Monday, May 30, 2011

Carole Nash


Previous Life:
Laid-off receptionist

Lucky Break:
Was given a small portfolio of insurance policies as a severance package

Bottom Line:
Recently sold her insurance businesses for over $100M

At 42, this former receptionist was laid off by an American insurance firm based in the United Kingdom. Given a small portfolio of insurance policies on classic motorcycles as severance, she launched her own insurance consulting firm at her dining room table in the mid-1980s.

At the time, there were few insurance firms offering special policies for high-end motorcycles. As Nash set to work, she slowly discovered on untapped market. Over the next decade, she built Carole Nash Insurance Consultants into one of the United Kingdom's largest motorcycle insurance firms with more than 240,000 policyholders -- covering about a third of Britain's motorcycle owners and overseeing more than $100 million in premiums.

In 1999, Nash expanded into Ireland, opening up offices in Dublin. Over the years, she also broke into the classic car insurance market, along with a line of motorcycle security products.

Two years ago, Nash, a 66-year-old grandmother, sold the business to Groupama, a European Financial Services Group, for more than $100 million. "I am obviously sad to be retiring from a business that has been my life for the past 21 years," Nash said at the time. In recent years, she has appeared in rankings of the United Kingdom's wealthiest families.



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