Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Iconic Irish insurance brand looks set to be consigned to scrapheap

Protesters at a sit-in at Quinn Group headquarters in derrylin, Co Fermanagh in support of its founder

The Quinn brand name is set to disappear from the insurance landscape in Ireland after 15 years, following the deal to take over the company by Anglo Irish and US giant Liberty Mutual.

Quinn Insurance started with one small outlet in O'Connell Street, Dublin, in 1996 and gradually grew into one of the largest insurers on the island, writing over €1bn of premiums per annum. But a statement yesterday issued by Quinn administrators indicated the brand name would now be reviewed.

"A decision on the brand name that the company will trade under in the future will be announced in due course,'' it said.

It is understood the Quinn brand name was one of the factors behind a drop in customer numbers at the company over the last year and it is now almost certain to be dispensed with.

Effectively two new companies are emerging from Quinn Insurance, but Liberty will be running the Irish arm and are unlikely to want to use the Quinn name.

However, the deal involves all jobs being secured, the purchase of all Quinn Insurance offices (apart from Manchester) and the continued operation of the firm's headquarters from Cavan.

The remaining UK liabilities are not being taken over by Liberty, although it will manage these liabilities on behalf of the administrators for a fee. These leftover liabilities will still be called Quinn Insurance, but within 18 months this arm will stop doing business.

Administrators Michael McAteer and Paul McCann of Grant Thornton, said that after two years of losses (2009 and 2010) the Quinn Insurance business should break even this year.