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.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
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

Recruitment Genius: Sales Assistant / Buyer

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company offers a range of ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisor

£15000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Customer Service Advisors are r...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: SThree were established in 1986....

Recruitment Genius: Compliance Manager

£40000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Compliance Manager is require...

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'