Wermann takes new group PR post at RBS

Direct Line’s Chris Wermann has landed the newly-created role of deputy director of group communications at parent company, the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Direct Line’s Chris Wermann has landed the newly-created role of

deputy director of group communications at parent company, the Royal

Bank of Scotland.



Wermann is currently head of corporate affairs at Direct Line, a key RBS

subsidiary. He has served in that role since early last year when he

joined from Financial Dynamics.



He started his career as a branch manager of the Woolwich building

society, before moving to PR. He then served for four years as PR

manager for Abbey National.



Wermann will assume his new role at RBS once he has appointed a

successor at Direct Line. He has engaged a recruitment consultancy to

look outside the company, but is also understood to be considering

internal candidates.



Wermann will oversee PR for the telephone insurance business and the

Scottish bank as well as a host of further businesses. These include the

recently-acquired NatWest, the 50 per cent stake the company owns in

Tesco’s Personal Finance and Virgin One and the RBS’ American concern

Citizen’s Bank.



The role has been created to allow the communications director, Howard

Moody, to concentrate on the PR aspects of integrating NatWest into its

new parent company.



’Integration is a tremendous challenge. We’ve made promises to the

market and now we have to deliver,’ said Moody.



Wermann will take over a team of 60 staff, covering media relations and

internal communications. The public affairs, community relations and

sponsorship briefs will continue reporting to Moody, who is based in

Edinburgh. The investor relations function for the plc comes under the

group finance department.



The RBS became the country’s third largest bank - after HSBC and Lloyds

- when it took over NatWest in March. It is now also a top ten European

bank.



Although RBS used Financial Dynamics to assist with the NatWest bid,

most of its PR work is done in-house. Only broadcast agency EMR is used

on a retained basis, while some agencies are used for specific projects,

such as Fodor Wyllie for the launch last year of directline.com.



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