Believe it or not, the answer's insurance. And while some celebrities have moved on from the industry, others have moved into it

You might not know this, but the insurance industry has its fair share of celebrities and famous names in its ranks. In particular, ex-footballers and musicians seem to have found successful second careers in the world of personal lines and insurance risk.

Sir Geoff Hurst
Sir Geoff Hurst's place in history was assured in 1966, when he scored his famous hat-trick in the World Cup final against West Germany. It remains a unique achievement in World Cup history

While he will always be best known for the above performance, Hurst made 400 league appearances and scored 180 goals in his playing career. His international career saw him capped 49 times and scoring 24 goals for England.

After hanging up his boots he went on to manage Chelsea and Telford United before joining "the favorite refuge of retired footballers who didn't want to remain in the game in some capacity," as the man himself puts it: namely selling insurance.

Jimmy Greaves got Hurst his first job at Abbey Life. The transition from household name to insurance salesman was not without its humorous moments. "If you're Geoff Hurst, I'm Marilyn Monroe," was one reaction to a sales call from Hurst.

After a chance encounter in an Essex-pub Hurst joined fellow former West Ham and England team mate Martin Peters at motor insurer Motor-plan.

London General Holdings, an Aon subsidiary, bought Motor-plan in the 1980s and Hurst was retained as a consultant on retiring from Aon in 1998.

Stuart Prosser
Stuart Prosser spent his youth travelling the world as the trumpet player with the Style Council. In his time he has played to packed stadiums, including Wembley Arena.

Prosser was holding down a day job as a credit analyst and working as a session musician by night when he was approached by an A&R man from Polydor about joining Paul Wellers's Style Council for its world tour in 1983.

After the band was disbanded Prosser continued to work as a session musician, but as music fashions changed and there was less call for his musical skills he decided to go back into financial services.

"It was a fantastic experience," Prosser says of his time travelling the globe,

"I still keep in touch with people from that time and play occasionally."

Prosser joined Guardian Royal Exchange and oversaw its acquisition and transition into AXA UK as director of corporate affairs.

He is now executive director of marketing and corporate communications at investment bank, Lehman Brothers.

They started in insurance
Here are just a few individuals, you may have heard of who passed through the insurance sector on their way to what some would call lesser careers.

  • Singer Alison Moyet once worked in the ABI's dispatch office.
  • Des Lynam, presenter of ITV's The Premiership, worked for a number of years in Cornhill's Brighton office.
  • Ivor Caplin, Labour MP for Hove, and Bernard Jenkins, Conservative MP for North Essex, both worked at Legal & General.
  • Bill Tarmey, known to millions as Coronation Street's Jack Duckworth, was one of the steeplejacks who built the CIS Tower in Manchester - in its day Europe's tallest building.
  • David James, the well known business troubleshooter, who was brought in to work out what to do with the Millennium Dome, was on the Council of Lloyd's
  • And there must be something in the water over at Ecclesiastical Insurance.

    It has produced three international sports people; Adam Eustice, England under-21 ruby player; Pat Cane, former captain of the England netball team; and John Biscourt the former 3000m steeplechase runner.

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