Alyn and Deeside MP Mark Tami has told local media that his office is ready to help former employees of Staveley Head “in any way we can” following the collapse of the North Wales based insurance firm yesterday. About 60 out of the 85 members of staff at the brokerage have been made redundant with immediate effect, according to reports in local news outlets.
Staveley Head, set up in 1991, specialised in HGV, commercial van and taxi driver insurance and targeted the growing courier market, as internet delivery replaced High Street shopping. Rated highly by its policyholders on social media, expanding with 20 new staff in 2017 and winning insurance industry awards as recently as 2016, problems began for Staveley in the last year or so.
Staveley fell out with Danish insurer Qudos, which eventually went bust late last year, after trying to sue Staveley Head. Then more difficulties arrived late in 2019 after the underwriter for many Staveley policies, Danish insurer Gefion, ran into solvency/regulatory issues in its home market.
Gefion pulled out of its deal with Staveley in late November 2019, and since then Staveley Head has been trying to arrange a new volume underwriting partner, with no success. On 24th January 2020 Gefion issued a press release stating it was seeking more investment to boost its solvency rating, and they also said they disagreed with the Danish financial regulator’s assessment of their solvency.
Steven Muncaster and Sarah Bell, both of Duff & Phelps, were appointed as joint administrators of Staveley Head on Wednesday. They are actively encouraging potential buyers of the Staveley book to make contact as soon as possible.
A letter sent to staff at the end of January warned the “majority of employees of Staveley Head were are at risk of redundancy.”
Staveley Head has a sister company, PolicyPlan which acts as an MGA for brokers who want motor trade or commercial transport cover. Policyplan shares two directors with Staveley and is ultimately owned by Gelert, a holding company. According to the latest Companies House accounts PolicyPlan paid Gelert a dividend of £8m in 2019.