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
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Kara Tointon and Jeremy Piven star in Mr Selfridge
tvActress Kara Tointon on what to expect from Series 3
Voices
Winston Churchill, then prime minister, outside No 10 in June 1943
voicesA C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
News
i100
Sport
footballBrighton vs Arsenal match report
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch has spoken about the lack of opportunities for black British actors in the UK
film
News
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
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: Tax Assistant

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Tax Assistant is required to join a leading ...

Recruitment Genius: Outbound Sales Executive - OTE £25,000

£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Ashdown Group: Java Developer / J2EE Developer - Watford - £45,000 - £47,000

£45000 - £47000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Java Developer / ...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Product Manager - (Financial Services) - SW London

£35000 - £38000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager - Marke...

Day In a Page

Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project
Diana Krall: The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai

Diana Krall interview

The jazz singer on being friends with Elton John, outer space and skiing in Dubai
Pinstriped for action: A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter

Pinstriped for action

A glimpse of what the very rich man will be wearing this winter
Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: 'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'

Russell T Davies & Ben Cook: How we met

'Our friendship flourished online. You can share some very revelatory moments at four in the morning…'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef serves up his favourite Japanese dishes

Bill Granger's Japanese recipes

Stock up on mirin, soy and miso and you have the makings of everyday Japanese cuisine
Michael Calvin: How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us

Michael Calvin's Last Word

How we need more Eric Cantonas to knock some sense into us