The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has announced a number of changes to its board, “redoubling the industry’s efforts to boost customer trust, enhance reputation and tackle future risks such as climate change”.
As part of the changes it confirmed the recruitment of a new post of independent chair and an independent non-executive director (NED), aimed at bringing “fresh external perspectives, enriching diversity of experience and reinforcing strong governance”.
It also revealed the creation of a new board-level Reputation and Customers Committee to provide more focus on good customer outcomes and a greater collective focus on issues proving harmful to the sector’s reputation.
In addition, Barry O’Dwyer (group CEO, Royal London) and Cristina Nestares (UK CEO of Admiral Group plc) will take on new roles of president and deputy president respectively on the ABI board.
The responsibilities of the new Independent chair will include chairing the ABI board and the Reputation and Customers Committee as well as line-managing the director-general.
The newly-created president and deputy president roles will lead for the ABI board on stakeholder engagement and public-facing industry leadership as well as providing internal leadership among the ABI’s members.
It added the new independent chair and independent NED are expected to be appointed in the autumn. Current chair Jon Dye and deputy chair Julian Adams will continue to chair ABI board meetings until the new independent chair begins.
Jon Dye, chair of the ABI board, said: “These changes will enrich our Board with new independent perspectives while ensuring industry leaders continue to be the voice of the sector in discussions with governments and regulators.
“Given the sheer range of challenges the insurance and long-term savings sector faces, our Board has to operate more effectively than ever before. The appointment of the independent Chair and NED will bring valuable insights and help mitigate the risk of group-think.”
He added: “At the same time, we know many senior stakeholders hugely value dealing direct from experienced industry leaders and we are delighted to announce Barry and Cristina as the ABI’s first President and Deputy President. They bring a wealth of expertise as we face into major issues including improving customer trust and reputation and tackling climate change.”