key members of HCB’s team
Over the years I believe that we have put together a client-focussed team of truly outstanding individuals. Everyone from our board of directors, our medical & nursing practitioners, consultants to our head office staff is dedicated to providing first class support and advice for all of our clients"
Jim Harris Chairman & Managing Director HCB Group
Jim has worked in the Protection Industry in the UK and Ireland since 1984, when he established a small company providing services to Income Protection Insurers to help validate the then growing number of claims. In 1993, in partnership with a leading international re-insurer, Jim set up the Health Claims Bureau (now HCB Group), which pioneered the concept of Early Intervention as a management tool for Income Protection Claims Managers. HCB Group is now partly owned by Professional Disability Associates, based in Portland, Maine, USA.
Over the years HCB Group, using its national networks of Nurses, has developed a suite of Employee Health Management services which are now provided to Employers as well as Insurers, with a clear focus on enabling optimum return to work for absentees and disability insurance claimants, particularly in cases of subjective or self reported illness, (such as stress or anxiety).
HCB Group also provides a full outsourcing service for the management of closed books or self-insured insurance schemes, and are specialists in the assessment of applications for Ill Health Early Retirement under pension schemes. Jim is a member of the UK’s Income Protection Task Force.
Professor Sir Mansel Aylward
Professor Sir Mansel Aylward CB MD FRCP FFOM FFPM is Director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research at Cardiff University which offers a unique opportunity to extend knowledge and understanding of the psychosocial, economic and cultural factors that influence health, illness, recovery, rehabilitation and reintegration. He is also the first-ever Chair of Public Health Wales – a new unified NHS Trust responsible for the delivery of public health services at national, local and community level in Wales. He was Chair of the Wales Centre for Health, an Assembly Government Sponsored Body established to be the ‘hub of connected organisations’ and to communicate better health messages to the people of Wales.
In October 2007 Professor Sir Mansel Aylward, in his capacity as Chair of the Wales Centre for Health, was asked by Edwina Hart, Minister for Health and Social Services to undertake a review of Health Commission Wales’ functions, including its decision-making processes and appeals mechanism. Under this arrangement, a report on key findings and advice (including the making of recommendations) was provided to the Minister in June 2008. Professor Sir Mansel Aylward was also asked to advise the Minister on the healthcare provision in Merthyr Tydfil and surrounding areas. In December 2008, during the 60th year of the NHS, the Minister asked Professor Sir Aylward to head the membership of a new independent group, the Bevan Commission, to help ensure that changes in the NHS structures set Wales on the path to a world-class health care system. In 2005 he was elected to the new Queen’s Birthday Honours Committee, designed to make the system more transparent. In September 2008 he was formally re-appointed for a further 3 years. He is also Patron of The Shaw Trust which provides training and work opportunities for people disadvantaged in the labour market due to disability, ill health, or other social circumstances.
From 1996 to April 2005 he was Chief Medical Adviser, Medical Director and Chief Scientist to the UK’s Department for Work and Pensions. He was also Chief Medical Adviser and Head of Profession at the Veterans’ Agency, Ministry of Defence. In 2001 he was appointed as The Royal Society of Medicine’s Academic Sub Dean for Wales. He was knighted in the Queen’s New Years Honours 2010 for services to healthcare.
Eoin Byrne B.Comm (IRL)
Eoin, a Commerce graduate from University College Dublin, has over 30 years experience in the Financial Service Industry. During his career with Norwich Union and Hibernian Groups he operated at Director level, until his retirement in 2005. His responsibilities included all Operational Divisions with specialisms in Business, IT and Process Solutions and Implementation, Legal and Compliance, Underwriting and Claims. He served on many Industry panels and Boards including panels in the Irish Insurance Federation and the Insurance Ombudsman Board. He joined HCB Group in 2007 and was appointed to the Board in 2008.
Al Hemond BSc MBA (USA)
Al is a recognised expert and world leader in disability claims management. He has a degree in mathematics from Boston College and an MBA from the Whittemore School at the University of New Hampshire.. Al worked for Unum for 23 years in a variety of capacities, including two years in the UK, followed by two years managing a private consulting firm specialising in disability insurance. Al has an extensive background in executive leadership at multiple companies, most recently as Senior Vice President managing a large disability claim organisation. Al brings a wealth of international expertise to the Board.
Kevin directs the Marketing and Product Development activities for PDA. Kevin has worked in the insurance industry for over 30 years. He has held a variety of positions in underwriting and claims. Most recently Kevin was Senior Vice President, Risk and Account Management with Gen Re in Portland, Maine. Kevin is a graduate of Colby College with a degree in Administrative Science.
Our partnership with Professional Disability Associates (PDA) gives us two of the most respected individuals in disability insurance in North America. PDA is headquartered in Portland, Maine, a city which has been referred to as the “disability insurance capital of the world”. The organisation’s location provides direct access to some of the most highly trained disability professionals the industry has to offer
Our field-based nurse case managers cover the UK & Ireland providing telephone and face-to-face support to employers and individuals. HCB Group's medical supervisory team, alongside our head office staff, assist the nurse case manager's, our clients and individuals with their clinical assessment reports and return to work programmes.
Karen has over 35 years of experience in the employee benefit sector. This includes dealing with all aspects of morbidity and mortality; income protection, group life assurance, medical insurance and absence management. Karen’s career started at Canada Life followed by PPP. In 1992 she was part of the new healthcare practice set up by Noble Lowndes (subsequently Mercers) and in 1998 she transferred to Lowndes Lambert (subsequently Heath Lambert and most recently Gallagher) where she ran the Wellness4Work section of the Employee Benefits division. Karen has provided employee health risk consulting to a range of private and public sector clients and in 2009 was recognised by her peers as one of Health Insurance Magazines 50 movers and shakers. She has won several awards for her innovative solutions to health related issues. Karen Joined HCB Group as Head of Retail to work on enhancing HCB’s absence management for employers service supporting the HCB Group directors in widening and strengthening the client base.
John Gillman LLB Hons ACII FRSA
John has a background in benefit consulting, working with employers and others to make it easier for people who have had to leave the workplace to return safely and effectively. He has specialised in absence due primarily to disability, accident and sickness, whether related to physical or mental health.
At the moment he is also actively involved with a number of charities, helping them to engage more effectively with the insurance industry for the mutual benefit of both.
He holds a qualifying law degree (LLB Hons), has High Court expert witness experience and is a Chartered Insurance Practitioner (ACII qualified). Other interests include membership of several practitioner teams at the Investment & Life Assurance Group along with Fellowship of the Royal Society of Arts.
Mike has over 30 years experience in the Financial Services Industry. During his career he has enjoyed management roles in Sales and Marketing, Product and IT Development. Mike joined HCB Group in 2002 and has been involved in our claims management service, predominantly in the Income Protection market with a special interest in early intervention and rehabilitation.
Mark spent 10 years as a Medical Underwriter at Confederation Life before setting up, developing and managing a specialist Claims Department to handle the assessment of IP, GIP & contentious Death claims. He was also responsible for a Pensions Department for both Individual & Group pensions. In 1995 Mark joined Sun Life of Canada as Client Service Director. He had responsibility for 350 staff located in 44 sales offices providing administrative support & compliance checking for the direct sales force. Mark then joined HCB Group to handle Claim visits before becoming lead contract assessor for IP, GIP, TPD, CI, Death & Waiver claims
Peter Le Beau MBE FCII
Peter is one of the best-known consultants in the life and health insurance sector. He began his career at Commercial Union (now Aviva), moved to British and European and latterly went to Swiss Re, where he was initially head of underwriting and later became head of UK marketing. He left in 2001 to set up an independent consultancy, Le Beau Visage, which focuses on differentiation in the protection sector. Since starting Le Beau Visage, he has regularly co-authored the Protection Review and the Redmayne Report on Reassurance. He runs a strategic discussion group called The-Net-Work and, in 2005, he set up the Income Protection (IP) Task Force with Clive Waller to promote greater awareness of the value of the product. The task force produced a White Paper on IP in 2006. Peter is a non-executive director of several companies and he is a passionate believer in the value of protection.
Phil’s background is in Telecoms, IT and for the last 18 years in Corporate & Employee Benefits working with organisations small and large. He has extensive knowledge of employee benefits insured and non-insured group risk & healthcare. In his career he has been involved in some significant projects including the roll out of the Cellnet cellular network, systems upgrades for a large national IFA, as well as website design and content for HCB Group.