Nine candidates in the running for the post, but Andy Homer is in no rush to leave

The search is on for a replacement for Towergate chief executive Andy Homer. A shortlist of nine candidates is being vetted by an executive search agency.

In a wide-ranging and exclusive interview with Insurance Times, Homer and Towergate founder Peter Cullum revealed that a shortlist exists. There are three internal candidates on it – business heads Clive Nathan, Tim Johnson and Michael Rea – as well as six external candidates.

Towergate chairman Alistair Lyons is chairing the search committee, which also includes Cullum and Humphrey Battock, representing private equity investor Advent.

Homer insisted: “I’m here for the duration, until such time as the board is happy with my replacement. I’ve not said to them: ‘You need to get this sorted out by September or I’m out of here’.

“I think it’s very dangerous to look as though I can’t be bothered to be the group chief executive any more. I’m still in charge on a day-to-day basis doing the job I’ve always done.”

Cullum recently stood aside as Towergate’s chairman, taking up the new non-executive role of vice-chairman. The move was part of the management changes following Advent’s £200m investment in the business last year, which pave the way for flotation.

Cullum remains chairman of e-trading business PowerPlace and small broker consolidator CCV, and he is actively involved with both.

As exclusively revealed on this week, Cullum has appointed former Coverzones founder and chief executive Simon Ball as the new chief executive of PowerPlace.

“It’s a great hire for us – exactly in the right space,” Cullum said. Ball moves into the new role on 1 June.

Pass notes: Simon Ball

Who is Simon Ball?
He was chief executive of commercial aggregator Coverzones, which went bust and was bought out of administration last May. Ball had said he had plans to relaunch the firm.
Why was he appointed?
Former PowerPlace boss Matthew Reed jumped ship last year. He left without a job to go to, but found himself a new role with speed, becoming the main broker-facer for former Towergate boss Amanda Blanc at AXA.
What's number one on Ball's to do list?
PowerPlace growth plans. Cullum wants to expand overseas; PowerPlace has already been approached to break into the USA.