Neil Utley promoted to UK chief

Former GAB Robins chief executive John Castagno is to leave Equity Insurance Group, barely a year after joining.

Castagno, who joined Equity in March last year as managing director of direct broking, will join Cardif Pinnacle as new market development director.

He will retain a non-executive directorship of Equity Insurance Brokers.

His departure comes as Insurance Australia Group (IAG) announced a shake-up in the structure of it UK insurance operations. This follows its acquisition of Equity and Hastings last year.

Neil Utley has been appointed group chief executive of IAG's UK operations. He assumes overall management of Equity Insurance Group and Hastings Direct.

Hastings head Peter Connell has been appointed deputy chief executive. He will take control of a combined direct broking division, covering Hastings and Equity Direct.

Utley said the intention is to integrate IAG's newly-acquired UK businesses. "The aim is to build on EIG and Hastings' significant strengths and create a solid platform for further growth," he said.

Meanwhile Nick Potts was appointed as managing director of UK branch operations, while Equity Red Star joint active underwriters John Josiah and Keith Charlton, and Equity claims managing director Phil Anderson will take responsibility for Hastings' underwriting and claims operations, respectively.

Equity Red Star head underwriter Ray White will retire from the group in July 2007 after 34 years' service.