Royal London recruits head of corporate PR

Royal London Insurance has recruited its first head of corporate communications, to take on responsibility for media, government and internal communications.

Royal London Insurance has recruited its first head of corporate

communications, to take on responsibility for media, government and

internal communications.



Stephen Humphreys joins the insurance company to head up the

three-strong communications team from his role as media relations

manager and head of public policy with United Utilities.



Royal London has close to one million customers and pounds 6 billion of

assets under its management. The UK’s biggest insurance company CGU,

formed by the merger of Commercial Union and General Accident earlier

this year, has eight million UK customers.



Humphreys’ remit includes reviewing communications needs and looking at

the need for agency support. Financial Dynamics has been working on the

’Mutuality means more’ campaign for Royal London since autumn 1997.



As a mutual insurance company Royal London is owned by its policy

holders, compared with companies such as The Prudential which as a

public company is owned by shareholders. ’The obvious strength of

remaining mutual is that we don’t have to pay dividends to the

shareholders, so there is more money for the members,’ said

Humphreys.



The decision to introduce the head of corporate communications role

follows the arrival of Mike Yardley as chief executive in April. Yardley

affirmed his commitment to retaining the company’s mutual status and

communicating the benefits to customers.



Humphreys said that there was recognition at board level that Royal

London needed to improve its corporate communications. ’We have a

tremendous track record on the investments front, but we need to get

that across,’ he said.



During his time at United Utilities Humphreys also acted as a

quasi-personal assistant to former chairman Sir Desmond Pitcher. The

restructuring of United Utilities communications department under group

communications director John Drummond (PR Week, 20 February 1998), means

Humphreys will not be directly replaced.



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