GAB Robins chief operating officer Benedict Burke has resigned to join rival Crawford & Co.

Crawford & Co's UK managing director Ian Muress said Burke would be joining the senior management team. "We are absolutely delighted that someone of his considerable experience will join the team," he said.

UK operations director Trevor Latimer will continue to manage the GAB UK branch network.

Burke's departure is the second high profile one to hit GAB Robins in six months.

UK chief executive Clive Nicholls left the company in July 2002 to join claims management specialist Aquilo as a senior director, under long-standing friend Mike Eve who is chief executive.

Nicholls was temporarily replaced by Philippe Bes who was UK chief executive in the late 1980s.

GAB Robins is still searching for a permanent replacement UK chief executive and has been dogged by rumours surrounding its financial stability.