Loss adjuster's new managing director sets out his `drive for profit' plan

Loss adjuster Crawford will target top 20 composite insurers for their personal lines business, according to new UK managing director Ian Muress.

Muress, who officially started at the top-three loss adjuster last month, said that one of his principal tasks at the loss adjuster was to increase the amount of work it does with composites. He said that companies such as Co-operative Insurance Services, Zurich Financial Services and Lloyds TSB will be in his sights.

He reckoned that the company works with ten of the top 20 already and is more known as a company that deals with high value international claims.

Muress, who was chief executive of McLaren Topliss, resigned from the company following its acquisition by services company Capita last year. He said: "I'm taking 100 days to take stock of the company before I do anything."

Muress added that he has promised the board to grow Crawford in the UK in terms of sales volumes and profit. He said the drive for profit would not mean substantial job cuts. "I expect that we will be employing more people not less and that efficiency, driven by technology like XML, will be improved,"

Regulation is one of his biggest concerns. Muress said: "I expect that as the FSA asks more and more questions of insurers about claims service, then higher and higher standards will be expected of loss adjusters."

"Over the next 18 months I think the level of regulation will be increased," he added. "This is an opportunity, not a threat. Higher levels of professionalism can only benefit us," Muress said.

Crawford will stick to core competencies of handling and managing claims, said Muress. "We will not be diversifying into other areas. I want us to stick to the knitting," he added.

"Brand means nothing. We don't want the customer to even know that we were involved," he said.