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


As part of the group's continued expansion in the Middle East Region, RFIB has established a representative office at the Dubai International Financial Centre

The Dubai office will be headed by former British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Anthony Harris. Harris has worked in various Middle East markets since the late 1990s and is a former director of the Middle East corporate finance department of Robert Fleming.

Prime Professions
Prime Professions has assembled a team to focus on the placement of UK and international professional indemnity business.

They are: Colin Taylor; Glenda West; Lee Butcher; Martin Ellis; Mike Mortlock; David Martin; Pat Boreham; Nick Carter; Paul Afteni; Jon Stayte; and Mark Allison. All join from Alexander Forbes.

In addition, Tom Allen, James Murphy and Matthew Newton have joined from Howden.


QBE European Operations has appointed Howard Posner as a non-executive director of QBE Insurance (Europe) and Limit Underwriting, the Lloyd's managing agency.

Posner spent the past 10 years with HBOS where he created its general insurance division. Latterly, as chief executive, he was responsible for its insurance strategy, including the establishment of Esure and First Alternative.

Towergate Underwriting Agency Management has appointed Martin Randall to the area development managers team.

His primary role is to market Towergate and external underwriters' facilities to their UK agency base; being the first line liaison between underwriter and broker. He will be based in the North East.

Randall has over 12 years' experience in the insurance industry in a variety of roles including underwriter, agency representative and training coordinator. He joins from Business Link West Yorkshire.

Medicash has appointed Kelly Graw as its new sales support representative for the South of England.

She will promote and sell Medicash's new healthcare cash plans - MedicashReward and Medicash First - to employees in the workplace, giving them access to tools with which to keep themselves healthy.

Graw will also help local businesses manage their employees' healthcare needs proactively and offer them marketing support.

Graw has a proven sales record, selling homes, and e-business management tools for software house, Merant.

Markel International
Markel International, the specialty property and casualty insurer, has announced the appointment of Ian Smith as hull war underwriter within its marine energy division.

Smith joins the division to write commercial hull business, yachts and war risks, and will strengthen the underwriting capability of the existing team.

He joins Markel International from Royal & SunAlliance where he held the position of hull underwriter. He has over 20 years of underwriting experience.

Guardian Holdings
Guardian Holdings has appointed Alan Love as regional relationship manager for its European businesses, Link and Zenith.

Reporting to Mike Smith, director of marketing and channel for Zenith Services UK, Love will be responsible for establishing and delivering a programme to enhance broker development and support.

He will work closely with intermediaries in Scotland and the North of England to develop new business opportunities.

Love previously worked in the intermediary market and held account manager positions with Independent, AXA and NIG.


Hill Dickinson
Hill Dickinson has appointed Catherine Grant as insurance partner.

Grant, formerly partner and head of insurance litigation at DLA in Manchester, will be based at Hill Dickinson's Manchester office.

Grant has extensive experience with employers'and public liability claims, which include traumatically induced injuries, fibromyalgia, repetitive strain injuries and stress claims.

She has13 years' specialist experience acting for major insurers and reinsurers.

Sidley Austin
US law firm Sidley Austin announced that, as part of the planned expansion of its insurance practice in London, Nigel Montgomery will be joining as a partner in May.

Montgomery has experience in insurance restructuring, particularly solvent schemes of arrangement and business transfers and run-off reorganisation.

He is currently with DLA Piper Rudnick.


Software Solutions Partners (SSP) has strengthened its marketing department with the appointment of Daniel Fletcher as marketing manager and Rachel Bannister as marketing executive.

Fletcher will assume responsibility for both SSP corporate marketing and the marketing for all four operating divisions, including the recently acquired Sectornet business. Fletcher joins from Primary Insurance where he was marketing manager.

Bannister will be responsible for public relations and corporate communications and joins from James H Heal where she was marketing coordinator.

Both will join Claire Bentley who has been promoted to assistant marketing manager.


Close Premium Finance
Carly Stevens has been appointed account manager for the Close telesales team. Previously, Stevens worked for more than three years in the operations department, where she gained valuable understanding of brokers' needs and a strong knowledge of premium finance.

In 2005, Stevens was named Employee of the Year at Close for her work in providing internal and external training to brokers on products and systems, including i-prompt.

Stevens brings a wealth of operational knowledge to the telesales team and will be working closely with Vanessa Kennett, the newly-appointed coordinator of the team.

Kennett has more than six years' premium finance experience at Close, having worked in the credit control and the risk departments. Kennett's new role will include building relationships with brokers and ensuring they have the best products available for their businesses.