Tuesday 27 June 2017

Jobs on line as Quinn Insurance administrators sharpen the axe

Emmet Oliver and Laura Noonan

Hundreds of jobs are in danger of being lost at Quinn Insurance as the administrators running the company prepare to make a major announcement about staffing levels on Friday week.

The company, which employs almost 2,500 people, is dramatically cutting back on its activities and yesterday the administrators warned staff this meant less work for current employees.

A letter to Quinn Insurance staff was sent by Michael McAteer of Grant Thornton, the administrator, spelling out the reality for staff.

"We are currently assessing the impact on the business and particularly staffing levels in the short, medium and longer term,'' the letter said.

The administrators have asked staff to elect members to represent employees during talks to take place next week.

While Quinn Insurance has re-entered the UK insurance market, it has done so with provisional drivers only.

Either way, Grant Thornton has described the UK business as "significantly reduced'' and this will also impact on activities back in Ireland.

A source said a large number of jobs are expected to be retained to manage ongoing claims that are highly labour-intensive, but job losses of some kind are inevitable.

"Regrettably we will be unable to continue as we are. We expect to complete this assessment by next Friday, April 30, and at that point we will update you with the findings,'' said the McAteer letter.

Meanwhile, bidders for Quinn Insurance have been told to contact or write to the Quinn Group, which owns the company. It is understood the contact must be made with Kevin Lunney, a senior executive with the Quinn Group.

Interest

Several private equity players are interested in the firm and are expected to combine with Anglo Irish, which wants to takeover the entire Quinn Group.

Meanwhile, one of the Quinn Insurance regional broker managers charged with building the business in the UK has stepped down following the insurer's descent into administration.

A spokeswoman confirmed that Laura Mansfield had stepped down "in the last two weeks".

Ms Mansfield was name-checked in a letter from Quinn Direct to UK brokers on March 24 as the company set out its stall for expansion in the UK commercial market. Quinn was put into provisional administration just six days later.

Irish Independent

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