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Senior staff leave Aon for competitors

GLOBAL insurance broker Aon has lost a significant number of its senior management in recent times with some employees jumping ship to join the ranks of key competitors in the insurance broking arena.

About four senior staff members have left Aon in just the past month.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson executive director Steve Thomas confirmed that former Aon business development manager Alan Meadows signed up with his organisation in the past two weeks.

"There have been quite a few people moving around quite a bit in the last few years," Mr Thomas told WA Business News.

"From around 2005-6 to 2008 it was very hard to find staff, but that has settled down.

"And yes, we've engaged a few people from them (Aon)."

A spokesperson for Willis Australia has also confirmed the company's new state manager, due to start work in August, is former Aon divisional manager Dennis Geldart.

Nick McCready, who was involved in Aon's professional services division, has just taken up a similar role with Strathearn Insurance Brokers.

And it is also understood that one of Aon's young guns, Richard Scragg, resigned last week and could also be headed to Strathearn.

Jardine Lloyd Thompson picked up a couple of other Aon staffers in the last six months.

Former Aon senior account executive, Alan Butler, joined JDL as divisional manager in the natural resources and construction area, while former Aon divisional manager Lee Thompson is now divisional manager of corporate risk.

Coincidentally, according to WA Business News' Book of Lists, there have been four state managers at the helm of Aon in WA in less than four years.

In 2006 there was Alan Rhodes, who was succeeded by David Gower in 2007.

Mr Gower was replaced in 2008 by David White, with Mr White only recently replaced by Andrew Clarke.

Mr Clarke is a relatively recent arrival in Western Australia, having worked in Asia for most of the past two decades, most recently as Aon's chief executive in India.

Aon national general manager corporate risk services, Paul Venning, would not confirm any of these recent movements.

Mr Venning said Perth was an important office for Aon Australia, with the company planning to continue to invest and support the business.

"Staff appointments and departures in our local offices represent the natural course of business for Aon and the greater insurance and risk management industry," Mr Venning said.

"With the completion of Aon's acquisition of Benfield Group in November 2008, not only do we have plans to expand our operations in the region, we continue to be on the lookout for talented people with risk specialisation or client service skills."

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