27 July 2020


Director of Underwriting & Claims Strategy will hand over formal responsibilities at the end of this month. 

Julie Hopkins, Guardian’s Director of Claims & Underwriting Strategy, will be giving up her strategic responsibilities on 31 July 2020, as she celebrates her 50th year in the life insurance industry. 

With a long and distinguished career within reinsurance and protection, including over 25 years at Hannover Re and 5 years as a consultant; for the last 4 years, Julie has been central to bringing challenger, Guardian, to market. She worked to set up the firm’s reinsurance relationships, designed its underwriting and claims philosophy, and helped build the core of its innovative product. 

With a strong belief that the role of a challenger is to push boundaries, at Guardian, she helped create a proposition renowned for simple definitions, broader coverage and a more future proofed approach, enabling the company to better navigate the fast-moving world of medical advancements. 

Throughout her career she’s been committed to extending the valuable benefits of protection insurance to as many people as possible. Her underwriting philosophy is to be fair – and give everyone the chance of getting cover. For claims, she believes in a bespoke model that best fits the needs of the claimant. This concept underpins the challenger’s claims support offer, HALO. 

Having been instrumental in Guardian’s successful launch, Julie is also responsible for our bespoke underwriting rules engine, and more recently, navigated Guardian’s underwriting team through the unprecedented shock of Covid-19. She leaves behind strong and experienced underwriting and claims teams and will hand over her formal ExCo responsibilities at the end of this month to Duncan Mosely, Guardian’s Chief Operating Officer. Julie remains available to her successors on an advisory basis until 15 October when she will leave the business. 

Katya MacLean, Guardian CEO said: “Anyone who knows Julie knows that insurance is her passion. As she’d say herself, it’s not just a job. We’ve been so lucky to have had access to her skills and talent for so long at this stage of her career. She’s been an incredible part of our journey and an inspiration to everyone who works here. She leaves behind fantastic underwriting and claims teams, who will build on her successes, but she’ll be sorely missed by us all. We wish her well for her retirement.” 

Julie Hopkins, Guardian’s outgoing Director of Underwriting and Claims Strategy, said: “Who can believe that when I started my career at Guardian in 1970 that I’d be finishing it 50 years later at the same company! Needless to say, it’s been a blast! I can only think I’ve lasted this long because I’m passionate about doing the right thing and I value what we do. My focus has always been on how to make things better for the customer, so when Guardian came along (again) – with its clear commitment to doing the right thing – I jumped at the chance to be part of this exciting challenger. It felt like the right culmination of my life’s work. 

“While I’ll obviously miss everyone, I leave the team in great hands.” 

-Release ends- 

Notes to editors:

Press enquiries to Natalie Robinson, 07789 501146,

Guardian Financial Services is an appointed representative of Scottish Friendly
All products are provided by Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited (SFA) and we have an agreement with them to underwrite and issue the protection policies we distribute through the UK intermediary channel. As an appointed representative of Scottish Friendly Assurance Society Limited, Guardian Financial Services Limited is the market-facing brand under which we promote our proposition and engage with advisers. 

Background to Guardian Financial Services, owned by Gryphon Group Holdings
Guardian, the new life and protection insurance business, launched in 2018 and pledged to grow the protection market. The brand promise of ‘Life. Made Better.’ reflects the company’s commitment to rethink and reinvent protection for the better; making sure customers get cover that’s easier to understand, simple to buy and designed to never let them down. 

Guardian’s business partners
Gryphon Group Holdings is majority owned by Punter Southall Group as the largest equity capital investor. Its back-end technology partner is Liss Systems, the UK arm of Nasdaq-listed EXL. Its front-end technology, branding and marketing partner is Space, UK based financial services specialists. Risk partners are Hannover Re and Gen Re.