Peter Shortland, chief executive of loss adjuster Axis, quit suddenly this week after 11 years with company.

The sudden resignation prompted speculation that the move was connected to a failed merger between Axis and rival Miller International.

Axis denied that Shortland’s departure was connected to the business.

Alistair Jacob, business development director at Axis said: “He [Shortland] has gone as of today. It was not a decision that was taken lightly. It was a decision taken after 11 years with the company.”

Miller confirmed this week that it had pulled out of merger talks with Axis that had begun earlier this year. Miller chairman Malcolm Hughes said: “We decided we were better off­­ on our own.”

Hughes said the merger was off the cards last month but was planning an official announcement when contacted by Insurance Times this week.

“We were genuinely in discussions but we came to the conclusion not to continue,” he said.

David Jamison, current chairman of Axis takes over as chief executive. He continues as chairman.

He said: “Peter has been with Axis since its inception and is a valued friend.

“We would like to recognise the contribution he has made in the development and growth of the company and wish him well for the future.”