QBE has hired Gary Payne as a senior underwriter in Manchester, part of a team restructure to strengthen the insurer’s trade credit business in the UK.

Payne joins from Coface, where he was a Vancouver-based senior sales executive for trade credit insurance. Reporting to Dave Murray, QBE’s head of new business, he is responsible for all new business in northern England and Scotland with turnover of more than £35mn.

As part of a realignment of roles within trade credit, existing staff have been handed expanded remits.

Underwriter Jack Staniforth now has responsibility for all new business enquiries in Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Midlands and the southwest of England.

Harry Bennion and Ruth Copperwheat are to focus on existing customers in the south of England, and Abbie Sandford continues covering London and the southeast but with added responsibility for all new business with more than £10mn in turnover. Stephen Watson will work alongside Payne covering northern England and Scotland.

“Trade credit insurance has become an increasingly critical part of a business’ risk management as our customers navigate a turbulent economic outlook,” says Trevor Williams, head of trade credit and surety for QBE Europe. “The new business team restructure and the new appointments will help further support our customers throughout the regions we operate in.”

In January the Australian-headquartered insurer appointed Seb Rice as commercial head for trade credit following the retirement of Ian Bocca, while Murray was given responsibility for new business.