! My background is actually in industrial economics and before I joined One Guarantee I was involved in economic research. However, I think my understanding of economic factors, competition and financial markets has given me an interesting take on not only insurance, but the approach I use when devising latent defects solutions.
What are your favourite aspects of your role?
I love the physical nature of Latent Defects Insurance. Being able to see a project all the way through to the end, from discussing schemes with clients – sometimes even before planning or funding is in place – to completion is a great feeling. This is particularly true of residential schemes where a new homeowner eventually moves into a home that we had discussed with the developer years earlier!
What does a typical day look like for you?
I like to start my day early. When working from home, I like to go for an early walk to replicate the commute I’m missing out on, which gives me a chance to mentally prepare for the day. I tend to block out my day the evening before, scheduling staff team calls and anything urgent for first thing in the morning. I try to leave mid-late mornings as open as possible as I spend a lot of time on the phone and this is when I take the most calls.
A lunchtime walk breaks up the day, with something quick and healthy to eat (and a speedy workout if I have time). I usually try to set up my meetings straight after lunch, which leaves the mid afternoon for any projects I’m working on or anything ad-hoc that may come in.
Towards the end of the day I like to touch base with colleagues and clients to discuss anything pressing, catch up on work progress or flag up anything urgent for the following day. After work, I tend to replicate the commute home with another walk.
What are your clients’ biggest challenges?
Our clients face a lot of challenges. The supply of materials and labour is currently the main difficulty – and its knock-on effect on prices. Asides from this, planning is particularly difficult for many of our clients at present.
How has the team managed remote/hybrid working over the past two years?
Luckily, working from home has had very little impact on our ways of working. We meet 3 times a week virtually and have regular calls throughout the day. More recently, hybrid working has been welcomed by most of the team as it brings variety to the working week.
Have you done any training to maintain your levels of service and knowledge?
I attend a lot of conferences and webinars both on construction and insurance and am currently pursuing my Certificate in Insurance. Presenting new ideas and promoting training among the team is also important to us.
Looking ahead, do you think there will be any big changes to the construction industry?
There’s clearly a lot of shifts in the demand and supply of housing in the UK, and One Guarantee works hard to innovate ahead-of-the-curve solutions for this. The build-to-rent sector and building on brownfield are two particularly exciting areas for which we have specialist solutions.
Outside of this, I see more innovative schemes and technologies being rolled out at an increasing rate. This includes behind-the-scenes technologies such as Blockchain as well as more sustainable building methods and ‘smart cities’ – innovations that are all very welcome!
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I love to cook (and eat!). I also really enjoy working out, and every evening usually involves running, cycling or Muay Thai training.