A powerful overlap at the top
Saturday 04 May 1996
Richard Gamble of Royal will be group chief executive but Roger Taylor of Sun Alliance will have the senior role as executive deputy chairman and chairman of the management board.
The arrangement is part of a carefully balanced reorganisation that sees the departure of one Royal director, Roy Elms, and one from Sun Alliance, Ian Trotter, both of whom will be consultants to the company.
There are bound to be questions over whether the emergence of the two most powerful figures in both companies in similar positions at the top of the new organisation can be a lasting arrangement.
Mr Gamble, 56, will have overall operational responsibility for the group, running the management team, and will report directly to Mr Taylor, 54. Mr Taylor will be responsible for the world-wide strategy of the merged business.
Asked to define the two top executive roles, Mr Taylor said: "The board has delegated executive responsibility to me."
Above both men will be a new non-executive chairman, to replace Sir Christopher Benson, the chairman of Sun Alliance, who will remain as interim chairman of the merged group until the new person arrives.
An acquaintance of Roger Taylor yesterday described him as "an insurance man through and through." Mr Taylor joined what was then the Alliance straight from school, in the West Midlands. He has stayed with the company ever since, and was the driving force behind its last big acquisition. In 1984 it bought another insurance company Phoenix for pounds 400m, and achieved 18 per cent cost savings in as many months.
Richard Gamble, by contrast, trained as an accountant and has had a varied career, including since 1976 the finance director's role at Northern Telecom, McDonnell Douglas UK and British Airways. Mr Gamble joined Royal from BA in 1989 as group finance director, and was seen as a good outside figure to pull together what was regarded as a somewhat sleepy company with severe problems in the US.
The new group will have four executive directors - Mr Taylor, Mr Gamble, Arthur Hayes from Sun Alliance and Paul Spencer as group finance director from Royal.
The non-executive directors have been carefully chosen with equal balance from both original boards and include the Duke of Westminster from Sun Alliance. A number are also quitting.
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Weather bomb in pictures: Storms cuts power for tens of thousands – and snow is on the way
Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
Russell Brand was rendered speechless on Question Time by this man
Fury at Airbus after it hints the super-jumbo may be mothballed
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
iJobs Money & Business
£43500 per annum + pension + holidays: The Jenrick Group: Night Shift Operatio...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £40,000 + Car + Pension: SThree: SThree are a ...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35K: SThree: We consistently strive to be the...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £35000: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 b...