Jeremy Rance has joined pensions and investment company NPI as HR director,
based in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Previously head of HR operations at Pearl
Assurance, he will be responsible for taking forward NPI’s people practices to
being them in line with new parent company the AMP Group.
What is the biggest challenge in your new job?
Helping NPI to change its culture from one that fits a mutual, where the
accountability is to policy holders, to one appropriate for an international
financial services company, where accountability is to shareholders.
The biggest challenge facing the HR profession?
Working with the business and helping it achieve bottom line results rather
than being an esoteric add-on.
The best thing about working in HR?
If you establish good relationships you can challenge the business about the
way things are done. You can suggest how to use HR to best effect.
And the worst?
The lack of self confidence. HR is a bit wussy about asserting its value to
business. We tend to talk ourselves down.
Your best career move (apart from this one)?
Joining Pearl Assurance when it was going through a period of huge change.
About 10 of us joined at the same time, so we were all in it together having to
learn very quickly. It was a terrific learning experience.
Your most embarrassing moment?
When I worked at NatWest a member of staff – who was a former page-three
model – fainted as I was walking past. I had to pick her up and carry her up
the stairs which the other staff found hugely entertaining. There were jokes
about her falling at my feet for weeks.
What are you most proud of?
My two children.
Your most prized possession?
Difficult choice between my car – an S-type silver Jaguar, and my motorbike
– a Honda CBR 600.
Describe a perfect Sunday
Going out in the morning for a blast on my motorbike, Sunday lunch with the
family, then watching Watford football club beat Chelsea – live – in the
What would your dream job be?
To take an existing operation and build it up and expand it into other
areas. Something like what Rupert Murdoch did by building his newspaper group
into a whole media empire.
Who do you admire?
Graham Taylor, manager of Watford Football Club, for coping with the flack
he got as England manager with dignity.
Who irritates you?
Tony Blair – he’s all rhetoric.