Corporate services director Paul Picknett to retire

Francois Xavier-Boisseau Groupama

Twenty jobs are at risk in an overhaul of central functions at UK insurer Groupama Insurances.

In addition, the company has announced the retirement of corporate services director Paul Picknett, after 19 years with the Groupama group internationally and in the UK.

The company said the positions affected by the central functions restructure are in finance, IT, human resources and marketing. The company has today begun a four-week consultation with affected employees.

Groupama, which is in the process of being taken over by Ageas UK, said the changes were aimed at reducing expenses and increasing efficiency.

But the insurer added that the changes were unconnected with the Ageas takeover, which it said is expected to complete “very shortly”.

As part of the proposed changes, Groupama’s marketing department will be refocused to become a specialist PR and communications function. As there will no longer be a role for a marketing and communications director in the new structure, Jamie Marchant will be leaving the business with immediate effect.

Commenting on the restructuring, Groupama Insurances chief executive François-Xavier Boisseau said: “Decisions like this are never easy, but we have some significant cost challenges. Moving forward, we also need to be a much more streamlined operation as we continue to focus even more sharply on specialist and niche markets. It goes without saying that we will do all we can to support those affected by these proposals and we are immensely grateful for the commitment and dedication they have demonstrated to the business, some over many years.”

On Picknett’s retirement, Boisseau commented: “I would particularly like to thank Paul for his many years of outstanding service to Groupama both in the UK and overseas. His tremendous experience, his wise counsel and his professionalism will be missed both by his colleagues and his many friends within the market. I’m sure that everyone within our company will join me in wishing Paul a long and very happy retirement.” 

Picknett added: “I have enjoyed a really fantastic career at Groupama, made many friends over the years and enjoyed some great experiences that will keep me well-stocked with good memories during my retirement. I wish the business much success as it begins another chapter in its history.”