Meeting Barden’s Expert Insurance Team…Phelim Murray

Meeting the Barden's Expert Financial Services Team...Phelim Murray

Phelim Murray is a Senior Consultant with Barden’s Financial Services Practice. He is an expert in insurance recruitment and is based in our Dublin office.

Phelim joined Barden in September 2018. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Business and Law from Griffith College Dublin.

We caught up recently with Phelim to find out a little bit more about him.

Where are you from?

I’m from Sandymount originally but have been living in Drumcondra for the last 6 years. I consider myself an honorary north-sider now.

Where & what did you study?

BA, Business and Law, Griffith College Dublin.

What was your time like in Griffith College Dublin?

I thoroughly enjoyed my three years in Griffith College Dublin. I was part of a tight knit group of five that studied the BA, Business and Law. I made some great friends in both the legal and business faculties, who I still keep in contact with. I also represented the college in rugby and legal debating.

The campus is based in a former military barracks on South Circular Road in Dublin. We had a particularly vibrant Students Union at the time who operated out of an old cavalry building. I used to hang out with friends there quite a bit. Our favourite watering hole was the Headline Bar, before it became cool!!
I made some great friends there, many of whom went on to the law library as well as everything from medicine, insurance, professional motor sport to accountancy and recruitment.

Can you tell us a bit about your professional background?

After completing my B.A. I joined BT Ireland Finance Department.

BT Ireland provide communications solutions and IT Services to a large number of multinationals which are headquartered out of Ireland.

My role encompassed everything from cash and credit management to getting involved in process improvement projects. I was also the Corporate Social Responsibility lead for the Finance Department.

After working in BT for three years I joined Hays Recruitment to build their insurance business. My cousin worked in Hays at the time and was having a hugely positive experience. I was considering a career change and, on her recommendation, I took a leap of faith and tried out recruitment.

I was fortunate enough to work with a really great director who was extremely encouraging and emphasised the importance of having some fun with the people you spend most of your time with (your colleagues).

In 2018 the opportunity to join Barden Financial Services presented itself. It could not have come at a better time. I was really enjoying my work, specialising in insurance and banking, however I felt I needed more support from my employer in order to give my candidates and clients the best possible experience. I initially met Ed Heffernan and Elaine Brady as well as a few others from Barden who made a very strong impression on me. It was so refreshing to meet people who were getting so much joy out of recruitment so far into their careers. So, I made the decision to join Barden pretty quickly and I have never looked back.

Why did you decide to get into recruitment?

Recruitment allows you to be entrepreneurial, creative, you get to help people and I am convinced that the longer you work in recruitment the more enjoyable it gets.

What kind of roles and companies do you work with in Barden Financial Services?

I predominantly work with claims handlers, underwriters and brokers. I also recruit for risk, compliance, data protection, sales and marketing. My clients are typically insurers, reinsurers, intermediaries (brokerages).

What are your top tips for anyone looking for a new opportunity?

Firstly, talk about it to openly to people who are professionally well placed to advise before committing to anything.

Secondly, embrace technology, create and or update your LinkedIn profile and make sure it accurately reflects what you have achieved, and will appeal to your next employer.

What advice would you give someone looking to change career direction and move into recruitment?

I would advise them to speak to people they know and trust who already work in recruitment.

The recruitment experience can differ hugely depending on the industry you recruit for, the business you work for and the people you sit with on a daily basis, so keep this in mind and hedge your bets to guarantee you find somewhere that is a good fit.

What three words best describe you?

Curious, open-minded, conscientious.

What’s your favourite movie?

There Will Be Blood. But you have to be in the mood.

What’s your favourite sport?

Running! Also enjoy cycling and a dip in the sea.

So, you’re a keen runner then, can you tell us a bit about your most challenging run so far?

The toughest marathon I have ever completed was the Connemarathon in Spring 2017. It took 4 hours and involved a particularly tough second half from Leenaun to Maam Cross. Amazing scenery, not my best time incidentally, but certainly the most challenging!

What age were you when you had your first paying job? What was it?

My Dad is a Civil Engineer and has a small business in Ringsend. My first paying job and most of my summer holidays were spent helping out there. My role varied from store man to tech support, delivery driver and more. I probably started working there during my Summer holidays from about the age of twelve.

What’s the Dublin market like at the moment for career opportunities?

Q2 was a bit of a non-event for insurance in 2020 due to businesses coming to terms with the new normal. Many candidates were not willing to risk changing employer at the time anyway incidentally.

Q3 has shown a marked increase in jobs registered across the insurance sector however, and things seem to be somewhat back on track. Brokerages, insurers and reinsurers are pretty much all hiring across risk, compliance, data privacy, governance, quality assurance, underwriting, claims and broking. Long may it continue!

For you, what makes Barden different?

Barden has some of the most experienced and specialised recruiters in the insurance market and are working with some of the most reputable employers in the industry. What separates us from the rest more than anything else however, is our commitment to put the candidates interests ahead of our own in every situation. We believe this makes a real difference and are seeing more and more candidates referring their peers to us, and coming back to us for career advice over and over again.


Need help achieving your ambitions? 

Are you an insurance professional looking for help in achieving your ambitions? If so, get in touch with Phelim Murray today who is ready with lots of CV, LinkedIn, interview and career advice along with cutting edge market insights.


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