Restructuring leads to competition for jobs

Employees at Churchill and Direct Line are to compete for the limited number of jobs under new owner Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance Division.

Restructuring by the bank will cull hundreds of jobs duplicated as a result of its Churchill acquisition.

Though the company denied staff were being asked to re-apply for their jobs, a Churchill spokeswoman confirmed there would be losses.

She said: "There will be a different perspective on new requirements as we go forward.

"There is a process being put in place so that within the new structure people who want to be considered for a post can put their name forward."

The four business areas in the new company are: Direct Line Retail, headed by Graham Ross; Churchill Retail, headed by Mike Quinton; broking and intermediary business, headed by Charles Crawford; and the affinity business, headed by Chris Moat.

The executive management team overseeing their work consists of chairman Ian Chippendale, deputy chairman Martin Long, chief executive Annette Court and chief operating officer John O'Rourke. All previously worked at either Direct Line or Churchill.

The new management team has assured the market it is committed to retaining the Churchill and Direct Line brands as well as the broking arm NIG.

But it is understood that restructuring will take place throughout all the divisions.

Andrew Blowers, executive director of Churchill Insurance, is thought to be an early casualty of the merger.

Asked if he was leaving, his only comment was: "I am surprised to hear the rumour."

He joins Stephen Gerraghty, managing director of Direct Line's assistance divisions, who is on his way out.

Gerraghty's role will be taken by Peter Horton, new head of claims for the merged group.