R&SA cuts 28 jobs at underwriting agency as chief executive challenges model

Martello Underwriting chief executive Michael Wood has resigned after disagreeing with new owner Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) over how the business should be run, Insurance Times has learned.

It comes as R&SA announced it was cutting 28 jobs from the professional indemnity (PI) underwriting agency in a wide-ranging restructure of the business.

The restructure will also see 40 of the 91 jobs at Martello outsourced to Plexus Law.

An R&SA spokeswoman said: "Staff will continue in their current roles, but be based at Plexus Law.

"They will be working mainly in the run-off market."

A further 23 staff will be moved into in-house underwriting teams.

The spokeswoman added that the changes had been agreed with trade union Amicus.

"Every effort will be made to find redeployment opportunities where possible," she said."

R&SA admitted that Wood, who will provide consultancy services to the insurer, had left because he was not happy with the way the business model was developing.

In a statement, R&SA said: "Having negotiated and completed the sale of Martello, Michael has had input to the options for the integration of the business into R&SA, but is uncomfortable with the new model."

The restructure is part of R&SA's drive to gear up its PI portfolio ahead of a relaunch in July.

The insurer will now make PI cover available through three channels: R&SA; broker-only provider Saturn; and specialist PI underwriter Magian at R&SA.

R&SA acquired Martello in November last year for £38.5m in a bid to strengthen its position in the PI market.

Martello's other brand, PI BrokerLink, will stop taking on new business, while PI Direct will be incorporated into the More Th>n business.

Aaron Devitt, director of professional and financial risks at R&SA, said: "This is a new chapter for R&SA in the professional indemnity market, bringing together the history of R&SA with the pace of Martello."

The R&SA spokeswoman said: "While R&SA works through the integration of the brands, systems and people, there should be no impact on brokers.

"Once the new structure has been finalised, R&SA will be communicating with brokers about how to transact PI business with R&SA, Saturn and Magian from R&SA."