Groupama Insurances has achieved a spectacular coup with the high-profile defection of three senior employees from rival insurer Axa.

Allison Andrews, Jason Logan and Joe Simmons were formerly key account managers handling large corporate and affinity business at Axa's Ipswich office.

But Groupama has successfully enticed them to cross over to its new affinity and corporate partnerships team, where they will perform similar roles at the insurer's London headquarters.

Jon Morrell, head of Groupama's affinity and corporate partnerships team, said his new colleagues represent a boost to the insurer's aim of becoming one of the key affinity insurance providers in the UK.

The former senior Axa personnel are understood to have extensive underwriting, operational and customer relationship skills.

The Groupama team will develop personal insurances and accident and health schemes which add value to consumer brands and affinity groups.

Morrell said: "It is naturally pleasing to be able to announce a number of key senior appointments so soon after my arrival."

He stressed that the three managers' experience and expert knowledge of the partnerships market will help Groupama expand the range of services and solutions it will be able to offer.