Former Direct Line chief to head Halifax insurance arm

Halifax has poached former Direct Line Insurance marketing manager Ian Craig to be head of marketing at its new online insurance arm, in which it is investing £150m.

Craig reports to Esure chief executive Peter Graham. He says his first task will be to build a “lean, mean, marketing team”.

He will then appoint an advertising and media agency to what is understood to be a multi-million pound launch campaign. Craig says he will recruit them through the AAR.

Esure will launch early next year, selling motor insurance.

Craig says: “We will extend our launch to other types of insurance, initially home insurance. We aim to build a well-known brand. And we are prepared to spend money to do that.”

Esure is being set up by Peter Wood, who founded Direct Line – the mould-breaking insurer which launched in 1985, selling motor insurance over the telephone.

As with Direct Line, Wood plans to undercut traditional insurance companies by excluding the middleman.

Halifax unveiled its plans for Esure shortly after announcing the launch of its Internet bank is headed by Jim Spowart, formerly of Direct Line and Standard Life Bank.

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