Royal Sun picks top marketer

Syd Pennington, head of direct and retail at financial services giant Royal Sun Alliance, will take the top marketing job when Peter Taylor retires next month.

Taylor has overall marketing responsibility for the whole group in his role as group director for human resources, communications and marketing. Pennington will take up the group marketing reins when he becomes group director for customers and people [staff].

He was formerly director of Royal Insurance’s direct insurance arm The Insurance Service, prior to the merger with Sun Alliance in May 1996. He is credited with the famous “You’d better ring the Royal” campaign.

Pennington emerged as head of the three direct channels – The Insurance Service, Royal Insurance Direct and Sun Alliance Connections – when they were merged in August 1997.

His appointment is part of a wave of restructuring sparked by the retirement of a number of senior managers, who stayed to oversee the merger.

The future of the next layer of management, including group communications director Peter Jackson and a replacement head of direct and retail, has yet to be decided.

“We are in the process of restructuring and a number of appointments below this tier of management will be sorted out next,” says head of group corporate affairs Mike Jones.

It is understood that advertising and marketing may be reviewed shortly. McCann-Erickson won the 15m ad account to reposition the new Royal Sun Alliance brand and Evans Hunt Scott was appointed to handle the combined direct operation(MW June 26 1997).

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