People & Business: From Ambassador to insurance missionary

Legal & General has appointed David Kerr from Ambassador Insurance, a subsidiary of Lloyds TSB, to develop its private medical insurance business. PMI itself has been a casualty of the recession and rising costs of private hospital care. L&G went into the business of providing insurance to cover medical bills only 18 months ago, marketing it first to its existing personal customers. Mr Kerr's job will be to convince small and medium-sized companies that this is a cost-effective service to provide or subsidise, that will pay dividends in improved health and employee loyalty.

He also has to keep a close eye on the way the new Government's views on private healthcare develop. This is an unknown territory and L&G, like its rivals, is anxious to be constructive and co-operative and make a positive contribution to future policy without getting itself on the wrong side of Government policy on the subject.

Married with four children, the oldest of whom is a medical student, Mr Kerr is a compulsive acquirer of qualification. He is an ACIB from his early days in the private banking division of Lloyds Bank. He also has degrees in law and marketing, and is currently doing an MBA at Henley. His parents both started working in the healthcare industry even before the NHS. Aged 44, he still skis and runs, and completed the London Marathon in 1995 in a time of around 4 hours. Next time he hopes to have the confidence as well as the contacts to attract some useful sponsorship.

Grant Baird, the chain-smoking former Bank of England and Royal Bank of Scotland economist who now runs the Scottish Financial Enterprise, tells me the main concerns of Scottish business - now the devolution bandwagon is rolling - is that, just as the UK runs the risk of seeming semi-detached from Europe, so Scotland may be seen as semi-detached from England. This is at a time when foreign businesses are debating where to place their next investment project. Scottish companies also worry that tax-raising powers could disadvantage them and make it harder or more expensive to attract and hold their skilled workers.

The Referendum Bill comes at a time when Scottish companies are sharing the strength of the UK economy without suffering from attendant problems of inflation and soaring house prices. Excluding investment trusts, there are now 87 quoted companies run from Scotland, with 15 new listings in the past two years, plus another 19 traded on AIM. The Scotsman's index of Scottish share prices, irreverently known as the McFootsie, shows strong share price performances this year. Scottish banks and insurance companies are making the running in the buoyant financial sector.

I have to report, however, a dispute over the impact of bid fever on the strongly mutualised Scottish life assurance industry. Edinburgh-based Mr Baird takes the view that the takeover of Scottish Amicable by the Pru was largely beneficial. Alf Young, the legendary and long-time economics editor of the Glasgow-based Herald, called Mr Baird "Dr Pangloss". Mr Baird replied by comparing Young and his doom-laden warnings to Dad's Army's Private Frazer.

The eight-man crew of the yacht Mediatore that won the annual Hoya Round the Island race round the Isle of Wight last Sunday are all brokers for Sedgwick International Broking Services. For good measure they picked up three class victories and the Royal Thames Yacht Club Challenge Cup for their performance. A spokesman praised the will to win so common in the broking fraternity.

It helps, of course, that the Sedgwick Group owns the yacht which doubles as a competition yacht and a vessel for corporate advertising and hospitality. It also helps to have two sailors, skipper and helmsman Ben Nicholls and tactician Fred Blenke, who have represented Britain at the national and Olympic level. Another crewman, Chris Clarke, is an England A rugby player.The crew is now in training to meet other City crews in the Sedgwick Challenge.

News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
fashionThe supermodel on her career, motherhood and Cara Delevingne
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
News
i100
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Sport
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
football
News
people
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
Rachel, Chandler and Ross try to get Ross's sofa up the stairs in the famous 'Pivot!' scene
tv
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Senior BA - Motor and Home Insurance

£400 - £450 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: **URGENT CONTRACT ROLE**...

Market Risk & Control Manager

Up to £100k or £450p/d: Saxton Leigh: My client is a leading commodities tradi...

SQL Developer - Watford/NW London - £320 - £330 p/d - 6 months

£320 - £330 per day: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group have been engaged by a l...

Head of Audit

To £75,000 + Pension + Benefits + Bonus: Saxton Leigh: My client is looking f...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments