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About Us

Joshua Upil - Head of Insurance

“Having underwritten policies and developed insurance schemes for FCA regulated firms of every shape and size, I understand the strict compliance and regulatory responsibilities you must adhere to. Insurers and underwriters often instantly categorise businesses within the financial services sector as high-risk, when more often than not, their risk management procedures are very robust.

Even before the hardening of the insurance market it was rare for premiums to reflect the individual circumstances of a regulated business. Regardless of the business description, FCA regulated firms tend to be put in the same high-risk box and I believe that by taking the time to evaluate how each firm operates independently, while properly considering their risk mitigation measures, we can ensure the firms we work with have a policy where the terms and premium reflect the risk and exposure of their individual business, not their business description.

I am passionate about insurance being an enabler, so businesses can have peace of mind that their tailor-made insurance cover provides a safety net, as they continue to grow”.

Joshua Upil, Head of Insurance

As part of the award-winning Thistle Group, we have the regulatory expertise and technical knowledge required to fully understand your business

Our memberships benefit your business.

Association of Professional Compliance Consultants (APCC)

We are an affiliate member of the Association of Professional Compliance Consultants (APCC).

The APCC promotes enhanced professional standards and is recognised as the trade association for compliance consultants by the FCA.

Being members supports our professional standing and will allow better access to priority advice and information from the FCA and PRA on regulatory themes and new initiatives, which we can then pass on to you.

Association of Professional Compliance Consultants (APCC)

Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA)

We are an associate member of the Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA).

The LMA represents members' interests to organisations including governments, regulators, and the market's central supporting body, the Corporation of Lloyd's.

It connects with its members to identify and resolve issues facing the market, and works to influence initiatives and outcomes, which means we can preempt issues which may affect your business.

Lloyd’s Market Association (LMA)

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA)

We are also associate members of The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA) which is the trade association for firms that provide wealth management, investment services and advice to everyone from individuals and families to charities, pension funds, trusts and companies.

The Personal Investment Management & Financial Advice Association (PIMFA)

Our leadership team

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James Dingwall
Founder and CEO
Since setting the business up in 2012, James has grown the Thistle Group to encompass three different companies employing more than a hundred people.
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Michael Bellenger
Finance & Operations Director

As a Fellow of the ACCA, Michael advises clients on issues around prudential regulation. This involves compliance work for MIFIDPRU and non-MIFID firms, ICARAs, consolidation, and waivers.

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Sophie Long
Group Managing Director
Sophie has grown and managed client relationships for the Thistle Group since 2015. As MD Sophie leads operations and gives strategic guidance across all areas of the business.
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Joshua Upil
Head of Insurance
Joshua is a true insurance specialist and plays a pivotal role in the day-to-day operations of Absolute Cover. A former Hiscox underwriter, Joshua spent 5+ years underwriting financial lines policies while developing multiple insurance schemes for regulated and non-regulated firms. He also holds a BSc in Accounting and Finance and is CII qualified.
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Thomas Needham
Account Handler

On the day-to-day, Thomas manages the accounts for our clients and also works alongside our insurer partners to ensure we are finding the most competitive quotations on the market. He was previously part of the Resolution Compliance team for three years before joining the team as an Account Handler in September 2022.

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Ready to find the right insurance for your financial services business?