Two directors at Erinaceous Insurance Services are defecting to Towergate and its sister company CCV.

Managing director, Andy Halstead, and director of insurance and underwriting, Nick Crocker, will take up roles at Towergate Financial Services and CCV.

This development comes amid speculation that HBOS has tabled a bid for Erinaceous Group.

Prior to working for Erinaceous Crocker worked for Towergate. He joined the company at its inception, and played a vital role in developing its strategic outlook. He will play a similar role for CCV.

Chief executive Tim Johnson described the move as part of the company’s “natural growth curve.”

“Inevitably as you get bigger, you need to strengthen your staff,” he said. He added that an acquisition was “imminent”, with a further “four or five” in the pipeline.

Halstead will join Patrick Snowball at Towergate Fin-ancial Services, and will work on the company’s mortgage consolidation strategy.

It is unclear as yet what affect the departure of EIS’s two bosses will have, part-icularly with regard to HBOS, which is believed to have expressed an interest in the division.

A spokesman for Towergate said that the defection was not a precursor to the company mounting a bid of its own.

In the last three months, Erinaceous’ share price has fallen by 23% to 212p.