The people behind Davies: Interview with Richard Wakeham, Head of Private Clients

5th October 2022

Tell us about your role and how you got to where you are today?

I started my adjusting career in 1997, having qualified as a rural surveyor and land agent, I joined a firm of specialist agricultural adjusters for 20 years – and was delighted for the opportunity to start, develop, and run a high-net-worth area of the business.

In January 2020, I joined Davies to enhance & run its high net worth & private clients world, both with existing clients and new MGA’s, insurers, and brokers.

With a high-net-worth customer, we process claims for large sums insured on contents, more than £150,000, and generally building sums insured in excess of £1 million. Our high-net-worth customers often have fine art, antiques, and jewellery insured. My team & I; therefore, have deep knowledge of these types of items and a network of contacts that we can reach out to following a loss to ensure the best possible claim experience for the customer whilst protecting claims costs.


What do you find most interesting about your role?

The most interesting part of my role is meeting & engaging with people. I don’t think you would be a loss adjuster if you didn’t enjoy engaging with and handling people. It is fun but can also be very challenging, particularly in the private clients sector where we deal with powerful and well-known people. Whether they expect it or not, they deserve an efficient & high-quality service, which is what we look to give them.


What do you see as the biggest challenge in the industry across the UK and Ireland for the next year? 

The biggest challenge is amalgamation in the market, as organisations in our insurance industry are growing. It is crucial that customer service levels do not drop, and that we service people in the manner they expect. With size comes additional resource, but also communication challenges and challenges with process, and structure.


What are 3 key things you have learnt during your career?

  1. Be nice to people. It is a small world, and you never know where you will see them next.
  2. Professionalism is key. It is important to go through exams, whether it helps you do your job properly or not – it enhances your reputation and shows people you are committed to doing your best for every client.
  3. The third one is organisation. As a loss adjuster, you must have excellent organisational skills, liaising with all parties to service a job properly, especially during periods of surge.


What are some of the most interesting cases you have worked on?

One of the first claims I dealt with was a horse that allegedly had been stolen. I used to be a jockey, so I know a little about the horse world. With my background, I was able to make the correct & thorough inquiries, which is all part of being organised. I illustrated that the animal had not been stolen, the owner had lied and was also having an affair with the alleged ‘purchaser’, which resulted in a divorce. You end up in all sorts of situations, so you must have an open mind, be objective and not draw conclusions.


You used to be a jockey?

I was an amateur jockey and have a decent knowledge of the equine world. I rode against AP McCoy once in a hurdle race at Haydock and came fourth.  He was the winning most jockey of all time and I beat him because his horse burst a blood vessel and had to be pulled up..!  (The horse was OK..)


What advice would you give to someone who is starting out in the industry?

I would suggest they get as varied of an experience as possible and make the most of available training programmes. Complete your professional exams quickly. I became a charted surveyor, insurer, and loss adjuster and I am so glad I did, as it opened doors to some fantastic opportunities. The environment we have been in for two or three years, where most of us work remotely, has not helped young people setting out, as asking questions to colleagues about technical situations is such an important part of the learning journey.  So, if ever in doubt, make sure you ask.

To find out more about the services we offer Private Clients, get in contact with our Head of Private Clients, Richard Wakeham at

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