Norwich Union has suffered a blow after news leaked to the press that four senior personnel are leaving the company, including the chief executive of its overseas insurance arm NU International.

A spokeswoman for CGNU said John Herbert, who presided over the life, insurance and investment business of NU International, was stepping down for personal reasons.

His replacement is Dr Raul-Philip Bachmann, currently chief executive of Swiss investment firm Pictet Funds Geneva.

Also leaving is Tom Doherty, director of national broker business, and Nigel Law, a deputy to northern regional business director George Berrie in NU's intermediary division.

Doherty and Law, former CGU men, took up their posts less than a year ago following CGU's merger with NU last May.

The insurer refused to say why both men had left the company, although it said this rate of turnover was normal for a company the size of Norwich Union with 18,000 employees.

It stressed that Doherty and Law's departure “did not indicate any change of direction in its business strategy” for brokers.

Doherty was one of four CGU managers, including Berrie, appointed to Norwich Union's seven-strong board which oversees its intermediary business.

The three other directorships are held by ex-Norwich Union men.

Norwich Union also confirmed that another ex-CGU staff member, head of knowledge management, Laura Cochran, had also left the company.

Cochran's role was to identify best practice in underwriting and claims handling.