Alexander Forbes Professions (AFP) has hit back at rivals attempting to poach 28 staff from the company by persuading 12 of them to retract their resignations.

Newly appointed managing director James Houlder said AFP offered a career progression proposition too attractive for staff to refuse. He said: "It was recognised that career development at AFP would be better."

AFP has created a line-up of new management posts to help it enhance the company's current business model. Tim Kershaw has been appointed as chief operating officer, while former Marsh executives Brian Muxworthy and John White have been made programme director and sales and marketing director respectively.

Houlder said he had been working closely with the AFP team to establish fresh ways of pushing business forward.

"Now is a time to consider those ideas and put some into action," he said. "I want to see some developments and some changes to the way we have been doing things."

Last week Insurance Times reported that AFP's divisional director Brian Balkin had resigned. He has since decided to stay at AFP.

Balkin said: "The team that is staying has formed a very large part of the AFP business plan and we have the full support of AFP."