Trading director Paul Maidment to leave as general manager restructures company to focus on small businesses.

Allianz Commercial trading director Paul Maidment is set to leave the insurer in a restructure of its senior management.

Chris Hanks, Allianz’s general manager, said he had made “a minor realignment” of the company’s commercial executive team to take advantage of opportunities in a hard market. He confirmed that Maidment was not part of this long-term plan.

“He won’t be actively involved in the business going forward,” said Hanks.

“Every two or three years we look at the structure. I wanted to make sure that when the hard market comes, we are able to grow the SME business, and that the regional offices are all singing from the same song sheet.”

Maidment’s contract runs until April 2009 but he could leave his role earlier, according to Hanks. “I talked to Paul about some other opportunities, but he said it would be best to move on. It was on the best of terms,” he said.

As part of the restructure, Simon McGinn, the present trading director, has been appointed commercial broker markets director and will take on two regions, London and Anglia, and the South East. All five regions are now under one director as he will continue to look after the North West and Scotland, the North East and the Central region.

Hanks has also created a new executive role to concentrate on SME and affinity and has appointed David Martin head of small business broker and affinity. Martin was previously small business manager.

The insurer has also been reorganising other parts of the business. In September, it announced plans to restructure its retail division in a move that could result in 170 redundancies.

It said the reforms coincided with the changing demands of its customers while increasing operational efficiency, effectiveness and competitiveness.

Changes to the structure will be implemented by June next year. The insurer aims to grow the retail business to £1bn gross written premium by 2013.

Other insurers, including Norwich Union, Zurich and AXA, have recently announced cost-cutting measures, including redundancies, to prepare for the turn in the market cycle.