Lloyd's hunts comms head after the departure of Peel

Insurance market Lloyd's of London is on the hunt for a head of communications following the departure of PR chief and former Downing Street press officer David Peel.

Peel left Lloyd's late last month after less than a year as director of communications.

He was unavailable for comment as PRWeek went to press, but it is understood the former Number 10 PRO resigned for personal reasons.

He joined Lloyd's last May from Weber Shandwick, where he briefly headed the agency's crisis and issues management division (PRWeek, 24 May 2002).

Lloyd's has decided not to directly replace Peel, instead handing his marcoms responsibilities to existing director of worldwide markets Julian James and recruiting a head of communications to oversee internal and external PR.

James insisted that the move was not made for cost-cutting reasons, but rather to increase efficiency. He said the head of communications will report to himself and head a team of four, with a remit to help steer Lloyd's through what is a difficult time for insurers.

On current PR issues for the group, he said: 'Coming up we have our financial results released next month plus all the other day-to-day challenges that the insurance industry faces.'

Lloyd's' retained agency College Hill has meanwhile hired Peel's predecessor Caroline Wagstaff as a partner. Wagstaff will jointly lead the agency's corporate team of seven staff.

She joins the agency after a ten-month career break, in which she spent three months in France and four months running London art gallery Inside Space.

The role at College Hill is Wagstaff's first agency post. She said that she would be concentrating on using the full marketing services mix to cater to clients, rather than just pure PR.

'All of my background has been in joined-up communications, so I see it more as a holistic marcoms practice than just PR,' said Wagstaff.

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