Barclay will replace Simon Stevens who is relocating abroad

Rural Insurance has appointed Ian Barclay as its new managing director.

The former managing director of personal lines at Aon Risk Solutions will join the Harrogate-based agricultural underwriter, which is part of UK General Insurance Group, in February 2014.

Barclay will also join the board of UK General Insurance Ltd and will report to Rural chairman Peter Hubbard.

Barclay replaces Simon Stevens, who is stepping down from the business to relocate abroad next year.

Barclay said: “Peter painted a compelling picture for Rural, which has exciting plans for the future; it is one of the jewels in the UK General crown and I look forward to building on Simon’s legacy and helping the 50-strong team to take the business to the next stage of its development.”

Hubbard said during the last financial year Rural’s trading earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation grew by 45% to £2.1m on the back of total gross written premium of £29m, with new business GWP growing by 52% year on year to £7.7m.

He added: “Simon has been a tremendous asset to Rural Insurance, and we are very sorry to see him go, but are delighted to have found such a high calibre replacement in Ian Barclay, who will continue to take Rural from strength to strength.

“Rural’s strategy is simple; we aim to be the leading specialist provider in our chosen markets, and expand both our geographical reach and number of trading partners.

Barclay spent three years at Aon and is to be replaced by Toby Carnduff.

And prior to joining Aon, Barclay undertook a number of senior management roles in a 10-year career with AXA both in the UK and abroad.