Former chief operating officer for Marsh EMEA says that going back ‘is not what I want to do’

HSBC Insurance Brokers chief executive Philip Gregory has revealed he will resign once the takeover deal with Marsh is complete.

Gregory said he would pursue non-executive roles following his resignation, which was a matter of legal due course as his contract was with the bank rather than the broking arm that is being bought by Marsh for £135m.

Gregory explained: “I am not employed by Insurance Brokers Ltd, I am employed by Insurance Brokers Holdings, which is the company that is selling HSBC Insurance Brokers. So I am the seller rather than, effectively, the legal entity that is being sold.

“Everybody would have had to go specifically out of their way to move my employment down into the company being sold, if I was to go back to Marsh. Frankly, it is not what I want to do.”

Gregory added that he was currently working with Marsh to help complete the takeover. The firm’s chief executive Martin South commented: “I am working closely and amicably with Philip Gregory on the integration process as we move towards completion of this exciting, growth-driven transaction.”

Gregory was previously chief operating and chief financial officer at Marsh’s Europe, Middle East and Africa division.

He was recruited to head up HSBC Insurance Brokers after Mike Dixon stepped down in May 2007.

Gregory said he had achieved his aim of turning the company around and it was always his intention to pursue non-executive roles.

“We did not know how long it was going to take; we did not know what the end answer would be. I had decided on moving on to other – I think the word is ‘plural’ – relationships going forward; doing a number of non-executives,” Gregory said.

Gregory noted that his departure would depend on when global regulators gave the green light.

The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) is inviting comments on the acquisition. The OFT has the power to stop a takeover taking place if it finds that the combined company results in the “lessening of competition in the market”.