Elite Incident Management, a sister company of technology firm InsurE-com, has denied claims that it is in financial difficulty.

Elite and InsurE-com managing director Ralph Ehlers said the company had experienced some problems last year, but the business was now growing.

Ehlers' comments follow claims from a company insider that Brighton-based Elite is being propped up by monthly six-figure cash injections from owner John Head III, a US-based venture capitalist.

The insider also claimed that Elite's chief accountant and company secretary Peter Scott recently quit the company after a series of rows.

The company confirmed Scott and another employee had left Elite.

Ehlers admitted that both InsurE-com and Elite had received regular cash injections from Head, but said they were to improve the company's technology.

"Elite is profitable, although we have made a substantial investment in technology, so the results will show a loss as the operating business," he said.

The company recently lost its business account with UK car and motorcycle intermediary Dial Direct when it was bought by Budget Insurance Services.

Elite is also facing the loss of two more of its major clients, Groupama, which is up for sale and Prudential, which was recently acquired by Churchill and is subject to a business review.

But Ehlers denied the Dial Direct account, at around 3%, was a significant part of the company's business. He added that the company was in the process of signing up three new insurers.

At the end of 2001 the company took on a new operations manager, a business development manager and a head of network operations to grow the business.

He added that Churchill's incident management arm had assured him that Elite's dealings with Prudential would be "business as usual".

John Head III was involved in the collapse of Drake Insurance in May 2000, after it failed to maintain the required levels of assets over liabilities.

Drake had not made an underwriting profit since 1994.

At the time, Head injected over £8m into the failing business.

He also sold another of his companies, second-hand car firm Car Land, at a loss.

Established in 1992, Elite provides logistical and management services for insurers and fleet operators