Commercial Union has hired former UPS head of PR Annie Garthwaite as its
head of communications - a new role for the UK insurance group.
Garthwaite has joined Commercial Union’s head office in St Helens with
responsibility for developing the company’s press relations, internal
communications, sponsorship activities and public affairs capability.
Her role spans the company’s life and general insurance activities in
PR functions currently fall within the marketing services division,
headed by marketing services manager Ray Morley. However, Commercial
Union plans to create a dedicated PR unit, headed by Garthwaite and
staffed by marketing services personnel, over the next few months.
Commercial Union’s decision to set up an autonomous department has been
prompted by the growing consumer interest in the financial services
industry and increasing demand for private pensions, life insurance and
personal investment products.
Garthwaite was formerly head of PR for Europe, Middle East and Africa at
US courier company UPS. She quit UPS at the end of August after five-
and-a-half years in the job and shortly before the company moved its
European headquarters from Richmond to Brussels (PR Week, 9 August).
One of the largest insurance groups in the world, Commercial Union sold
pounds 2.2 billion worth of life insurance, pensions and unit trusts in
the first nine months of 1996.