RSA loses corporate comms chief Emmott

FTSE 100 insurer Royal & Sun Alliance was this week devoid of a corporate communications chief following the sudden exit of Richard Emmott, who has left for personal reasons.

RSA enlisted Emmott as director of corporate comms in June last year to rebuild the firm’s battered reputation in the wake of the 2002 pensions misselling scandal.

He joined from similarly troubled Jarvis, where he was director of strategic comms overseeing the fallout from the Potters Bar rail crash. Emmott said he planned to ‘take at least a couple of months out’ before seeking a return to PR.

RSA said it had no immediate plans to recruit a replacement for Emmott. Head of external relations Phil Wilson-Brown has assumed his responsibilities and now reports to chief executive Andrew Haste in charge of a six-strong corporate PR team. RSA also employs seven PROs for its UK business.

Emmott bolstered RSA’s PR function with the hire of Wilson-Brown from College Hill alongside Justine Guest as head of internal comms last December. He dropped Edelman as retained financial PR adviser for Finsbury and appointed Lexington Communications as its first public affairs adviser.

The group is still struggling to quantify its exposure to asbestos claims in the US, which have hammered its share price in recent years.

Last month it offloaded its life assurance business to start-up firm Resolution Life Group.

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