PBSH chief executive currently “considering other opportunities”

PBS Holdings (PBSH) chief executive Jonathan Davey is likely to leave the company after it emerged he has stepped down from the board of the parent group.

Davey, who joined the company when it was founded six years ago and played a significant role in the group’s expansion, is set to hold talks with the board of the Primary Group on his future.

Davey’s potential exit comes amid speculation of a wider restructure within the Primary group.

In a statement on the PBSH website, Davey said: “Having taken the business from its inception to its current substantial size, becoming one of the UK’s most respected and established underwriting companies in the process, I felt that it was time for a new challenge.

“I am considering other opportunities which include alternative positions within Primary Group. I am very much looking forward to the future.”

A source close to Primary pointed to the wider strategy being deployed by the parent group. The source said: “Primary has closed an office, sold off a couple of businesses and perhaps Davey was worried about how this might affect his part of the group going forward. He has always been clear that his part of the business was performing but didn’t want to get rolled up into a bigger strategy that he wasn’t in control of. It is clear he is talking to external organisations about potential opportunities.”

In September, the group sold its subsidiary Goodhealth Worldwide, a specialist provider of expatriate private medical insurance to health care provider Aetna in a deal predicted to fetch £30m.

In May last year, PBSH announced a strategic partnership with two major insurers, in a deal thought to be the largest delegated binding authority of its type in the UK market, and described by Davey at the time as: “the springboard for further strong business expansion.”

The group had agreed a major underwriting capacity deal with AXA, Royal & SunAlliance (R&SA) and PBSH, which was expected to bring in £500m GWP over a three year period.

However, almost a year later, R&SA and the PBSH parted company, with R&SA reportedly claiming low business volume and Primary’s poor underwriting discipline as responsible for the separation.

Last month, the boss of Primary General’s London and South East region, Dominic D’Inverno, announced he was leaving the company to start up his own broker. The group also confirmed it had closed its head office in King William Street, London.