Our executive team

Brief biographies and roles of our executive team members are shown here, with details of our broader senior management team available on our website.


John Bissell, Chief Operating Officer- John has 30 years’ experience in the insurance profession including strategy, underwriting, marketing, development and operations leadership, often with an international component. During his career he has worked at a senior level at an insurer, intermediary, service provider and standards body. He joined the CII in January 2017. He is responsible for the day-to-day operation of the organisation; the creation and delivery of the operations strategy and policies; aligning workforce capabilities with the operating model; and ensuring effective financial management, budgeting and planning processes.




Melissa Collett, Professional Standards Director- Melissa has more than 20 years’ experience in consumer insurance and legal issues. She spent more than a decade at the Financial Ombudsman Service, was a director at Fairer Finance and sits as a Tribunal Judge. She is also a qualified solicitor and specialised in insurance law at Hogan Lovells. Melissa joined the CII in September 2017 to lead our professional standards, ethics and conduct activity. She is also responsible for risk management, disciplinary matters, governance, and Chartered standards.




David Thompson, International Director- David was appointed the international director of the CII in October 2018. He is based in Dubai UAE and is responsible for the development of the organisation outside of the UK. David has more than 34 years’ experience within the insurance industry, he is fully equipped with commercial awareness and product knowledge, strong leadership and people skills combined with the ability to work collaboratively and effectively across a wide range of client and stakeholder arenas. He has managed sales teams globally to meet business objectives through large corporates with large customer bases. During his long career he has been a constant advocate for qualifications, has a passion to build public trust in insurance and has been a massive supporter of the CII since taking his first insurance qualification in 1990.



Keith Richards, Managing Director of Engagement and CEO of the Personal Finance Society- Keith has more than 30 years’ experience operating at executive level across both manufacturing and distribution. He was appointed chief executive of the PFS in May 2013 and additionally appointed managing director of engagement for the CII on 1 August 2016. His role is to improve engagement with members, government, regulators and consumer groups.





Gill White, Learning and Assessment Director- Gill joined in January 2020. Her remit is to take the learning content forwards so it is future fit to meet the profession’s needs in an ever-changing world of work. Previously Gill was Business and Markets Development Director for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), where her role covered all commercial enterprises, business development, learning content and international areas. Prior to working for the CIPD, Gill held a variety of Head of Learning & Development roles at Vodafone, Xchanging and SSP. Gill holds the prestigious Chartered Director status, one of only 1,000 in the UK; a Master’s programme delivered and awarded by the Institute of Directors. She is also a Fellow of both the Institute of Directors and CIPD.




Sian Fisher, CEO- Sian has held senior roles at a Lloyd’s Syndicate, a UK and European insurance company, a startup intermediary, a market-leading MGA, a major international broker and a US corporate. She was a founder and original board director of the Managing General Agents’ Association and has held senior positions with both the CII and the Insurance Institute of London. She is a graduate of Oxford University, has her ACII, and an executive MBA from Harvard. In February 2016, she joined the CII as chief executive officer, responsible for the implementation of its strategy.




Steve Jenkins, Development Director- Steve has more than 35 years’ experience in financial services and is a Chartered Insurance Practitioner. Much of his early career was spent working in various roles in the AXA Group, latterly as head of bancassurance. Steve joined the CII in 2006 with a brief to lead its corporate and market relationships. He was instrumental in building the CII’s international presence working with employers, local regulators and training providers, and more recently, played a key role in the review of Corporate Chartered status. Steve now has responsibility for the CII’s UK commercial activity and sits on the Confederation of British Industry’s London Regional Council.



Ian Simons, Marketing Director- Ian is responsible for marketing and proposition for the CII group. Ian originally qualified as an underwriter with RSA, before moving to Zurich and requalifying in marketing. After a short period in investment banking, Ian came back to the insurance profession, heading up market development at QBE before returning to RSA to head up UK commercial marketing and finally as group head of social media.