Loss adjusters must improve their claims management skills or risk becoming subcontractors, warned Philippe Bès, temporary UK chief executive of GAB Robins.

Bès warned that the threat comes from consultants such as IBM and Accenture which were beginning to manage claims for insurers and insureds. He warned that loss adjusters could become skilled subcontractors to these firms, unless they built up management operations. While many skilled loss adjusters had left Capita in recent months, the firm is known for claims management operations which Bès sees as a growing trend in the future.

He warned that loss adjusters could be prey for the big brokers. "Why wouldn't Aon or Marsh be interested in our risk management skills?" he said.

Bès took over from Clive Nicholls following his shock resignation in July. Bès, a former UK chief executive, is the chief executive of GAB Robins international operations, which accounts for 40% of the group's turnover.

He said that the new chief executive would not be a loss adjuster. Bès said that he was looking for a different set of skills.

GAB Robins were narrowing down a shortlist of potential candidates and hoped to have a new chief executive by March 2003.