Barclays picks Rees to boost insurance brand

Barclays has appointed consultant Rob Rees as interim marketing director for its Insurance brand, which relaunched on a “price promise” in April.

The bank signed a partnership with Aviva to sell products underwritten exclusively through the insurance giant’s UK brand Norwich Union. In the past, Barclays has also distributed Legal & General insurance products.

Barclays Insurance managing director Adrian Grace says that the bank aims to increase its insurance customer base from 500,000 to 1.5 million within five years.

Grace, previously managing director of software supplier Sage, was brought in by Barclays in October 2004 to rejuvenate its insurance offering.

It is believed that Rees has been brought in to breathe new life into marketing for the division and has been asked to focus on promoting the insurance products online and through direct-response marketing.

Although Barclays has sold insurance for more than 30 years, it has lagged behind rivals such as Lloyds TSB and Royal Bank of Scotland, which owns market-leading insurers Direct Line and Churchill.

Rees, co-founder of marketing consultancy Freestyle, comes from Scottish Widows where he was interim director of customer and brand for more than a year.

He was brought in as a consultant to relaunch and modernise the brand, following the resignation of Scottish Widows marketing director Peter Jordan. Former Barclaycard head of brand Mike Hoban took over the role in October.

Rees has previously held interim marketing appointments at Orange and Campbell’s Soups.

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