This month we are 'exchanging' with Premex's Managing Director, Donald Fowler. Donald has been with Premex since June 2008 during which time he has overseen significant growth in the business in addition to the evolution of Premex's leading IT platform. He has also worked with his colleagues on the Premex Group board to incorporate the company into the ExamWorks global family. Prior to joining Premex Donald worked in both the legal and financial sectors, spending five years in private practice as a corporate lawyer followed by a further eight years in the banking and private equity sectors with the Bank of Scotland.
What do you get up to outside of work?
I am a keen rugby follower and played a fair bit in my younger days although I had to give up at 27 due to an ankle injury. In Scotland it was all about rugby union but having moved to Leeds in 2005 I had to embrace the 'other' code - my son and I are now both season ticket holders at Leeds Rhinos! Throughout the 1990's I played for an Edinburgh team called Heriots but all that came to an end in 2001 when life changed on a number of fronts; I injured my ankle, my wife had our first child and I moved jobs to Bank of Scotland that involved me spending a fair bit of time away from Edinburgh. That was it until I played in a "dads'" charity match last year and I couldn't walk for a week! Nowadays I stick to coaching, in particular with my son's under 9s club side in Leeds. It is fantastic sport (union or league for that matter); it teaches youngsters some valuable lessons such as respect and teamwork plus the important life lesson of dealing with losing and disappointment (especially if you are Scottish). I was very disappointed that Scotland had to settle for the wooden spoon in this year's six nations….so unjust!
I am also a keen golfer and love water sports and like to windsurf when on holiday somewhere warm - I haven't quite convinced myself to windsurf in the UK yet.
My family are very dear to me and I love spending time with them and watching them in the various activities they do.
So is Jack Straw really off your Christmas card list?
The whole industry is under immense scrutiny by the media and government and there is clearly going to be a brave new world emerging after the reforms. My grievance is that there are a number of accusations that doctors are benefiting from the outcome of the claim and to use the Rt. Hon Jack Straw's quote "Medical evidence is provided by third rate doctors". These sweeping inaccurate generalisations are just plainly wrong, and I am concerned that policy decisions may be arrived at in error unless the government understand all the facts about how modern medical evidence is obtained rather than simply listen to the sensationalist headlines. I hope that my attendance at the recent All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services has dispelled a number of the myths associated with medical evidence.
What is your proudest achievement at Premex?
I think that has to be the fact that a high quality, listed business such as ExamWorks wanted to bring us into their group. I say that because it means we must have done something right over the last few years! We embarked on a strategy designed to move our business forward in all areas; winning and retaining customers, delivering IT innovation, improving our service offering to customers and ensuring Premex is a place where our people can develop and progress and, importantly, want to work. Whilst we might think we have made progress in all these important areas, it was simply great to have someone external, such as ExamWorks, "lift the bonnet" and reach the same conclusion themselves.