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Greggs tech leader joins North P&I as CIO

20140213_Northumbrian Water_58Global marine insurance specialist North P&I Club has appointed James Holmes as CIO at its Newcastle headquarters. Holmes joins the financial services business from another Newcastle business stalwart, Greggs, the high street bakery retail chain.

In a statement North P&I Club said Holmes has a remit to “drive the business IT strategy and further enhance service delivery”. Adding “as Chief Information Officer Holmes is to provide long term strategic direction for the continuing development of North’s IT & digital infrastructure and systems across its worldwide network of offices”.

North P&I Club is a leading marine mutual liability insurer providing P&L, war risks and ancillary insurance to 140 million owned shipping tonnage and 50 million of chartered tonnage.

james holmesAt Greggs Holmes (pictured left) led the five year transformation programme encompassing, customer service, procurement, learning and development, finance and recruitment which has been implemented across the business. The CIO spent 16 years with Greggs as the business grew to 1800 shops and 2000 employees. Before joining Greggs Holmes was with technology and business process outsourcing firm CapGemini. Holmes began his career as a developer working with Torex Health and financial services organisation Norwich Union, now known as Aviva.

Paul Jennings, Joint Managing Director said in a statement: “This new CIO role will help ensure that we develop our technical IT capabilities in line with our business growth, and continue towards achieving our strategy to provide the highest level of cost effective service to Members.”

In February 2014 North Group merged with nearby Sunderland Marine to create one of the most significant marine insurance organisations. The merger set out to create a wider range of product lines, increase competition and retain a reputation in the marine industries for good customer service. As a result of the merger a major transformation of business processes was required, which was led by CIO Mark Aikman from August 2010 until the end of 2017.

North Group had a well established Cobol system, but was well aware of a changing customer landscape and the need to modernise its business processes and therefore technology to meet those new needs.

Aikman partnered with Future Processing, a Silesia based software development company to deliver the largest transformation the Newcastle business had undertaken.


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Mark Chillingworth has over 20 years of journalism and editing experience across all media platforms including online, live events, print magazines and television.
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