Markel announces major job cuts in US, UK – report

Dozens of employees at risk as Fortune 500 insurance firm outsources work in key division

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

Specialist insurer Markel Corporation will lay off 80 employees in its information technology department where work will be partially handed over to an outside contractor.
About 40 of the job cuts will be from the company’s headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. The other positions at risk are reportedly in the UK and elsewhere in the US.
The plan to outsource work and the resulting layoffs in the IT department were revealed to employees on Tuesday morning, according to the report.
Markel said the layoffs will be implemented over a nine-month period. The affected employees will be provided with outplacement services including severance pay.
However, the insurer said the actual number of job cuts could be lower if the dismissed employees can find other jobs in the company or get hired by the unnamed outside contractor for the IT work.
“We are committed to working with our employees during this transition period over the next nine months,” Richmond Times-Dispatch quoted Markel spokeswoman Jennifer Blackwell as saying.
Defending the outsourcing plan, Blackwell told the publication that “ultimately, we are seeking efficiencies that allow Markel to focus on our core business of offering the best specialty insurance products and services in the marketplace.”
Earlier this year, Markel International, the corporation’s international business headquartered in London, reduced the number of its operating divisions to simplify the structure of its wholesale business.
The insurer trimmed down its divisions from seven to three – marine, energy and property; specialty and financial lines; and reinsurance.
The move was aimed at improving client service and daily business efficiencies while saving costs.
Insurance Business has reached out to Markel Corporation for comment about the reports and will update this story when they are made available.
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