The CGU Group, formed last year by the merger of insurance giants
Commercial Union and General Accident, is considering recruiting a
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
Communications for the fund management division is outsourced to
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