Miles Smith managing director Jim Packham has quit the Lloyd's brokers following a boardroom rift with Greatminster group chairman Martin Mann.

Miles Smith director Paul Chainey said his colleague had resigned on April 26 to "pursue his own interests", reducing its board from eight members to seven.

However, Packham exclusively told Insurance Times that he had left because of a disagreement with Greatminster chairman Martin Mann.

Packham said: "One of the reasons I left was because, at the end of the day, I could not see eye to eye with Martin Mann on the management of Miles Smith."

But he stressed that his departure was "very amicable".

Packham, however, claimed that Greatminster had "substantial" borrowings to the London market, which have been placing great strain on Miles Smith.

Packham said: "The parent group [Greatminster] has fallen into substantial debt with the London market. This is creating difficulties for Miles Smith by impacting on its trading conditions."

Packham said that he was now pursuing alternative business opportunities with a number of Lloyd's brokers, but could not divulge any details because of confidentiality agreements.

Miles Smith is the appointed broker to 38 trade associations including the Asbestos Removal Contractors' Association and has a separate wholesale broking arm with 800 agents and a total estimated turnover of £70m.

Packham's is the second high-level departure to hit the Greatminster group of companies.

In November last year Lloyd Hanks stepped down amicably as managing director of TGN after just six months to become sales and marketing director at Groupama.

Last April TGN broke up as a result of continuing consolidation in the insurance market.

The Greatminster group achieved a pre-tax profit of £1.2m on a fee and commission income of £38.2m in 1998, making it the 19th largest broking group.

David Milne, group managing director of Greatminster, declined to discuss Jim Packham's comments.

But he said that Greatminster's directors are considering a plan to restructure the group but not in a financial sense.

He said: "We have evolved very quickly and are still digesting a number of acquisitions, including Miles Smith. We are looking to put in place a more efficient structure."