Chief operating officer announces transitional phase for the adjuster

GAB Robins has said it will bid aggressively on price against its rivals during the spate of insurer panel tenders over the coming months.

With an announcement on the RBSI panel imminent, Groupama and Lloyds TSB are also reviewing their respective loss adjusting panels.

GAB chief operating officer Philippe Bes (pictured) said: "Around 60% of our revenue is with our top five clients and the market is concentrated for us and all our competitors. It is price-driven."

GAB reported an underlying profit of £1.8m in 2004 against a £100,000 profit in 2003. It attributed a fall in turnover during 2004 to £37.3m from £40.1m in 2003 to the benign claims climate and the completion of its run-off of the Norwich Union account it lost in 2001.

The company paid £3m into its pension fund in January following the sale of Sergon. Finance director Colin Mason said he was assessing options for the future of the fund.

Bes said GAB was now in a "two-year transitional period", and that its 13 UK regional offices would become more "client-centric".

He said it was likely that they would be merged into five service centres, with the remaining offices becoming satellite locations for GAB's home-working adjusters.

At present, GAB's main service centres are London, Manchester, Bristol and Brighton.

GAB UK strategy director Tim Howard said the firm's Indian operation might be used for more back office work in the future. It employs 70 staff.

Bes would not comment on the departure of Jon Castagno as GAB chief executive last month, but said "the commun- ication message has not been good in our company and it is my job to address the dissatisfaction".

Contrary to his view of three years ago that "non-adjusters" can run loss adjusting firms more efficiently, Bes admitted that bringing Kieran Rigby from its Australian operation to run the UK is a return of "an adjuster-led approach".