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Public Affairs Adviser Tanisha Aggarwal blogs on shaping the future, and what #OneABI means to her…

Tell us about your role at the ABI – what do you do and why?

When I joined the ABI two years ago I worked in the General Insurance Policy Directorate, across lots of interesting product lines such as health, property, travel and motor. I then moved across to the Public Affairs team where I currently work on Brexit. Our role is to help to raise issues affecting the insurance industry upon the UK’s exit from the EU with Parliamentarians. There are several elements to my job, such as monitoring the withdrawal process to see how it affects our members and I spend a lot of time working with colleagues from across the ABI, translating complex policy ideas into messages that have the power to influence the debate on Brexit. I’ve had quite a few successes, which I’m proud of, and it’s nice to think that the work we do is helping to shape the debate on such a politically significant part of our history.

What’s been your highlight and what’s been your most challenging moment?

One of the most challenging parts of my job in Public Affairs was understanding the complex legal language in the mammoth European Union (Withdrawal) Bill. Having not worked on legislation before, it felt like I was reading a different language altogether. I soon got my head around it and have somehow established a reputation as the ‘Queen of delegated legislation’ within my team. Not a title I ever expected to have.

A highlight of my role is being considered a trusted source of knowledge on the Bill. We have briefed over 400 MPs and Peers on certain technical aspects of the Bill and its impact on insurance. This had lead to several ABI mentions in the Bill debate, which is hard to achieve when you have hundreds of other organisations fighting to be heard on Brexit.  

Where did you work before, how and why did you come to join the ABI?

I used to work for the Lord Mayor’s office (different to the Mayor of London!) where I worked on the international engagement programme to promote the UK’s financial services sector globally. Working in the job, I developed a good understanding of the sector overall but I really wanted to specialise in an area of financial services to pursue a career in policy. The ABI was able to offer me that room for development, despite not knowing much about insurance when I first joined.

What’s the best thing about working here?

My friends! I love the people I work with and I’ve made so many life-long friends here.

As an organisation we are also committed to hosting plenty of staff events. I’m a member of the very active Sports and Social Committee, which means I get lobbied a lot by colleagues who always want insider information on the next party.

What surprised you most about working here?

I remember being very nervous about the work environment a few days before I started at the ABI. I’m embarrassed to say it now, but I imagined I would be working quite a lot of boring people who had no social skills. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The ABI has certainly set a high standard for what I expect in a workplace environment.

Describe your team in three words.

Opinionated political junkies.

What does #OneABI mean to you?

It’s a hard sentiment to describe. Teamwork is certainly a key part of #OneABI. I tend to think of unity and that we're all working towards the same goals.

If you weren’t working at the ABI, what would be your second career?

I really want to be a luxury holiday tester. It’s pretty niche.  What I lack for in professional experience, I would make up for in enthusiasm.

Interested in joining the team? Find out more about our current vacancies and apply now.

Last updated 02/08/2018