Atkinson to head R&SA UK comms

The UK’s largest general insurer Royal and Sun Alliance (R&SA) has appointed Paul Atkinson, former director of financial PR at Ludgate Communications, to the new post of head of UK corporate communications.

The UK’s largest general insurer Royal and Sun Alliance (R&SA) has

appointed Paul Atkinson, former director of financial PR at Ludgate

Communications, to the new post of head of UK corporate

communications.



Atkinson will be asked to unify the company’s communications

strategy.



Each of its three main businesses - commercial, general insurance and

life assurance/pensions - has its own communications team which

currently operate independently of each other.



According to director of corporate and risk services Harry Driver, this

has led to ’clashes’ and ’inconsistency’ in the company’s communications

programme.



He said: ’We need to bring in a professional PR person with a track

record in the industry to help us punch our proper weight.’



Reporting to Driver, Atkinson heads a team of three and will also be

responsible for internal communications.



The heads of the three divisions will continue to report to division

directors, but will also liaise with Atkinson over ’corporate

strategy’.



Before joining Ludgate in 1998, Atkinson was external affairs head at

the Nationwide Building Society for seven years. Prior to joining

Nationwide, he was an associate director of financial corporate

communications consultancy Valin Pollen, which counted NatWest, Allied

Dunbar and Credit Lyonnais among its clients.



Last week, R&SA announced that it was dumping four of its external PR

agencies - Staniforth PR, First Financial, Band and Brown and Lansons

Communications - in favour of consolidating its pounds 400,000 consumer,

trade and corporate activity through Shandwick (PR Week, 10 September).



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