Heath Lambert ends its 15-year College Hill link

Heath Lambert, the world’s seventh-largest insurance and reinsurance broker, has ended a 15-year relationship with College Hill after a major financial restructuring.

A shake-up of the Heath Lambert Group at the end of last December saw the appointment of a new management team led by executive chairman Ian Martin. Now the company has appointed The Maitland Consultancy to handle its corporate profiling work and financial PR.

The account was previously managed by College Hill partners James Henderson and Caroline Wagstaff.

A Heath Lambert spokesman said the move was ‘related to the new structure and management team. We need to communicate to investors that we are a different company from the business that went into the restructuring.’

Heath Lambert’s restructure resulted in the acquisition of the company’s subsidiaries by the newly formed Heath Lambert Holdings, while the old company went into receivership.

The move gave Intermediate Capital Group a 50 per cent stake in HLH, with staff and management holding 33 per cent and the remainder going to senior banks. A £145m two-and-a-half-year banking facility reduced HLH debt by £133 m.

The HLH restructure came 18 months after Heath Lambert failed to close its planned stock exchange listing. The company’s IPO collapsed after it failed to get enough buyers from investors. They were wary of insurance company shares in the bear market that followed the 11 September terrorist attacks and the losses of the dotcom collapses.

The company had hoped to list on the FTSE-250 index with a value of as much as £450m. Subsequent discussions with potential trade buyers broke down.

Martin said in December the group’s independence and finances would be best served by the restructure.

A College Hill spokesman said it was ‘reasonable to expect the new management to review the account’.

Maitland partner William Clutterbuck is leading the account and will report to Heath Lambert marketing director Mike Owen.

‘Heath Lambert has a new management team and a sharper focus to its strategy. We are looking forward to reflecting this in a fresh approach,’ said Clutterbuck.

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