Konsileo Brokers: The Unlikely Duo Making Broking Even Better 

Meet Konsileo Brokers, Vic and Malini

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Konsileo Brokers: Meet our unlikely duo who are making broking even better 

Malini Gunawardena and Vic Hughes probably wouldn’t be bosom buddies in any other workplace or even walk of life – but with Konsileo they’ve found not only a special working partnership, but a special friendship, too.

Do you feel like you make an unlikely couple?  

“I can see why people think we’re an odd paring, yes,” says Vic. “I’m a big tattooed Millwall fan, and Malini is this small but fierce Sri Lankan grandmother. But somehow it just works.”

“I knew right from the start Vic was exactly what I needed,” adds Malini, “and working with him has been like a breath of fresh air.”

How did you two first meet as Konsileo Brokers?  

“I think we first met at BIBA after I’d just started with Konsileo,” says Vic. “I was still trying to figure out the whole thing, because it’s such a different way of working. There’s no line management, no hierarchy, and no one looking over your shoulder all the time. I saw Mailini, who’d been here a few years by that point, but didn’t really clock her until she called me up one day and demanded I start working with her on a motor case. That’s one of the things I like about her. She’s very clear about what she wants!”

“I’ve been in insurance for more than 30 years,” says Malini, “and I’m a great all-rounder. But one thing I’ve never much liked doing is motor and fleet. I’m so busy with my workload I wanted an expert to bring in to help me when that was part of a case. I put a shout out on our Konsileo chat, someone mentioned Vic as a handy guy for motor, and that was that.”

“That’s one of the great things about Konsileo,” Vic continues. “Doesn’t matter how obscure the risk is, you put a call out and someone will be able to help you. It’s the most supportive, collaborative place I’ve ever worked. You basically get to hand pick your own team. And Malini and I picked each other!”

How would you describe each other?  

“I’d describe Malini as amazing, passionate and professional,” says Vic. “I love that she’s so straight talking, and so knowledgeable. I think we’ve got a very similar work ethic, and she’s helped me branch out into new areas beyond motor. She’s incredibly generous with her time and her support. I’ve never met anyone like her. There IS no one else like Malini.”

“Vic is such a lovely man and such a great colleague,” responds Malini. “He is someone willing to work very hard, always ready to learn, and always available. I can discuss anything with him – now we are friends as well as colleagues. And I have never had a friend like Vic before, either.”

Why do you think your partnership works?  

“Honestly, it just does,” says Vic. “We don’t analyse it as much as everyone else does. It just is!”

“I think we are very good at being there for each other, and picking each other up when we are down,” says Malini. “That’s very important to have in your work and in your life. If it has been a hard day, if things have not gone well, Vic is the person I call for a bit of a boost.”

What sort of things do you work on together as Konsileo Brokers?

“I had one very tricky client recently who had had a horrible year, and required complex motor cover,” says Malini. “Vic was able to step in and find a market when I don’t think anyone else would have been able to.” 

Vic adds: “We’ve also worked on a property owners case recently – that was a good one – and I’ve picked up a whole new class of business. I never thought that’s the sort of thing I’d be doing when I started out. Malini’s clients are extremely loyal to Malini. Half of the battle is convincing them that if she trusts me, they can too!”

“It is also good to have someone who can pick things up for you while you are away,” says Malini. “If I am away Vic does that for me and vice versa.”

How often are you in touch?  

“Oh at least once a day, we’ll pick up the phone and have a chat. A lot of that’s about work but we’ve got a lot of other things in common too, so we’ve just become a sort of sounding board for each other,” says Vic.

What else do you have in common?  

“We’re both caring for elderly relatives – our mothers,” explains Malini. “And that’s a very hard thing to do, and not something everyone can understand or relate to.”

“In any other job I just wouldn’t have been able to be there for my mum like Konsileo has allowed me to do,” agrees Vic. “It’s so flexible, I’m able to pop round, sort her out, be there when she needs me.

“I’m also type 2 diabetic – and so is Malini’s husband. So we swap strategies for that, too. I’ve been on a huge health kick, losing about 5 stone so far. Again, that’s not something I’d have been able to do stuck in an office 9 to 5… And Malini has been there every step of the way cheering me on. That’s meant a lot to me.”

“Vic has done so well!” says Malini. “I cannot believe how much weight he has lost! And it is not an easy thing to do, either. I’m very proud of him.”

“The whole team has been behind me,” says Vic. “And my colleagues in the Kent Hub have been great. But they’re a bunch of lads, and while we’ve got great banter and they’d do anything for me I’m sure, Malini is the place I go for real support and a bit of sensitivity. She’s been like a matriarch figure, I suppose, and I didn’t know how much I needed that.”

What makes Konsileo special?  

“The people for sure,” says Vic. “While lots of us work remotely, it’s the least remote job I’ve ever done! You’re constantly in touch with people. I’ve got Malini, my coach, my buddy, the Kent Hub lot, and a whole bunch of others coming in and out for different bits and bobs.

“It’s also the way of working. I reckon people think I’m making it up when I say how great it is, how flexible, how supportive – but it really is the best place I’ve ever worked. It’s actually changed my life.”

“For me, too. I cannot believe I have wasted all of this time working at other places!” says Malini. “Places with more rules, more hours and less money. It’s an amazing set up and community. My children are jealous because working here, now I have the time I did not have when they were little. I can spend time with them, my mum, and my grandchildren. That is very special. This is the life I wanted.”

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