Erinaceous Insurance Services (EIS) has lost another member of its senior team with the departure of business development director, Andy Poole.

Poole will leave the troubled property services group on 31 December to take up a senior post at broker Miles Smith in its direct schemes and affinity business.

Miles Smith chief executive Paul Chainey, confirmed Poole’s appointment but declined to expand further on his role.

Poole’s exit brings the total insurance staff to have left Erinaceous in 2007 to 22.

Fourteen of those departures have gone to Towergate, including EIS managing director Andy Halstead and director of insurance and underwriting Nick Crocker.

Crocker is now chief executive of Towergate’s new network division.

EIS property and com-mercial division managing director, Nick Sharp dismissed criticism that the company was haemorrhaging staff.

He said: “It is all relative. When you have 750 staff in total, the turnover is not that great.”

Sharp said that he would be making two senior internal appointments this week.

He added: “We have converted some of our debt into equity. The business is in good shape and will deliver good profits.”

In September, the group revealed it had breached the terms of its debt covenants. Last month, it issued a profit warning.

Sharp would not be drawn on enduring speculation linking the group with a takeover, though he said: “If you have a profitable business, there will be interested parties.”

A senior market source speculated that any sale would be contingent on the property and insurance divisions of the business being split.

Erinaceous’s shares have fallen by over 98% this year. As Insurance Times went to press, they were trading at 3.8p.