Mitsui staff exodus comes after the insurer’s announcement last month of a £19.5m loss in 2009

Insurer Mitsui Sumitomo has lost up to nine staff following a triple swoop from Aviva, RSA and Liberty Mutual.

Aviva head of corporate risk solutions Dipak Warren, who left Mitsui in September, raided her former workplace to recruit property underwriting manager John Tiernan and two of his colleagues.

Insurance Times also understands that four Mitsui employees are expected to join Liberty Mutual shortly, while RSA has poached two heavy-hitting underwriters.

RSA commercial director Paul Donaldson said the two staff from Mitsui – Nick Newlove and Dave Corrigan – along with Mark Winslade, who worked in QBE’s European operations, would write risks for the UK and Europe.

Donaldson said: “We have ambitious plans and these underwriters will be instrumental in driving it forward.

“Both Nick Newlove and Dave Corrigan are well known to us. Nick will bring significant catastrophe expertise; Dave will add to our property competence. We are also delighted Mark Winslade has joined us from QBE. He brings a wealth of international London market experience, which will help our growth plans for 2011.”

Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance (London Management) made an overall after-tax loss of £19.1m last year, following a £171.6m deficit in 2008 driven by its run-off entity.

Its corporate capital provider, including Lloyd’s syndicate 3210, returned to an after-tax profit of £15.8m in 2009, compared with a £16.2m loss the previous year.

The insurer confirmed that four members of its mid-market broker sales team and four underwriting staff have resigned, although Insurance Times understands that the overall total will be nine. Those members of staff are on gardening leave and will leave the business at the end of their contractual notice periods.

Mitsui moved quickly to fill the gaps left by the exodus. The strategic marketing and sales team, currently headed by Jeremy Stevenson and supported by Paul Knight and Steve Williams, will continue to manage broker relationships.

Mitsui chief executive Andrew McKee said: “Losing team members presents challenges, but we have already activated plans to deal with the situation swiftly and seamlessly. It’s very much business as usual.”