After graduating from Lancaster University, James qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Ernst & Young in London. He joined Provident Insurance in October 2003 and became Finance Director in January 2007. In October 2008, James was appointed Managing Director and led the company through a process which ultimately resulted in its acquisition by the French mutual group, Covéa, in 2011.
In October 2012, Provident Insurance merged with MMA Insurance to create Covéa Insurance plc and James was appointed Chief Executive of the combined company. Three years later, he led the successful acquisition and integration of Sterling Insurance Group.
Covéa Insurance today provides motor, household, protection, pet and a range of commercial insurance products to over 2 million customers, through a range of distribution channels. Employing over 1,800 people, the company has a strong people and service ethos, having Investors In People Gold accreditation and World Class service accreditation from the Institute of Customer Service.
In 2018, Covéa Insurance was the recipient of the Personal Lines Insurer of the Year award at the British Insurance Awards, for the third consecutive year, and was the top rated insurer in the Insurance Times Broker Service Survey for both Personal and Commercial Lines.