ACCOLADES FOR IT TEAM
Insurance Times deputy editor Ellen Bennett has been named the overall Biba journalist of the year. Bennett scooped the top prize at the awards ceremony held in June at the Willis building. Chief reporter Danny Walkinshaw also won the hotly contested online award, beating fierce competition from rival publications. Insurance Times editor Tom Broughton said: “This is a fantastic achievement for both Ellen and Danny, and is another great accomplishment for the team. For Ellen to pick up the overall top prize is also a true reflection of the new standards Insurance Times is setting.”
SAGICOR PURCHASE PAYS OFF
Sagicor at Lloyd’s, the UK operation of Sagicor Group, contributed $13m net income to the group in 2008, according to its 2008 annual report. It also added $29.6m for the four-month period from its acquisition on 1 September 2007 to year-end. The 2007 results included an acquisition gain of $26.4m, while the 2008 results included a gain of $5.7m. “Sagicor at Lloyd’s had a commendable year, recording steady growth in business and enjoying good name recognition in the Lloyd’s market,” said Terrence Martins, chairman of Sagicor Group. Overall, the group’s net income soared 15.2% to $125.2m for the year ending 31 December 2008, up from the $108.7m it achieved in 2007. Total assets were also boosted to $3,979.3m, from the $3,649.7m it reported in 2007.
KEY MOVES AT FIRSTASSIST
FirstAssist Group’s chairman, Rodney Baker-Bates, is to be replaced by non-executive director Simon Ellen. Baker-Bates stepped down under corporate governance best practice, following the completion of his second three-year stint as chairman. John Maxwell will join the board as non-executive director. FirstAssist is a specialist insurer to the affinity market, as well as having a legal expenses arm.
UK PLAYS IT SAFE AT WORK
The number of people killed at work in Britain has fallen to a record low, new figures from the Health and Safety Executive reveal. Provisional data shows that 180 workers were killed between 1 April 2008 and 31 March 2009 (a rate of 0.6 per 100,000 employees) down from 233 in 2007/8. Phil Wright, chief engineer at Allianz Engineering, said: “The UK has been somewhat lucky in that a number of potentially major disasters, such as Buncefield, have not resulted in a significant loss of life. We must continue to guard against complacency.”
SME SETS UP BAKER SERVICE
SME Insurance Services has signed a three-year affinity partnership agreement with the National Association of Master Bakers (NAMB). Chief executive Jason Gandy said: “We have built up an excellent relationship with the NAMB members, and appreciate they are extremely busy people. With this in mind we have launched a dedicated quote-and-buy website – www.nambi.co.uk – enabling members to manage their insurance matters around the clock.”
PAYMENTSHIELD KEY HIRE
CCV chief executive Tim Johnson has left to become boss of Towergate sister company Paymentshield. Johnson will replace Stuart Pender, who moves to non-executive chairman. Towergate Underwriting chief executive Clive Nathan has been rumoured to replace Johnson, but no official decision has yet been made. Towergate executive chairman Peter Cullum commented: “Paymentshield has a very impressive growth track record over recent years. These latest appointments will allow the business to continue to expand.”
GREY POUND BOOSTS RIAS
RIAS, the over-50s specialist broker, saw pre-tax profits increase from £13.6m in 2007 to £16m in 2008. Operating profit increased 15%, from £19.5m to £22.5m. The Fortis-owned broker has over one million policies, mainly in motor, home and pet insurance.
DAS SIGNS LEI DEAL
Commercial insurer APC has appointed DAS to provide legal expenses cover. The firm will also support APC customers through an online legal advice centre. APC’s underwriting director, Ian Russell, said: “Legal expenses insurance is often referred to as a ‘bolt-on’ cover and isn’t always given the recognition it deserves. It is, however, an extremely important component of the overall protection that SMEs and larger businesses need.”