Embattled insurer RSA's UK and Western Europe boss quits

Peter Spence
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RSA Insurance's attempts to renew itself continue.

The insurer announced the "agreed resignation" of its UK and Western Europe CEO Adrian Brown this morning.

That sees Brown resign from the board, but continuing in his executive role until a successor is found. Brown's final departure date is expected to be somewhere in the second half of 2014.

Brown had been with RSA for 25 years, and has been CEO of the UK business since 2008. Group chief executive Stephen Hester said that "we are grateful for all he has done". Jon Hancock, head of UK Commercial Lines and Mark Christer, head of UK Personal Lines, remain responsible for any RSA broker related business and strategies.

Brown said in the RSA's release that he has "enormous affection for the group and confidence in its future" but that "the time is right for me to take up a new challenge and for the business to seek fresh leadership." This is the latest top level change to management, after the resignation of the group's former chief executive at the end of 2013, Simon Lee, who has since been replaced by ex-RBS top dog, Stephen Hester.

Last week, the insurer announced that 95.69 per cent of its rights issue had been bought by investors, raising £773m for the group - what many investors saw as a rescue rights issue after the company suffered at the end of 2013. The company had a poor year after some accounting irregularities at one division and an increase in claims as a result of extreme weather events.

Shares collapsed at the end of last year, falling from a November 2013 peak of 129p to 90p in December. And despite the success of the recent rights issue, and an upgrade from S&P, the company has been unable to regain a sure-footing. RSA stock is currently up just under 0.3 per cent this morning, at a shade under 93p.