Ace European Group (Ace) is undergoing a senior management restructure, which has already prompted the departure of one key player, according to sources.

Steve Burridge, the company's business development manager, left at the end of last year and is believed to be joining Lockton, formerly Alexander Forbes.

According to a senior source Burridge was unhappy with the decisions over the restructure, so he decided to move elsewhere.

The source added that the changes, which had not been formally announced as Insurance Times went to press, would take place "in a bid to align the UK business with the current market."

Other movements in the company are believed to include Mike Furgueson, president of Ace Europe UK & Ireland.

He is expected to return to the US to work on other global projects.

In Furgueson's absence Richard Pryce, Ace global markets president, is expected to take over his responsibilities.

A market source said: "All change rocks the boat and when there is restructuring at the top the individuals will undoubtedly want to make change themselves."

Sources said additional senior management changes are expected to follow.

Ace declined to comment.

Ace European Group posted pre-tax profit of £229.7m in 2005. For the same period Ace's underwriting operation achieved a combined ratio of 82.7%. Ace European Group now writes a gross annual premium of £2bn.