Peter Burrows, Engage Mutual CEO.
Harrogate will suffer about 163 jobs as a result of the decision by Engage Mutual to relocate to Brighton. The move has been necessitated by the merger between the insurance company and Family Investments. Harrogate will experience this job loss over the next two to three years of the relocation phase of Engage Mutual’s operations.
Last year, 95 per cent of Engage’s members threw their weight behind the merger and the formalities were concluded on 26th February when the firm gained regulatory approval. The process is expected to be completed by 1st April this year.
The unprecedented merger will bring together Engage’s £900m in assets and 500,000 members and £4.9bn in assets and more than two million members from Family Investments.
Engage Mutual chief executive, Peter Burrows explained that the merger had taken the operational efficiency and other factors in moving to the south.
“We considered several options, including moving operations to Harrogate and staying in both Harrogate and Brighton, but the decision to move south came down in large part to size: there are around double the number of people working in Brighton as there are in Harrogate, so moving operations north would have been even more disruptive,” said Mr Burrows.
It is estimated that the transfer operations to Brighton will be successfully completed by the end of 2017.
On Friday morning, management shared the plans with Engage Mutual staff who would be offered relocation opportunities.
Mr Burrows will assume the responsibility of chief financial officer of the new entity when he relocates to Brighton.
“It was obviously a difficult message to hear and clearly a number of people are disappointed, but the staff took it very professionally. I’m very proud that as an organisation we’re setting personal interest aside and doing what is right for our members – but it’s not easy,” Mr Burrows said.