SALE-headquartered Principal Insurance has promoted Aly Dixon to Sales & Operations Director at its group company Principal Insurance Ireland DAC.

The move by the specialist broking group is in recognition of Dixon’s success in building Principal’s presence in Ireland having headed up its Dublin office since it opened in 2015. The office specialises in motorcycle insurance and now claims an estimated 20 per cent share of the Irish insurance market.

Principal founder and managing director, Dave Bowcock commented: “From a standing start Aly has swiftly built an impressive operation.

"Injecting some much needed competition into the market and delivering a genuinely personal service to Irish bikers, she has enabled us to capture a significant slice if the market. Her promotion is more than well deserved.”

Dixon has steered the group’s Irish operation through significant challenges, including the loss to the bike market last year of two UK underwriters.

She joined Principal from Aon where for seven years she was manager of the Aonbikecare operation. This utilised Axa as capacity provider and the underwriter’s Irish broking operation is now a key partner for Principal.

Commenting on her promotion, she said: “The past four years have been as challenging as they have been enjoyable, with our arrival providing a significant and highly beneficial jolt to the market.

"It’s an absolute privilege to now be able to address as a director the ongoing challenges of that market and deliver on our growth ambitions.”

Across its UK and Irish operations Principal now serves nearly 50,000 policyholders and generates over £22m in annual premium income.

The group is active in a number of specialist niches. Its personal lines include motorcycle, motorhome, van and classic, performance, prestige, high performance, kit and replica cars whilst its Commercial division is particularly strong in the hire and reward, courier and motor fleet sectors.