A guide to this week's movements in the insurance industry


David Cassell has joined Towergate Northern Underwriters as a new business development underwriter working in the broker support team.

Cassell is a specialist liability underwriter who previously spent four years in a similar role at Ingham Underwriting.

Andrew Hitchcox will join Kiln next month, when he'll take up the newly-created post of chief actuary and risk officer.

Hitchcox, who held a similar position at Swiss Re UK, has more than 20 years' experience in the actuarial profession.

He has been a member of the Institute of Actuaries' general insurance board since 2004.

XL Insurance
John B Gallagher is the new chief underwriting officer of XL Insurance's Global Property operations.

Gallagher has 30 years of industry experience in risk management and various property, underwriting and management positions.

Andy Jones has been appointed corporate services director for Link and Zenith.

Jones will be responsible for the IT and property management strategies.

He has extensive experience in the insurance industry having held senior positions at Royal & SunAlliance and FirstAssist.

Liverpool Victoria
Liverpool Victoria has announced the appointment of Mike Rogers as its new group chief executive. He joins from the Barclays Bank group.

In a 19 year career with Barclays, Rogers worked in the retail, business banking and wealth management sectors. Most recently he was managing director of UK retail banking.


Moreland Insurance
Jim Simpson has joined Moreland Insurance of High Blantyre, Glasgow, as an account executive. Simpson has traded in and around the Lanarkshire area for 25 years.

Jelf Group
The Jelf Group has appointed Helen Davis to its senior management team as group development director.

A specialist in business change and strategy at both planning and operational levels, Davis has extensive experience as a senior manager, board director, non-executive director and freelance management consultant working for blue chip organisations such as AXA, Zurich and NFU Mutual.


Weightmans has appointed Sarah-Jane Howitt as its new director of marketing. Howitt, who joins from Deloitte & Touche, will be based at the firm's Liverpool office.

Beachcroft has appointed three new partners and 19 new associates. The new partners are: Paula Jefferson (injury risk, London) ; Suzanne Wharton (professional risk, Leeds); and Jane Staveley (projects, London).

LeBoeuf Lamb
Francis Mackie has joined LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae as a partner in its London office.

Mackie joins LeBoeuf Lamb from Norton Rose, where he was head of the firm's insurance group.

He advises London market and international insurance/reinsurance clients on contentious matters, including arbitrations.


Crawford & Company
Crawford & Company has appointed Alison McKinna as customer services manager in its national building services unit. McKinna has an extensive background of operational management in the financial services and retail sectors.

She joins Crawford and Company from Capital One Bank (Europe), where she was group manager, enterprise risk.

Cunningham Lindsey
Ian Mowforth has joined Cunningham Lindsey UK's complex liability team as an injury specialist.

He will be based in the company's Leeds office and will be dealing with claims in the Northern region.

The company has also appointed Jane Galilee as area field manager (North East and Yorkshire).

Silverbeck Rymer
Silverbeck Rymer has appointed Laurence Brown as an associate partner and head of defendant business development.

Brown, who joins Silverbeck Rymer from Halliwells, worked as an underwriter and chartered loss adjuster before qualifying as a solicitor seven years ago.

CMGL has appointed Stéphane Abela as client services manager for the corporate and general insurer division.

Abela, who has more than 10 years' industry experience, joins CMGL from the e-solutions group of Aon, where he helped develop and implement sales strategies for Aon's risk management information system across its European office network.

Prior to this he was an account director at Datamonitor (UK).

ClaimWatch, creators of the ClaimWatchÝ web-based tracking system, has appointed Gary Brench to support its ongoing work with the insurance industry.

Brench was formerly MMA Insurance's chief engineer.


AXA has appointed Mike Taylor as chief underwriter for its life and pensions business based in Bristol.

Taylor graduated from Cardiff University in 1993 and worked for the Welsh Cancer Registry.

He joined Allied Dunbar in 1994 as an underwriter and later became a team manager before being appointed underwriting manager - a role he held until joining AXA in July 2005 as underwriting development manager.

Since joining AXA, Taylor's achievements include launching the large case underwriting team.

His new focus will be enhancing underwriting controls, expert underwriting system development and tele-underwriting improvements.

"I am obviously delighted to have been appointed to the role of chief underwriter and look forward to the challenges that this new position will bring," he says.

Taylor lives in Fairford, Gloucestershire, and is married with two children.

His hobbies include playing the guitar and running for fitness.