Independent Insurance has reorganised senior management roles following the surprise departure of Mike Watts, one of the company's six assistant general mangers.

Taking over Watts' responsibilities in UK Branch underwriting is Stuart Pettet, who will be responsible for all international and corporate underwriting control. In addition, Bob Preston has become UK Branch liability manager. Both are based at Edenbridge.

Watts is not joining another insurer, and has not yet revealed his next move. But his exit does not result from differences of opinion, according to Andy Hawkes, Independent's executive marketing manager, who said: “There's been nothing like that at all. Mike's just decided to leave.”

Hawkes added: “We'll miss him. He's one of the nicest guys I've ever worked with.”

In other moves at the company, Independent marketing manager Michael Gaughan is to head up the new Dublin office, where he is expected to double current Irish business levels up to the IR£20 million mark.

His position is being taken by Graeme Sutton, formerly marketing manager for the UK Branch division, who has been with Independent since 1995.