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Head Girl: Clare Himmer OW 1988

8th January 2024

Tell us a little about your time at King Edward's Witley?

I joined King Edward’s Witley in 1983, spending five years in Tudor House with Miss Wilson.
My favourite thing about KESW was making friends with people from so many backgrounds, plus the variety of clubs and activities and the quality of the facilities we had. A lot of this was made possible thanks to huge funding from City of London and the Bridewell Foundation. I now give back regularly as I would like future generations to have all the opportunities I had.
The most fun lessons I can remember were: History with Mr Broad, who used to call us ‘Dunderheads’, History with Miss Wheeler, and German with Ursula Smartt.

What did life after school hold?

It was Ursula Smartt’s fun approach and enthusiasm that inspired me to continue with German at university, where I did a BA Joint Honours in German and Management Studies at the University of Leeds. This included a year abroad placement in Munich.
This enabled me to get a graduate trainee role at Munich Re, and led me to a long career in reinsurance. The global risk industry is multi-faceted, involving all kinds of unexpected and fascinating areas and very large values. Who knew that the whole economy and most major investments are underpinned by insurance of some kind?
I started as an underwriter, first in London, then moving to Hanover, Germany, where I stayed for eight years. Then I had an amazing opportunity to start and lead a new international division at a new start-up in Bermuda, where I lived for nine years. Whilst I was was there, my two children were born.
We moved back to the UK 12 years ago. I worked part-time for a while and then moved to my current role as CEO for a small reinsurance operation just over two years ago.

What do you do in your spare time?

I enjoy travel, being active and cooking. I’ve been writing a plant-based cookbook for a while but can’t get it finished!

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