UK General ready for Acturis-backed commercial push
22 Nov 2011 Author: Callum Brodie, Post Online
UK General will set out to win back substantial broker business following the launch of the firm's commercial offering, supported by Acturis and a new e-trader platform.
The Leeds-based specialist insurer has signed a strategic partnership with the IT service provider in a bid to kick-start its drive into the commercial sphere — a move that will be bolstered when Cathie Bruce, pictured, arrives to head up the department on 5 December.
UK General managing director Michael Warren told Post he expects to concentrate on niche products, although the finer points of strategy and restructuring will be left up to Bruce.
He said: "We've said to Cathie it's entirely up to her who she brings in. She's got a clean sheet of paper to work with, but whether or not she sees a [need for] restruct-uring at this stage I've no idea.
"The system was acquired before she came on board but she is heavily involved in prioritising the products we develop on it. The challenge will not be just about enhancing distribution and service but also about what sort of products we sell on there.
"If we're just going to be another Aviva or Axa what's the point of people coming to UK General? I certainly wouldn't want it to be price, so we have to find in commercial the niche product opportunities that fit that market, which mirrors what we're doing in every other part of our business."
Warren also suggested that the commercial book is likely to increase following a calculated reduction that led to a breakdown in business with a number of brokers.
He added: "Trimming our book size was a difficult exercise, particularly with some brokers who had been well served by what was Primary previously. The implementation of the new system gives us the opportunity to rebuild some of those relationships and recreate business that we had two or three years ago."