Underwriting director, Phil Bird replaces Graham Gibson.

Groupama has appointed its director of underwriting, Phil Bird, to its vacant claims director post.

The insurer said the move would help integrate the claims division more fully into the business, and spread expertise across the divisions.

Bird, who takes up the post on 1 October, will report to managing director, Laurent Matras, and will head up a claims team of over 250 employees. He replaces Graham Gibson who has joined rival insurer Allianz as director of claims.

Bird will be based in the company’s head office in the City of London, and take responsibility for the technical and operational aspects of UK claims operations. He will also control Groupama’s three claims centres and the current head office claims team.

Before joining Groupama in 2004, Bird was head of product development at AXA.

Laurent Matras, managing director of Groupama Insurances, said: “Phil’s extensive industry experience, coupled with his deep knowledge and understanding of our business means that he is ideally placed to move across and manage our claims operations, an area of the company that remains fundamental to the continuing success of Groupama Insurances. It is always nice to make a senior internal appointment and I am delighted that Phil has accepted this new appointment.”

Bird said: “This role will offer me an exciting new challenge and is one that I really relish. Groupama Insurances has an award winning claims team that enjoys considerable respect within the industry and offers high levels of customer satisfaction. I am really looking forward to building on our existing success.”

There has yet to be an announcement on who will replacement Bird as non-motor and SME underwriting director.

Groupama Insurances has also appointed Paul Cann as HR director. Previously at ING Banking Group, Cann will head a team of over 250 employees at Groupama’s head office in London.