Insurer will merge with Ageas UK’s non-life unit and drop Groupama brand

Laurent Matras

Groupama Insurances’ managing director Laurent Matras is to leave the firm on 31 March as part of a management shake-up by new parent Ageas UK.

Groupama Insurances’ finance director Roy Sampson is also leaving the company, but will remain in his role throughout 2013 to support the transition process.

In addition, Ageas UK retail commercial director Brendan Devine and director of insurance relations Stevie Sutherland will depart the combined business.

Ageas UK bought Groupama Insurances, the UK arm of French group Groupama SA, in November.

Ageas UK has also revealed that it will merge Groupama Insurances with its existing non-life underwriting firm Ageas Insurance and phase out the Groupama Insurances brand by the end of 2013.

Boisseau’s team

The management reshuffle follows the previously announced appointment of Groupama Insurances chief executive François-Xavier Boisseau as chief executive of  insurance business and Mark Cliff as chief executive of retail and distribution, both with effect from April.

Boisseau’s team, which will look after the non-life underwriting busdinesss of Ageas Insurance and Groupama Insurances, will include:

  • Adam Clarke (underwriting director)
  • Rob Smale (claims director)
  • Jeff Grosvenor (IT director)
  • Niraj Shah (chief actuary)
  • Paul Cann (director of HR and development)
  • Helen Pickford (finance director).

Boisseau said:  “We want to provide certainty and continuity and it is therefore very pleasing that we are able to announce a team that has many years of experience supporting the non-life business from both Ageas and Groupama.

“I look forward to working with them to continue to deliver for our brokers, partners and clients and to take the business to the next stage of our development.”

He added: “I would particularly like to thank Laurent Matras for his very significant contribution to Groupama over a number of years and wish him well for the future.”

Cliff’s team

Cliff will be responsible for all of Ageas’s UK’s broker distribution, affinity relationships and owned brokers. Reporting to Cliff will be:

  • June Lynch (MD of Kwik Fit Financial Services)
  • Peter Corfield (MD of RIAS and Castle Cover)
  • Jason Banwell (MD of Ageas Insurance Solutions)
  • Nick Lemans (retail finance director),
  • Ian Wardle (director of partnerships)
  • Chris Dobson (distribution director)

Director of aggregator and product Tony Way will report to Nick Lemans.

Cliff said: “Ageas prides itself on focusing on its brokers, partners and customers and bringing all our distribution into one place allows us to further develop our relationships with them.

“I’m delighted that we have a team of experienced leaders from within the company to continue to support our clients.

“As we integrate the retail commercial activities within the business, I would like to thank Brendan and Stevie for their contributions.”

Non-life merger

Ageas is now seeking FSA and Court approval to merge Groupama Insurances and Ageas Insurance through a Part VII transfer during the course of 2013.

The Groupama Insurances brand will be phased out by the end of 2013. This is an obligation of the sale of Groupama Insurances to Ageas given that the Groupama brand is owned by Groupama SA.