Volume division’s chief Andy Westby and household managing director Simon Lewer to join rival

Towergate Underwriting’s volume division chief executive Andy Westby and household managing director Simon Lewer are leaving for rival broking group Gallagher, Insurance Times can reveal.

Towergate has confirmed that the two men will leave the company at the end of 2014.

Volume division operations director Nel Mooy will run the unit on an interim basis until successors are found.

In their new roles Westby and Lewer will become managing director and underwriting director, respectively, of Gallagher’s e-MGA division.

The division specialises in auto-rated and online-traded business.

Both will report to the managing director of Gallagher’s MGA business Mark Armitage.

Armitage said: “I am in no doubt that the excellent leadership and strong underwriting credentials that Andy and Simon bring to the team will quickly propel our e-MGA into the next phase of its strategic development, while delivering strong financial returns for our insurer partners.”

Towergate Underwriting chief executive Clive Nathan said: “We wish both Andy and Simon all the best and thank them for their contribution to the success of Towergate.

“We have drawn upon our internal pool of talent to appoint interim management whilst we seek successors.

“With a clear strategy in place and stated aims to profitably leverage our scale, customer insight and distribution relationships, we remain focused on growing our business.”

The two moves are the latest in a string of defections to Gallagher from Towergate Underwriting.

A number of senior managers from Towergate Underwriting’s Fusion division, including managing director Nick Wright and underwriting director Stewart Gardiner, have been poached by Gallagher within the last four weeks.

The departures follow a shake-up of Towergate’s underwriting division.

In April Towergate split the underwriting arm into separate bespoke and volume divisions.

In July it emerged that up to 69 jobs in the division were at risk under a further planned restructuring, under which the bespoke division would be renamed Fusion and merged with the existing Fusion-branded business.

The consultation for the potential job losses ends on 13 August.