Sterling Insurance is set to expand its high net worth (HNW) business following the appointment of a senior sales and development manager.

James Guthrie, former associate director of agency and development at HNW underwriting agency Oak Underwriting, will join Sterling in early 2007 to head up the division's growth plans.

Faye Roland, director of HNW at Sterling, told Insurance Times: "We are very focused on growth, but also on bottom line profit.

"It will be steady, carefully controlled growth, as we are not aiming to double the book of business by next year to make the figures look impressive. But we do want to grow the division and see James as being an important part of that growth."

Sterling's HNW division, as well as its personal lines business, will relocate to new offices in West Malling, Kent, as part of the development.

The move, which will quadruple the division's office space, will be followed by a renewed recruitment drive.

"We are expanding our staff numbers," Roland said. "We currently employ just over 300 employees as a group, but we are seeking to increase those numbers as a result of this move."