Shaun Hooper leaves rebranded company

Bluefin will not replace Shaun Hooper, its chief operating officer, who was made redundant last week.

As revealed on insurancetimes. on Monday, the AXA-owned broker said Hooper’s role in the company, which included responsibility for integration, had come to an end.

Bluefin staff were told of his departure last Friday.

The broker, formerly Venture Preference before a rebrand early this year, is undergoing integration to streamline the business.

AXA has acquired a series of businesses since 2007, including Smart & Cook, Layton Blackham and Stuart Alexander, which were all incorporated into Venture Preference.

On Tuesday it added Lakeland Insurance Services to the list. Lakeland, a family-run broker based in Windermere, Cumbria, has 2,000 clients and specialises in guesthouse insurance.

Stuart Reid, chief executive of Bluefin, said Hooper’s departure would not affect the streamlining, adding that his job had merely “come to a conclusion”.

“The integration continues, it is an ongoing process,” he said. “We have got a business that needed a chief operating officer as part of that process. He [Hooper] did a fantastic job.”

Reid said Hooper’s responsibilities would be distributed among other directors.

Hooper, previously managing director of new markets at AXA, was made chief operating officer in February last year after a boardroom shake-up in which Reid was appointed chief executive.

A number of senior staff also left last year, including Geoff Bradford, the former managing director of Layton Blackham, Nick Inge, UK regional managing director, South, and Chris Tully, Layton Blackham personal lines manager.

The company is currently involved in an employment tribunal case over a claim of unfair dismissal brought by Adrian Donno, former marine manager at Layton Blackham, who was made redundant last May.

He has said that the selection process for redundancy was unfair and that the redundancy was not justified. The hearing was due to be heard last month, but has been postponed.