Appointments and people moves

Nick Groom has been appointed distribution director of AXA PPP healthcare, with responsibility for intermediated and corporate business as well as for AXA UK’s health and wellbeing support business, AXA ICAS. Groom (pictured) succeeds Chris Horlick, who leaves AXA PPP to pursue a new career outside of the healthcare industry. He joins AXA PPP from AXA Life, where he has worked since 2003, serving most recently as distribution and marketing director for its corporate business. In a move described as “complementary” by AXA PPP, Mark Howes, managing director of Sun Life Direct, is taking on the additional responsibility of leading acquisition and retention for AXA PPP’s direct personal business. The appointment of Howes would enable the healthcare business to build on his expertise in “consumer direct distribution”, AXA PPP said.

PMI Health Group, the independently-owned specialist provider of employee healthcare and risk management services, has appointed its first physiotherapist. Mary Watson will handle musculoskeletal queries from clients’ employees within the group’s nurse-led claims management team, Managed Care. Watson joins the group after retiring from her position as superintendent at Northwich Infirmary, Cheshire, where she worked for more than 20 years.

Groupama Insurances has appointed Louise Lock to the newly created role of learning and development manager. She will be responsible for designing and delivering learning solutions for managers and employees at all levels within Groupama Insurances. She will report to HR business partner Mark Dickinson. An internal appointment, she previously worked for Zurich Financial Services.

Vanbreda International, the provider of international Health Insurance and employee benefits, has appointed Joris Smets as the new head of its provider relations department. Smets will become responsible for managing, extending and improving the company’s network of inpatient and outpatient healthcare providers. Prior to joining Vanbreda International, he worked for a non-governmental organisation in West Africa.

Healix Group, the international medical assistance and healthcare services provider and administrator, has appointed a new sales and marketing director. Steve Hook, formerly director responsible for the Corporate & Travel sector for Mondial Assistance, has already taken up the new role and is spearheading an “ambitious programme of initiatives to raise the profile of the Healix Group”, the organisation said.

Lyndon Jones has been appointed sales director of Xafinity Consulting. Having begun his career as a consulting actuary, Lyndon started his own business in the 1990s, which was subsequently bought by a major plc. Lyndon then became head of Hazell Carr’s Defined Benefit business, which Xafinity acquired in April 2008. In his new role, he will develop and lead Xafinity’s national sales team and be involved in product and business development.

Bupa Individual Protection has appointed Kevin Russ as technical services consultant. Russ joins the product development team at Bupa Individual Protection from Vertex Financial services where he has been working with a range of product providers on both life and pensions technical issues.

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