Stuart Reid unveils senior management board

Venture Preference (VPL) chief executive Stuart Reid has unveiled his senior management board.

Reid has appointed Ian Story, who joined VPL with the acquisition of Smart & Cook, as chief financial officer; Shaun Hooper, former managing director of new markets at AXA, as chief operating officer; and Graham Coates, former manager director of Stuart Alexander, as managing director of trading.

Reid also filled the next tier of senior management positions, mainly on the trading side and organised on a regional basis.

Reid said: “At the moment we’ve got quite a disparate business and the point of getting one chief executive and one senior management team is to create one business.”

Reid has already travelled to 21 of VPL’s 46 regional offices since being appointed boss by AXA chief executive Peter Hubbard.

Reid’s former co-chief executives Chris Blackham of Layton Blackham and Paul Meehan of Smart & Cook have both left VPL.

Reid said the company has further acquisitions in the pipeline and plans to pursue its goal of buying a Lloyd’s broker.

He said: “If we get to the size we want to be, not having a Lloyd’s broker will be a real weakness.”

Reid said VPL has been in discussions with Lloyd's off and on for 12 months but wouldn’t disclose whether an acquisition is in the works.