And also this week …

Carnegie-Brown joins aggregator

Former Marsh chief executive and Jelf non-executive Bruce Carnegie-Brown has become a non-executive director of Carnegie-Brown, who has been a non-executive director of Close Brothers Group since June 2006, stepped down from the Jelf board when he left 3i Quoted Private Equity (QPE), where he was a managing partner. His appointment came as the price comparison site posted an interim management statement, reporting that its insurance revenues were up around 10% on the same period last year.

Lib Dems pledge to level tax rates

The Liberal Democrats have pledged to bring the rates of capital gains tax (CGT) and income tax into line. The party’s manifesto, published last week, said that taxing all earnings at the same rate would generate an annual £1.9bn. While the main CGT rate is currently 18%, the top rate of income tax has climbed to 50%. The party, riding high in the polls since leader Nick Clegg’s star turn in last week’s ITV election debate, has also pledged to raise an extra £1.4bn a year by closing corporation tax loopholes.

Equity lands Honda contract

Equity has won the contract to administer Honda UK’s car and motorcycle schemes. EDBL, part of Equity, will provide branded ‘Honda Happiness’ car and bike insurance services. The schemes will be administered at EDBL’s customer contact centre in Colchester. Equity chief executive Neil Utley said: “We see Honda as the perfect fit for our affinity business.” Both will feature complementary seven-day cover for buyers of new and used motorcycles and cars, and an accident repair service administered through the Honda Approved Repair Network.

Two new faces at HSB in Midlands

HSB Engineering Insurance has appointed two development executives to help expand its presence in the Midlands. Gail Voyle joins HSB with more than 10 years at insurers such as AXA and RSA. Phil Smith joins from Bureau Veritas, with particular expertise in engineering inspection and compliance management. UK chief executive and managing director Stephanie Watkins said: “Both will be valuable assets to the team and to the wider effort of establishing HSB as the provider of choice for engineering insurance and inspection services.”

Henderson recruits top broking Brain

Henderson Insurance Brokers has appointed Gordon Brain as group broking director. Brain joins from Bluefin’s Harrogate office, where he spent 26 years, 24 of which were with Smart & Cook before the company was acquired by AXA in 2007.

Homeserve bags Dyson

Homeserve has won a contract to supply vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson with insurance services. The agreement includes the provision of extended warranty to Dyson customers outside of their manufacturers’ guarantee.

Xynthia was €1.28bn peril

Windstorm Xynthia caused a €1.28bn loss for property insurance, according to initial loss estimates from Perils AG, the European catastrophe data company. Main losses stemmed from France, Germany and Belgium.

Lockton reports optimism

The latest Lockton market update says most markets are stable, with prices soft and capacity high, but confidence is returning. Companies with strong financials, good loss histories and well-documented risk management should benefit from current conditions, it says.