Exit of Prime Professions founder will not affect commitment, says Primary

Primary Group will not be selling Prime Professions in the wake of chief executive and co-founder Tony Blyfield’s resignation.

Primary chief executive Tim Smyth, who will step into Blyfield’s shoes until a replacement is found, said the company was committed to Prime Professions.

Smyth did not go into the details of Blyfield’s departure but said the decision was reached by mutual consent between Primary, the largest shareholder, and Blyfield.

He said the departure of finance director Felicia Meyerowitz, who left earlier this year, was “completely unrelated” to Blyfield stepping down. He also said that a replacement for Meyerowitz has been found and an announcement would be made soon.

Smyth added: “Under Tony’s leadership, Prime has achieved great things in a short space of time. We are grateful to Tony for all that he has done and we wish him well for the future.”

One market source said the departure came as no surprise, adding that Blyfield felt he had achieved all he could, having been at the firm for five years. Meanwhile, Meyerowitz is understood to be on the hunt for a similar role at a large competitor.

Blyfield commented: “It has been a great privilege to have been part of the success story that is Prime Professions. Having worked with many of my colleagues for a long time, I wish them every success in the future and look forward to watching them continue to go from strength to strength.”

Blyfield set up the business with 23 other employees who left Alexander Forbes in 2005. Forbes, which was bought by Lockton International, subsequently took legal action relating to alleged breaches of restraint of trade agreements, which were denied. The matter was later settled.

This is the second high-profile departure to affect Primary parent UK General Insurance (UKGI). In January, chief executive Tim Rolfe stepped down from UKGI.