Business will continue to act with impartiality, spokesman says
Admiral has stressed that its price comparison site Confused.com will remain impartial after finance director Kevin Chidwick took on a dual role by becoming the aggregator’s new boss.
Chidwick replaces managing director Carlton Hood, who left earlier this week, as revealed by insurancetimes.co.uk.
In an interview with Chidwick in last month’s Insurance Times, Chidwick stressed that Admiral was “completely at arm’s length with Confused”.
An Admiral spokesman said: “It’s not unusual for directors to have responsibility for subsidiary operations. Confused has always acted impartially and will continue to do so.
“Confused is committed to providing its customers with a service they can depend on and the right products at the best prices. The change in its management will not alter this.”
No explanation was given for Hood’s departure. However, Admiral has been aiming to freshen up Confused after it posted a dip in operating profits for the half year to £8.8m, compared with £11m in the same period last year.
Admiral has changed its TV adverts to focus on the Confused brand in response to successful campaigns from Gocompare and Comparethemarket.
Meanwhile, Admiral’s French comparison site, Le Lynx, is facing fresh competition from BGL Group, owner of Comparethemarket, which has snapped up Paris-based aggregator Courtanet. The company will be majority-owned by BGL, with Courtanet’s founder and chief executive, Jehan de Castet, retaining a stake.
BGL chief executive Peter Winslow said: “We believe that the French general insurance market offers considerable opportunities. It’s a similar size to the UK.
“Broadband internet penetration is also at similar levels to the UK, yet the French market has been slower to embrace the research and purchase of insurance online. But there are signs that this is changing, as insurers invest in better online systems.”