CGU considers need for communications chief

The CGU Group, formed last year by the merger of insurance giants Commercial Union and General Accident, is considering recruiting a communications chief.

The CGU Group, formed last year by the merger of insurance giants

Commercial Union and General Accident, is considering recruiting a

communications chief.



PR for the group is currently handled by the Maitland Consultancy, but

there is no group-wide PR chief. There are separate communications

operations within each of the company’s three divisions.



PR for CGU’s general insurance division is headed by Lynne Gray, and

Mark Bloodworth heads PR for the life insurance and pensions

division.



Communications for the fund management division is outsourced to

Grandfield.



Lansons Communications provides day-to-day back-up to both the general

and life and pensions divisions.



Gray said: ’Recruiting someone to oversee overall communications is

something that is being discussed, but there has not yet been a spec

developed or any active searching.’



If CGU recruits, it will look to appoint someone with a better

understanding of the company than an outside agency could have.



The group has three divisions: general insurance, life insurance and

pensions, and fund management.



The need for a central PR figure follows the merger and subsequent

combining of the communications operations of the two companies.



Along with Royal Sun Alliance, CGU is one of the UK’s two largest

composite insurers - companies which handle both general insurance and

pensions business. CGU is slightly bigger in market capitalisation than

the Royal Sun Alliance.



In terms of UK general insurance sales revenue, CGU is the second

largest UK company, with Royal Sun Alliance being the largest.



In terms of pensions business, CGU is sixth largest in the UK.



The company is looking to cut costs following the merger. Pre-tax

profits were down from pounds 1.24 billion in 1997 to pounds 768 million

last year as a result of a large number of claims relating to floods and

storms.



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