New owner needs to provide reassurance over the direction of the business

Steve Burrows Cobra

Cobra chief executive Steve Burrows will embark on a whistle-stop tour of network members to reassure them about the group’s future.

Burrows will visit up to eight regions to update unsettled members on his plans for the business. This follows a period of uncertainty, with rival networks circling its members.

The 120-odd members will be able to quiz Burrows. Many are expected to seek reassurances about the network’s direction, after several recent high-profile departures, including former network and London markets managing director John Lincoln.

Burrows bought Cobra in July through his investment company Alto Intermediary for £7.3m. He told Insurance Times that his priority is to revamp the network offering.

A Cobra member said: “We want to know what sort of deals we can get, and how Cobra is moving forward.”

Lincoln joined Giles last month as managing director of FSJ London markets and networks. He will play a key role in launching Giles’s new network offering when he starts in January 2013. Former Cobra Broking duo Ray Heap and Dave Truman will also join as development directors.

This week, five former Cobra staffers also joined Giles business FSJ Broking, part of Ink Underwriting. Michael Lincoln, Mark Cullerton, Jeff Sellick and Rob Lincoln have joined the broking team to develop its London market business. Neil Atkinson has also joined as business development manager.

Giles managing director, underwriting and wholesale, Bernard Mageean said: “We are thrilled to get such high-quality individuals into our team.”
Burrows could not be reached for comment.

Pass notes: Cobra Networks

Why are some Cobra members unsettled?
The large number of network staff who have exited the business has left some members concerned about where the network is heading.

How can Burrows reassure Cobra members?
By outlining his plans to improve the network’s offering to benefit members, including new innovations and appointments.

Who is circling Cobra members?
Most networks, including Bluefin’s BPS and Westinsure, have begun contacting Cobra members, hoping to tempt them away.