Rural Insurance, the agricultural insurer based in Harrogate, has appointed Ian Barclay managing director of the fast growing specialist business, subject to regulatory approval. Mr Barclay, who was previously MD personal lines at Aon Risk Solutions, will begin his new role as MD of Rural Insurance in February 2014, reporting to UK General Group Chief Executive Peter Hubbard. In addition Ian will also be appointed to the Board of UK General Insurance Ltd.
Mr Hubbard, who is also chairman of Rural, said Mr Barclay will replace Simon Stevens. Mr Stevens is stepping down from the business as a result of his plans to relocate abroad in 2014.
Simon has been a tremendous asset to Rural Insurance, and we are very sorry to see him go, but are delighted to have found such a high calibre replacement in Ian Barclay, who will continue to take Rural from strength to strength.
Mr Hubbard noted that, in Rural’s recent trading update, the business announced almost 27% growth during the last financial year. Trading EBITDA grew by 45% to £2.1m on the back of total GWP of £29m, with new business GWP growing by 52% year on year to £7.7m.
Ian Barclay said:
Peter painted a compelling picture for Rural, which has exciting plans for the future; it is one of the jewels in the UK General crown and I look forward to building on Simon’s legacy and helping the 50-strong team take the business to the next stage of its development.
Mr Barclay has spent the last three years at Aon, prior to which he undertook a number of senior management roles in a ten-year career with Axa in both the UK and abroad. He began his career in the IT team at Guardian Royal Exchange and spent twelve years there before moving to Axa. He is a fluent French speaker and played semi-professional rugby, as well as being a coach for a division one team.
Mr Hubbard said:
Rural’s strategy is simple; we aim to be the leading specialist provider in our chosen markets, and expand both our geographical reach and number of trading partners. The outlook for the business remains positive and we continue to plan for further growth over the next 12 months.