Co-op’s Smile lures Egg Head

Internet bank Smile has poached Bob Head, commercial director of Prudential’s Egg, to head the operation.

Head became the first director of Smile this week. He reports to Co-operative Bank chief executive Mervyn Pedelty.

Smile was launched last October, under the management of the Co-operative Bank.

Sources say Head has been brought in to build an exclusive management team for Smile. This is expected to include a new marketing unit.

However, it is understood David Conway, executive director of marketing at the Co-operative Bank, will take up a group marketing role, working across both brand’s marketing teams.

A Co-operative Bank spokesman confirmed Head has been appointed to review the relationship between the two. But he says no decision has been made on whether to run Smile as a separate entity.

Smile last week announced it is reviewing its advertising account, held by Partners BDDH, just three months after its launch.

Partners BDDH also works on the Co-operative Bank account. Sources say that if the two brands are to have separate management structures, with different marketing strategies, they may separate different agencies.

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