Commercial director Crane plans 'significant growth' in South West

LV= has scooped up four former NIG staff to spearhead a new office in Exeter as it targets “significant growth” in the South-West.

The NIG Exeter office was one of eight offices shut by RBS Insurance in a restructuring announced in April last year.

LV= has taken advantage of the closure to snap up office manager Steve Meredith and three underwriters.

Meredith, who also become LV= regional South-West manager, will be in charge of underwriters Nigel Skinner, Nick Potter and Ian Linnen.

Commercial director of LV= Broker, Mike Crane, told Insurance Times that the company has “significant growth plans” in the South-West but that it had not set any targets for the new Exeter office.

“The South-West has always been a profitable area to write business,” Crane said. “It is an area that values a local presence.”

The new team will be based within LV=’s existing Exeter-based life-insurance operation and will write a range of SME business.

It will work closely with LV= Broker’s Bristol office to cover Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, South Wales and Wiltshire.

Crane added that the decision to launch the Exeter branch was opportunistic. He said: “It’s not something we were looking to do, but we saw an opportunity.”

NIG, meanwhile, has appointed Chris Woollam as head of key accounts. Woollam was most recently European head of business delivery at Zurich.