Allianz Commercial, part of the Allianz Group, is set to expand its regional branch network with the opening of a new office in Newcastle, UK, and aims to have a team in place within the next six months.

In preparation, Allianz has appointed Les Archibald to manage the operation. He will oversee broker development in the North-East, leading the underwriting and new business teams to maximize opportunities in the region.

Archibald has more than 20 years of commercial insurance experience. He will join Allianz from Primary General & Rural Insurance where he has been underwriting director for the past two-and-a-half years.

Allianz Commercial general manger Chris Hanks said, this is an exciting development which proves Allianz’s long-term commitment to local broker markets.

To be successful in the UK commercial sector, the company firmly believe you need a strong regional network that keeps underwriters and decision-makers close to the customer, Hanks said.