HI Profile: Healix's Richard Saunders

The healthcare trust provider's sales director outlines his plans

As more employers consider moving to corporate healthcare trusts, Health Insurance editor David Sawers meets the sales director of a specialist provider and discovers an organisation that offers much more than just that

“The question is,” Richard Saunders tells me as we stand in the middle of Healix’s impressive new HQ in Esher, Surrey, “‘is this place big enough?’”

It’s a question which seems to sum his company up. Some Health Insurance readers may very well not be too aware of Healix. After all, it’s not the biggest brand in the market. But its reach across various strands of the healthcare and insurance sectors – as well as travel, medical repatriation and other industries – is far greater than many would imagine.

And, by the look of its new offices, it is clear that the organisation is not going to hide its light under a bushel any longer. But, how did Saunders, who spent 12 years working as a corporate health adviser, find himself at Healix? In any case, what does Healix actually do?

THE MOVE TO HEALIX

After spells at NatWest Insurance Services and then Marsh & McLennan and then Medisure, the provider of corporate self-funded healthcare schemes, Saunders spent time in a business development role at Gissings Advisory Services, the employee benefits consultancy now known as Enrich. It was a role he enjoyed.

“Gissings was a great company,” he explains. “I got very good training, lots of support and the opportunities were there. It was a very good name in the City as well and I was enjoying myself.”

It was during his time at Gissings that Saunders came to know Healix. Founded in 1992 by Dr Peter Mason and Dr Paul Beven, two clinicians who still own the company, Healix initially offered medical repatriation services. Since then, it has grown to offer a range of services, from claims management to wholesale insurance broking and from medical risk assessments to self-funded corporate healthcare trusts. During his time at Gissings, Saunders had worked closely with Healix and he says he was both delighted and excited to receive a telephone call asking him if he would be interested in joining the organisation.

“The opportunity to go and set up the new business sales and marketing function of the company was a great one,” he says. “It was one of those things where, even though I was very happy at Gissings, you don’t get those opportunities that often.”

Until Saunders joined, most of the growth that Healix was enjoying was organic, coming from existing clients. Saunders was given the remit of taking the organisation to the next level.

INSURERS AND INTERMEDIARIES

Health Insurance readers that are familiar with Healix will most likely know it as a provider of self-funded corporate healthcare trusts, the popular alternative for companies of a certain scale looking for more flexibility and to make savings on traditional private medical insurance (PMI).

What they may not know is that Healix also carries out some key functions for both domestic and international PMI providers.

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