Share price plunges, with more departures tipped to follow

The shock resignation of Dominic Collins, executive chairman of JLT Risk Solutions division, has sent the broker's share price plummeting.

As Insurance Times went to press, JLT's stock had plunged from 360p prior to the announcement to 344.50p, a drop of 15.5p.

It hovers above the five-year low point for the broker of 333p reached in May 2005, which occurred in the aftermath of poor 2004 trading results.

It is not clear why Collins, who had been with the company for more than 20 years, resigned, but some have suggested personal reasons.

Market sources said Collins' departure was a "complete shock".

Collins had been tipped to take the position of chairman and chief executive of the new business to be formed from the merger of JLT's Risk Solutions operation and its Corporate Risks business.

This is due to be completed by the third quarter of 2006.

Collins had been promoted to chief executive of JLT Risk Solutions in December last year, replacing Mike Hammond, who left the company four months ago after the appointment of Dominic Burke as group chief executive.

Market sources said that further departures from JLT were expected in the aftermath of Hammond's departure.

Sources said that when Hammond was appointed by JLT from Marsh he took a number of staff with him.

It is thought they may follow him from JLT, but are awaiting March bonuses before quitting the company.

Meanwhile, Mark Drummond-Brady will step into Collins' position as chairman of JLT Risk Solutions, with Martin Hillier appointed as managing director of the division.

Both have been appointed to the group executive committee (GEC) with immediate effect, as have Alan Griffin, chairman and chief executive of JLT Reinsurance Brokers and Adrian Girling, who is chairman and chief executive of JLT Corporate Risks.

In recent weeks, rumours have circulated that JLT management has been talking to venture capitalist Stone Point which bought AXA Re this week.

Speculation is rising that the JLT board is ready to sell the business.