And also this week...

Towergate promotes two

Towergate Underwriting has promoted Fusion managing director Scott Brown to chief executive for commercial underwriting, and household managing director Andy Westby to chief executive for personal lines underwriting. Underwriting chief executive Clive Nathan said: “These well-deserved promotions reflect our expansion plans.”

BVI simplifies rules for insurers

The British Virgin Islands are set to open the doors to new insurers. The BVI Insurance Act 2008, which comes into force on 1 February, will simplify existing rules and allow the development of more sophisticated types of insurance companies.

AXA withdraws from NYSE

AXA is to voluntarily delist from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and voluntarily deregister with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. AXA’s delisting and deregistering will focus trading of its ordinary shares on AXA’s primary trading market, EuroNext Paris. This accounts for more than 95% of its worldwide trading volume.

Markel nabs Wilson to lead international efforts

Markel International has appointed Simon Wilson as director of international development. Wilson joins Markel International from Lloyd’s, where, for the past three years, he was the insurance giant’s general representative in Singapore and managing director of Lloyd’s Asia.

Chaucer advances Everall

Chaucer Syndicate 1084 has appointed Brian Everall as head of its specialist lines division. Everall joined Chaucer in 2002 and has more than 30 years of experience in the Lloyd’s market. He is currently deputy chairman of the Lloyd’s Market Association’s financial institutions business panel.

Plumeri gets an extension

Willis has extended the contract of its chairman and chief executive, Joe Plumeri, until July 2013. His contract was due to expire in April 2011. The board said: “Under Joe’s leadership, Willis has advanced its competitive position around the world.”

CCV pulls off 49th deal

Cullum Capital Ventures (CCV) has acquired AC Insurance Services, its first deal of the new year and its 49th since it started trading in June 2006. AC Insurance Services is a commercial broker based in Romford, run by owners Ann Charlwood and David Head.

Marsh lands Herring

Marsh has appointed Andrew Herring, formerly of JLT, as leader for the Americas in its London-based wholesale energy practice. Herring will drive Marsh’s wholesale energy broking services for companies with operations in Canada, the USA and Latin America.

Thamesbank signs Open GI

Thamesbank Insurance Services has signed a five-year deal with software house Open GI, which will double the broker’s IT capacity. Thamesbank currently writes in excess of £15m of premium income.

Castle Cover adds NIG

NIG is joining the home insurance panel for Castle Cover, the 50-plus insurance specialists. NIG will join Castle Cover’s panel in February, joining insurers such as AXA and RSA.

Amlin takes on Lockton arm

Forty Lockton staff have transferred to insurer Amlin following its acquisition of the broker’s UK insolvency practitioners’ insurance division. The business, which generated approximately £13m of gross written premium in 2009, will operate as an FSA-registered broker and trade as AUA Insolvency Risk Services.

Record numbers for has been named as the only fully audited website in the industry for the second year. Latest figures from the Audit Bureau of Circulations said the total number of unique users for September 2009 was 49,827, a growth of nearly 4,000 users since 2008. Publishing director Shân Millie said: “We see this growth not only as indicative of an increasing digital ‘habit’ in our sector, but also as proof that Insurance Times is now established as the online destination of choice in general insurance.”