Duncan Boyle, managing director of Royal & SunAlliance, UK Commercial, tells how he is a sailor and king of the Castle.

What newspaper do you read?

The Times.

What career did you want to have when you were a child?

A sailor or in the navy.

What was the worst business decision you have ever made?

None in particular sticks out to me. I work on getting 70% of my decisons right and I always admit when I am wrong.

What do you like best about insurance?

It is a varied and challenging business and is basically ethical.

What would you do tomorrow if you left the insurance insustry?

Consultancy if I needed to work, otherwise return to Australia or sail.

How do you relax if you do not play golf?

Walking, reading, gardening, sailing. However sailing is by far my favourite pastime.

What is the biggest insurance claim you have made?

Stolen jewellery in Oz.

Who do you most admire?

People with integrity and commitment.

Do you have an unfulfilled ambition?

Yes – obtain a Yachtmaster qualification.

On dress down Friday, what do you wear?

Royal & SunAlliance have a business-casual code but I prefer to stick to suit and tie.

What is your favourite quote?

“Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”

What is your most over-used phrase?

My daughter would say: “Have you tidied your room yet?”

What keeps you awake at night?

Having an unresolved problem with a colleague.

What advice would you give someone starting in insurance today?

Be flexible and open-minded.

What was your first job?

Inspector, east London

Where did you grow up?

Ealing, West London with a lot of time on the river in Twickenham.

What was your education?

Ealing Grammar then a business degree.

What is your favourite film?

The Castle – an Australian comedy.

What is your favourite book?

Anything by Patrick O'Brien.

What is your favourite tea?


What is your favourite joke?

I like the ironies of everyday life rather than jokes.

How often do you use public transport?

Every day.