January 9, 2009

Insurance Times’ Danny Walkinsure argues in their latest issue that the MBO of Insurance Group Australia’s Hastings Direct and Advantage operations and the sale of Equity Insurance Brokers to Swinton left all parties smiling and indeed “skipping into Christmas.” Hastings and Advantage chief executives Ed Fitzmaurice and Keith Charlton, Swinton CEO Patrick Smith, and indeed IAG “all appear to be hugely relieved that the negotiations are over and each is now ready to take their business and go their separate ways.” Identifying future challenges for each, however, Walkinsure says IAG will be focusing on driving forward specialty motor underwriter Equity Red Star under UK Chief exec Neil Utley. Swinton‚ with 91 new branches to add to its previous 489‚ will be concentrating on digesting its £50m purchase. Hoping that the only way is up, Fitzmaurice and Charlton meanwhile must now concentrate on securing “the backing of the rest of the market, a prospect that might be easier said than done.” Exactly how one does a prospect is less than clear, but presumably the skipping and smiling has by now given way to more a serious and focused business approach. An interview with Ed Fitzmaurice appears in this week’s Post Magazine.


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