McManus for Towergate?

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Martin_ed_pic_NEW_0710 small.JPG Well the big news this week is the departure of Brendan McManus, CEO of Willis UK, from the company. The broker tried to slip the news in at the bottom of a press release about other global appointments - a couple of lines signalled the departure of a man that was welcomed with such fanfare only four years ago.

There were none of the usual platitudes about how grateful the company was for his years of service. There was not even the appetite to wish him well it appears.

So it's pretty clear that this was not the most amicable of departures and it would appear that it was not Willis' choice. But gone from Willis he has so the big question now is where he is going to. He's still a young man so there is no question of retirement and as such, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive.

Journos and market faces alike have been trying to figure out the most likely destination for him. His experiences in a large corporate broker and his previous role as MD of broker at RSA have given him the necessary expertise to make him attractive to several of the insurers who are now making a big play for corporate business.

Insurers such as Aviva. They have made a very public move into the mid and large corporate arena and have made some headway but the addition of someone like Brendan would give them the added gravitas that they perhaps lack at the moment.

I suppose there's also RSA but it would be a bit far fetched to imagine a return there. He could also be the latest in a long line of people that have left one global broker for another and there would be no shock if that turned out to be the case.

But the name that keeps crossing everyone's lips is Towergate. Mark Hodges has been building his team ahead of the flotation and one of the few areas that Towergate is weak in, is the large corporate market. Brendan could certainly plug that gap.

What role? Well Towergate's broking MD, David Partington, resigned this week but that role, all due respect to David, would almost definitely not appeal to Brendan. But if he was to take up a number two role to Mr Hodges, which is the bookie's bet at the moment, then he could have full control over Towergate's broking business and would be looking at a nice payday come the eventual flotation.

As I say, it's all rumour and conjecture but it is fun playing the game and when you add together all the circumstantial evidence, there is an increasingly compelling case for Brendan's eventual appearance at Towergate.

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