In a frankly bizarre move, the Belfast Telegraph today revealed, the new owners of Quinn Insurance – US insurer Liberty Mutual and IBNR (the former Angloirish Bank) have decided to sacrifice all the precious brand equity built up since 1996 by rebranding Quinn Direct as plain old boring Liberty Insurance.
“This is frankly mystifying,” one commentator told Bankstone News this week, “The Quinn name has really come to mean something in Ireland – especially to Fermanagh men.” Nevertheless, new chief exec Patto Brien, today confirmed the re-brand and announced a major ad campaign designed to lure back some of the business lost since the departure of the iconic Sean Quinn.
As regular readers will recall, Mr Quinn applied to the High Court in Belfast for bankruptcy protection in November last year. Since then, the injustices meted out to this unfortunate individual have only multiplied.
The latest indignity is that IBNR have filed a motion at the Irish High Court alleging contempt of court against Mr Quinn and various family members. The supposed offence relates to Quinn and Co breaching an injuction preventing them from shifting all their assets overseas before IBNR can lay its hands on them.
If convicted Mr Quim could face imprisonment. Surely it won’t come to that though. A Quinn family spokesman said the charges would be defended “vigorously.” Which, coincidentally, is the same way some Quinn Insurance claims used to be defended.