Insurer confirms 13 resignations that include the team head

Norwich Union (NU) received a major blow to its property owners' division after 13 members of its London team handed in their resignations this week.

Insurance Times has learnt that David Cooper, head of the London property owners' team, and 12 other team members have decided to leave 'en masse' to join rival insurer Allianz Cornhill.

The London division is believed to underwrite premiums worth an estimated £150m.

NU confirmed that it had received 13 resignations from the team on Monday. But a spokesman said they had not been accepted by the insurer.

A broking source said that poaching Cooper would be a "big coup" for Allianz Cornhilll.

"He is been with NU for many years and is well respected."

A source close to NU said that the team members had decided to leave, despite getting pay rises, because of their "unhappiness with NU's strategy for property owners' insurance".

But the source added: "As far as NU is concerned it is business as usual and contingency plans are being put into operation."

An NU spokesman said it was still "considering its position" and despite "speculation" in the market it could not confirm or deny whether the team intended to join Allianz Cornhill.

Supporting brokers are said to have been advised of the team's decision and a meeting is believed to have taken place with the employees.

Allianz Cornhill declined to comment.