Consolidation will allow product realignment

Insurers Zenith and Link are to merge by the end of this year creating a single, Gibraltar-based insurance company.

Steve Tidd, chief executive of parent company GHL Europe, said: “The move is part of plans to seek a consolidated platform in the UK, and allow the company to press ahead with [its] rationalisation of products.”

He said: “In working towards consolidating our product suite and moving it on to full cycle EDI, now is the logical time to bring our insurance companies together and align the brand with that of our parent.”

The process will begin in October, when all private car products underwritten by Link will be withdrawn from the market and transferred to Zenith. Bike and private car products will be relaunched early next year, with household to follow.

Meanwhile, price changes for Link and Zenith products will be taking effect over the coming months.

The company is also finalising a deal with a Lloyd’s insurer, thought to be Jubilee (in which GHL owns a 40% stake) to offload its fleet business. Peter Longstaff, chief underwriting officer at Zenith, said: “The [fleet] book sticks out like a sore thumb.”

In order to grow the business, the company will target larger brokers. It already has a strong relationship with Kwik-Fit and the Budget Group.

Despite the financial difficulties the company has experienced since the acquisition of Rubicon last year, Tidd insisted that the latest developments would not impact negatively on forecasts.

The company posted modest profits in the first six months of the year.

The company rebranded GHL Insurance Services UK earlier this year, and is in the process of closing its office in King's Hill. Tidd confirmed that 60 staff will lose their jobs.