Meet The Animal Friends Team
Here at Animal Friends we're all a lively bunch who love all pets of all shapes and sizes. Here's a few of our friendly mug shots.
Elaine Fairfax - Managing Director and Founder
Hi, I'm Elaine the Managing Director and Founder of Animal Friends Insurance. I’m also a lifelong animal lover and have shared my home with many “animal friends” over the years. As you’ll see I love dogs and always carry packets of Schmakos in my bag in case I meet some waggy tailed friends on my travels – which I usually do! I also have 6 cats and 2 tortoises at home.
I’ve also been riding and around horses all my life. I have my BHS Stage 1 & 2 exams and I used to love teaching at my local riding school where I started and ran the British Gas Equestrian Club. I have looked after and owned a number of horses from a New Forest pony to Danish and Dutch Warmbloods but my favourite has to be my old Cob “Smellie”.
I took him on when he had bad emphysema and I brought him back to full health with lots of TLC, he then went on to win a number of veteran events and was a real character, enjoying orangeade and Cornetto ice creams!
My greatest joy in heading our enthusiastic team here at Animal Friends is being able to help so many animal charities and meeting some wonderful people who have dedicated their lives to helping needy animals worldwide. I hope we can welcome your “animal friend” soon! Read more about Elaine.
Chris Fairfax - Marketing and Legal Director
Hi, I'm Chris Fairfax the Marketing and Legal Director, like Elaine I am also a lifelong animal lover – in fact Elaine and I actually met at a riding stables! As a kid all I wanted to do was to become a second David Attenborough but somehow I became a lawyer instead. After qualifying as both a Barrister and then solicitor Elaine and I set up our own law firm where we helped animal charities offering free advice and helping with fund raising. That gave us a taste to do more and Elaine came up with the idea for Animal Friends.
Over the years Elaine and I have shared our home with many kinds of animal friends from hamsters and gerbils to Henry the 8 foot Indian Python, with a mix of cats, horses and dogs in between. Currently 6 cats and 2 tortoises let us share their house!
Natalie Sword - General Manager
Hi, I'm Natalie the General Manager, I have worked at Animal Friends since November 2010 where I started as Sales Manager, I was promoted to General Manager in February 2011.
My background was working in Financial Services, since I left college, where I was a supervisor under the FSA and an associate of the Chartered Institute of Insurers. I am also qualified in Human Resources.
I love working at Animal Friends as it gives me a fresh challenge every day and combines my love of animals. I currently have 2 cats Starsky and Hutch whom I adore and Ralf pour German Shepherd
Ian Webber - Customer Service Manager
Hi, I'm Ian Webber the Customer Service Manager, I joined Animal Friends as the Customer Service Manager in April 2011, with a background in banking and private medical insurance.
There are some fantastic people working here at Animal Friends and I’m fortunate to have a great team to work with.
Growing up it was cats, hamsters and ducks that had me running around but nowadays I enjoy spending time with my two young daughters, Evie & Tilly.
I’m also a keen footballer both playing and supporting West Ham United.
Wes Pearson - Claims Manager
Hi, I'm Wes Pearson the Claims Manager, I’ve grown up around pets and particularly enjoy exercise with the family dog.
I have worked in the insurance industry for 16 years and have spent the last 10 years specialising in all different types of insurance claims, including Employers Liability, Public Liability, Property, Motor, Clinical negligence and of course Pet Insurance.
I have been at Animal Friends a little over 3 years now and enjoy every moment being around other pet owners.
I also am a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and have achieved accreditation.
Stuart Macmaster - Sales Manager
Hi, I'm Stuart Macmaster the Sales Manager, I have worked at Animal Friends as Sales Manager since December 2011.My background was working in Sales and Financial Services, most of which has been in a call centre environment.
It’s really refreshing to be working for a company like Animal Friends where we get a chance to really make a difference to the lives of animals all over the world.
Having grown up with dogs, cats, hamsters, rats and various other animals, I am currently down to 1 rabbit and 2 children!
Where's everybody else?
We'd love to be able to picture everyone on this page, but with close to 100 employees it'd be impossible to keep it up to date.
All of our staff are animal lovers and many have animal care qualifications or own multiple pets themselves, so you can be assured of a friendly and knowledgeable ear when you call.