RSA awards Lexington and Houston PA remits

Royal & SunAlliance, the insurer tainted in recent years by allegations of pensions mis-selling, has called in PA advisers for the first time.

It has appointed Lexington Communications and Brussels-based Houston Consulting to its PA account in the UK and Europe respectively.

RSA director of corporate comms Richard Emmott said he had hired the agencies to undertake an ‘issues audit and appraisal of key issues that will hit financial organisations in the medium term’.

Pertinent issues in the EU include attempts to stop gender discrimination in the insurance industry, which would prevent firms setting different rates for men and women, a widespread practice among car insurance providers. RSA also needs advice on the EU Investment Services Directorate.

On the domestic front, it is looking to develop its relations with government and tackle issues such as employee liability insurance, money laundering and insurance against flooding.

Lexington, founded by partner Mark Craven, prevailed after a four-way competitive pitch while Houston’s appointment was triggered by a recommendation from one of the agencies that tendered unsuccessfully for the UK account.

Emmott, who joined RSA from Jarvis last June, is in the process of appointing the organisation’s first in-house PA specialist, likely to take the title of PA manager.

The Financial Services Authority fined RSA £135m in August 2002 for its failure to compensate the 13,000 customers to whom it had mis-sold pensions.

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