We are Mental Athletes and we love it

Leif Olivierre is an entrepreneur, analyst and consultant specialising in maritime insurance, shipping and trade. With over 18 years experience in shipping, logistics, international trade and insurance Leif now focuses on digitalisation, blockchain, IoT, AI and all matters technological, for shiptech and insurtech startups. He is also an athlete.

In this article Leif is interviewed by Vesuvio Labs Comms Manager, Pedro Caetano. They spoke about how the disciplines of being an athlete apply to the work-life balance and coping in the current outbreak.

Leif Olivierre at Lloyd’s Lab in 2019

I’m a former national swimmer for my home island of St Vincent and his co-founder Gregor was a 5 time national brake dancing champion in Slovenia. As athletes we’ve developed habits of discipline and mental focus that have helped us to structure our WFH routines since we started this business a year ago”.

I normally wake at 7 am to review my schedule and after a shower and a quick breakfast, it’s time to work.

“Asked if the Coronavirus has changed his habits, “nothing has changed fundamentally, apart from some deadlines moving forward. Also instead of going to the gym with my co-founder, we work out in a front door park!”

“Because we start early and prioritise our clients’ needs, our lunches can be variable anytime between 1 pm and 3 pm. But around 4 pm we sometimes take a nap and after that do some exercise. Quite vigorous, it could include running, sit-ups, push-ups; you name it! After that its dinner between 6.30 pm and 8 pm, after which we can normally squeeze in another couple of hours or so of work.”

Leif continues to describe a typical day, “discipline is everything, we are working mental and physical athletes, and we value the fitness that also flows from a good work-life balance. So, from about 11 pm onwards its time to chill having a liking for wildlife documentaries. Just before bedtime I review matters for the next day. I never need to use an alarm clock, because being an athlete in mind and body, I am fit enough to follow through. Peak performance is vital especially in times like this”.

Pedro turned the conversation towards the challenges Leif felt he had been facing for the last couple of weeks during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Leif responded, “well, we could be concerned about the times we are living in right now but honestly it has been jam-packed with the application for the Lloyds Lab , which was a pitch-session supposed to be presented in person but went, obviously, remote”.“This unleashed a series of rehearsals that lasted at least two weeks. Because we wanted to do our very best to nail the presentation we also had to practice and develop our skills in front of a camera.”

“The world of marine insurance is a complex, international and still largely paper-based procedure of tracking, FNOL, validation and settlement across the many stakeholders involved. Frankly this traditional multi-jurisdictional, paper-based workflow and marine cargo claims process is not working optimally. It is very clear that a digital and automated solution is needed.”

Leif stated further, “we’re offering our clients a real competitive edge by embracing a cloud-based, distributed workflow that fully capitalises on the possibilities that automation will bring. These uncertain times have starkly revealed that the world is heavily dependent on paper. That is why we believe, now more than ever, that our unique set of tech solutions will be a fundamental part of the future, and that this future is needed now!”

Leif concludes, “The imperative to adopt cloud-based solutions has become fundamental. If we learn anything from the current outbreak is that this must and will, change.”

Naxxar is a Vesuvio Labs’ global end-to-end cargo monitoring and maritime insurance claims management platform to track and digitally streamline the international workflow when marine cargo is lost or damaged.


The CEO:
Leif Ollivierre is an entrepreneur working on start-ups in the insurance, maritime and shipping space. Leif enjoys working with start-ups in the area of digitalisation, automation, blockchain, internet of things, machine learning and artificial intelligence. Leif built early-stage start-ups as part of the Entrepreneur First, Lloyd’s Labs, StateZero and BMS innovation Lab technology accelerators. Leif has 18 years combined experience in commercial shipping & operations, international trade, academia and claims handling. He is the go-to guy for international shipping and trade 4.0.

Vesuvio Labs is a Venture builder based in London for the Insurance and Finance sector, helping entrepreneurs by accelerating the process of turning their ideas into scalable products through our flexible, low-code software architecture. Naxxar is one of those ventures.

In addition, we can connect entrepreneurs with investors, tax & legal advisors and to the wider tech ecosystem.

www.vesuvio.io |Follow @labsvesuvio on Twitter |Find Vesuvio Labs on Linkedin | Listen to the Digital Rocket Fuel podcast on Spotify | Sign up for our newsletter | #vesuviolabs

We would like to thank adviser Graham Ripley for his important contribution to this article.




Venture Builder with expertise in building enterprise-ready InsurTech and FinTech products led by @k_feldborg.

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Build a Rock Solid Team

Dont wait for “Good Job, Well Done !!”

7 Ways to Avoid Burnout at Work

He ended his sabbatical early and joined EmbedIT. “I was tempted to have my own small kingdom”

10 Ways to Better Influence Decisions

Deloitte Internship (Jan 2019-Apr 2019)

Tech 3.0: Together Towards Tomorrow

2017 - It’s No Longer About Space

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store


Venture Builder with expertise in building enterprise-ready InsurTech and FinTech products led by @k_feldborg.

More from Medium

Importance of Networking and Making Positive Connections - Sarah Dodds-Brown

Fulfillment & Retail Associates Deserve Better

The REAL cash economy

The More Things Change, The More Things Stay The Same: On Gran Turismo 7