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Meet The Team

Chris Caunce ACII


Chris will celebrate 40 years as an Insurance Broker next year. He worked for several independent and international broker plc’s, before leaving in 1995 to set up Caunce O’Hara with Martin. He cherishes his client relationships and still has clients from before the company was founded, with relationships going back over 30 years.

Chris is an ACII qualified Chartered Insurance Broker. He still retains the enthusiasm for insurance broking and this is instilled throughout the firm. Whilst there is much complacency in our industry, as a company we pride ourselves on showing more care, nous and enthusiasm than our competitors. Chris is happiest finding innovative solutions to our clients’ insurance problems, particularly complex risks.

At home, he has three fantastic boys aged 18,17 and 8.  He plays golf, but following Rugby (he is Vice President of Sale Rugby Club) and Fly fishing are his real passions, when leisure time allows.

Contact: [email protected]

Martin O’Hara ACII


Martin started his insurance career holding Senior Management roles at Creamer Group and Chartwell Independent Insurance Brokers, before leaving in 1995 to form Caunce O’Hara with Chris.

Martin is an ACII qualified Chartered Insurance Broker and, aside from servicing clients, enjoys socialising on the golf course.

Contact: [email protected]

Andrew Wells ACII


Andy’s career in insurance began in 2010 when he left university and joined a graduate scheme at an independent broker, never looking back.  After originally joining the COHIBL team in 2013 as an Account Handler within the Corporate Team, Andy achieved his ACII qualification and held roles of Account Executive, Sales Director and Commercial Director.

Andy is now proud to be a part owner of the business which he loves and feels so passionately about.  He believes that all of our clients deserve to receive a customer focused broking experience.  Andy has a passion for developing team members, whether that be through support with professional studies, or providing new opportunities for growth.

Outside of the office, Andy’s kept busy by his two little boys and loves spending as much time with them as possible.  He loves good food and enjoys meals out with his wife and occasional weekend escapes.  Andy has a mild obsession with anything petrol powered so can usually be found cleaning his car at the weekends. Previously a competitive swimmer and martial artist, Andy still trains regularly now and finds it a good way to escape from a busy corporate life.

Contact: [email protected]

Ben Leeson


Ben has held many roles at COHIBL since he initially joined over 15 years ago, and currently sits on our board of directors. Along with Andy, Ben is responsible for determining the businesses objectives, its people, and the management of some of our complex commercial clients.

Ben’s insurance expertise falls within financial risks – professional indemnity, commercial crime, and cyber liability insurances. He has a proven track record in overseeing business operations, process optimisation, leadership, and delivering strategic objectives.

In his down time, you’ll find Ben at a football ground somewhere in the UK or Europe following Manchester United, riding his motorbike in the Peak/Lake District, or at home enjoying time with his family.

Contact: [email protected]

Michelle Haigh ACII

Broking Manager

Michelle’s insurance career began back in 2005 as a receptionist, quickly moving into an Account Handler position, before joining COHIBL in September 2015.  Since then she has worked her way up into the senior management team.

Michelle is ACII qualified and has recently graduated on a 2-year Leadership course. Michelle’s main areas of expertise include maintaining market leading relationships with our key insurer partners, managing the COHIBL broking team, and looking after a substantial book of clients.

In her own time Michelle loves travelling to far flung destinations, practising Pilates, reading a good book, and enjoying Manchester food and night life.

Contact: [email protected]

Richard Holden

Finance Manager

Richard has been in charge of the finances at COH for well over 20 years now.  He also endeavours to keep a firm but fair grip on most of the company’s staffing matters, whether that be organising company trips away, or looking after the wages.

Rich plays some bad social golf in his spare time, whilst looking after his peers in their long standing golf society.  He’s a lifelong Manchester blue, and a follower of most sports.

His family life is at the centre of everything, however his two children are now not children, so social life around Hale and Altrincham has once again managed to flourish in recent years. Travelling and holidays are also high on the agenda wherever possible, as well as being a bit of a ‘foodie’.

Contact: [email protected]

Jonathan Green Dip CII

Account Executive

Jon is an Account Executive within our Corporate Broking Team. Jon’s insurance career began following his college education in Business Studies. He joined COHIBL in August 2012 within our Account Handling team and has worked his way up to an Account Executive role in 2016.

Jon currently holds a Diploma in Insurance with the Chartered Insurance Institute and is working his way to becoming an ACII Chartered Insurance Practitioner. Jon’s main areas of expertise include client management and insurer market management. His main goal is seeking the very best insurance solutions for our clients.

Personally, Jon loves family weekends with his wife and son, is a social golfer, and has a keen interest in a certain Manchester based football club.

Contact: [email protected]

Gordon Shanks

Account Executive

Gordon is one of our Account Executives within the Corporate Broking Team and joined COHIBL in 2013.  Having worked in the industry for over 35 years, he is one of our most experienced members of the team, dealing with clients of all sizes in a wide variety of trades and industries.

Gordon has his hands full at home with two lively dogs and loves taking them on long countryside walks.  He also has a keen interest in one of the North Easts premier football teams – of the black and white variety!

Contact: [email protected]

Nick Motby

Account Executive

Nick’s insurance career began working for an insurance company where he spent 10 years working as an underwriter. He then came over to the dark side of broking, where he has worked up the ranks to become an Account Executive. Nick has been in the role of Account Executive for over 15 years now and joined COHIBL in November 2018.

Nick lives and breathes insurance and prides himself on being client orientated.  He thrives on finding solutions when presented with challenges.  Nothing is too much trouble!

Outside of work, Nick enjoys all manner of sports, including football and golf.  Nick is also a Level 3 qualified PT and loves nothing more than keeping fit.  Nick is a family man at heart and, when he is not being active, he loves spending time relaxing with his loved ones.  He particularly loves long walks in the country with his Beagle ‘Vinny’.

Contact: [email protected]

Nigel Johnson

Account Executive

Nigel has been a part of our team since 2014 and currently woks as an Account Executive having previously worked as an Account Handler. Nigel specialises in the intricate domain of insurance that is the umbrella industry with years of experience providing comprehensive knowledge, insight and ability to navigate this complex and unique field.

Outside of the office, Nigel enjoys a well-rounded life which includes time in the gym, on the football pitch or spending time with his partner and family.

Contact: [email protected]

Melanie Miller

Development Executive

Mel has completed and gained her Cert CII and is now studying towards her Diploma in Insurance. She works with new ventures, SMEs, and Corporate businesses, helping her clients by navigating the insurance marketplace, advising on insurance policies, negotiating premiums, and delivering tailored programmes that protect their business.

Outside of work, Mel absolutely loves to travel, is a huge animal and nature lover, and enjoys being pampered (Spa days, massages, facials, etc). She is also an avid hiker and foodie, who loves to cook and try lots of new foods and restaurants.

Contact: [email protected]

Diane Bradford

Claims & Compliance Manager

Diane’s career in insurance began in 1981 and she worked at various independent insurance brokers, initially on the broking side, before deciding she much preferred dealing with claims.  Diane joined COHIBL in 2004 as the Claims Manager and, as she has a keen interest in compliance, that responsibility was added to her role approximately 10 years ago.

The most enjoyable part of the job for Diane is being able to help clients through their claims journey, to arrive at a satisfactory outcome.  Her technical knowledge is invaluable and she is always ready to assist less experienced members of the team, or join in a lively discussion about policy cover.

Personally, Diane loves family weekends with her daughters and grandchildren, seeing friends and, when time allows, her arty hobbies for relaxation.

Contact: [email protected]

Steve Haines FPA Member NEBOSH Cert

Risk Manager

Steve has over 35 years’ experience as a surveyor, risk surveyor and risk management expert.  He joined COHIBL in 2010, when the opportunity arose to create a niche risk management service within the business.

Since then, Steve has developed his expertise as a problem-solving trouble-shooter on all things risk management, building a close working relationship with clients, and essentially embedding himself within their team. Whether undertaking fire risk assessment work, or building a health and safety management system including delivering training to company employees, Steve enjoys always adding value for the client.

Personally, Steve enjoys supporting Hydefundraisers who have been raising money for worthy causes since 1985 with costumed character appearances, spending time with his partner visiting places of interest, and keeping up with his grown-up sons.

Contact: [email protected]

Debra Wallace

Commercial Team Leader

Debra has over 25 years of experience working in the insurance industry.  Her career started in 1998 in what was supposed to be a short-term position, but she enjoyed it enough to make it her full-time career.  Debra started at COHIBL in March 2012, where she joined the newly formed Commercial Team, which has grown significantly over the last 11 years.

As Commercial Team Leader, Debra ensures that the team offer an excellent, professional customer service to all of their clients, which is substantiated by the loyal customer base they have retained.  In 2023, Debra was recognised at BIBA for a Broker Service Champion award, something she was nominated for due to her commitment to her team and dedication to the company.

In Debra’s spare time she enjoys spending time with her family (although not so much standing on the football side-lines on a Saturday morning watching her 12-year old football mad son, but don’t tell him that!).  She also enjoys catching up with friends.

Contact: [email protected]

George Bentham

Head of Employee Benefits

George is our Head of Employee Benefits, bringing a unique perspective to the realm of insurance and workplace wellbeing. His journey began in the marketing world, striving to make a meaningful impact before venturing into the insurance and benefits industry.

Driven by a passion for merging marketing, communications, and well-being, he has a focus to create comprehensive solutions benefiting diverse workforces and society at large.

In his home life, George spends time with his family and dogs, being outdoors or cooking.

Contact: [email protected]

Trish Hursthouse

Head of Telemarketing

Trish joined us in April 2023, bringing with her over twenty years of experience in the Telemarketing industry, with the last five being in the Employee Benefits sector. Facing the daily challenges of using her powers of persuasion and educating companies in the importance of rewarding their staff with Employee Benefits, whilst promoting our General Insurance Policies to a wide range of industries.

Trish likes to keep active in her spare time and enjoys swimming, walking in the Peak District, and inviting family and friends to sample her culinary skills at home.

Contact: [email protected]

Jonny Davies

High Net Worth Account Executive

Jonny is an Account Executive on our Private Clients team, dealing with a range of personal policies including; High Value Household, Personal Motor, Collections of Valuables, Jewellery & Artwork, Property Owners and Travel.

Jonny joined the insurance industry upon completion of a Business Management Degree at the University of Chester in 2020.  He joined COHIBL in October 2022.

In his spare time, Jonny loves to travel and play sport. He is a keen runner, cricket player, and Liverpool fan.

Contact: [email protected]