Andrew Brown shares his Meaning of Life Article icon


Andrew Brown, director of communications and public affairs at insurance group Ageas UK, conducts his personal stock take.

What was your childhood ambition?

To be a fireman. I now want to be a carpenter.

How did you get into corporate communications?

By accident. I started my career selling, moving and making steel (yes, really) but couldn’t hack shifts so some bright spark put me in the promotions team. The rest, as they say, is history.  

What do you love about it? 

Words matter. So does the truth. And purpose.  A well-run corp comms team should serve as a firm’s conscience. It’s a good place to be. 

What three qualities do you look for in recruits to your team? 

Only one thing, that they are (or have the potential to be) better than me.

Who has been your best advisor or mentor and why?   

I’ve been lucky to work for a number of inspirational individuals, including some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs.  You know who you are. And thank you again for your patience.

Which living person do you most admire?

At the moment, aside from my wife? David Wagner, manager of Huddersfield Town Football Club.

Do you possess any hidden talents?

I can turn wood.

If you could be a superhero just for one day, which one would you be?

Bananaman: like any good PR he was ‘ever alert for the call to action’

Outside work, what are you most passionate about?

Aside from family, Huddersfield Town is the love of my life. What they have achieved over the past two years is nothing short of a miracle

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

It would have to be universal access to clean water and sanitation. I’ve been a supporter of WaterAid for a long time. In the 21st century that people are still denied this should be beyond anyone’s comprehension

What would your perfect gadget or app do?

Accurately predict the next 24 hours.

If you could go back in time to any period of history, what would it be?

Rome – now, they knew how to throw a party ...

Who would be on your guest list for a fantasy dinner party?

I like a good debate so let’s go with Stalin and Trotsky, Margaret Thatcher and Neil Kinnock, Christopher Hitchens and St Anslem, and my late grandfather who taught me the art of contrary thinking (some may suggest too well).

And the meal?

Anything from The Gate restaurant in Hammersmith, with plenty of good red wine.