VPL appointments

Venture Preference (VPL), AXA’s broker subsidiary, made four senior appointments. Ian Story, finance director at Smart & Cook, is now chief financial officer for VPL. Geoff Bradford, managing director of Layton Blackham, takes on the role of integration director. Graham Coates, managing director of Stuart Alexander, will now be markets director. Darryl Druckman, Stuart Alexander finance director, becomes acquisition director. First published 22 October

HNW businesses merge

Somerville Holdings is to merge its Oak high net worth (HNW) and Plum home underwriting operations early in 2008. The combined business will manage about £50m of gross premium income. First published 22 October

Lehman finance tool

Lehman Brothers launched Libero Ventures, which allows insurers to improve their overall return on capital. First published 22 October