Ardonagh Retail trades under a number of brands including Swinton, Carole Nash and Autonet. It employs 2,400 colleagues at 11 sites and places c.£1bn of premium income.
Higginson was previously chairman of Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc from January 2015 until October 2021 and worked with the executive team and board on a turnaround of the business, culminating in its recent £7bn sale to Clayton, Dubilier and Rice.
Prior to Wm Morrison, he was chairman of Poundland up to and including its 2014 stock market flotation.
Ardonagh added that he is currently Senior Independent director at Flutter plc, chairman of Evergreen Garden Care (UK) Limited and YourParkingSpace, and a non-executive director of Majid Al Futtaim Retail (Dubai).
It said his retail career includes 15 years as an executive director of Tesco, with four as CEO of its Retail Services Division including Tesco.com, Tesco Bank and customer data science division Dunnhumby.
In his new role, he will work with Ardonagh Retail CEO Ian Donaldson, Atlanta CEO Emma Rawlinson and CCO Craig Ball to support the growth of UK personal lines broker Atlanta and other strategic opportunities.
Atlanta was created from the acquisition and digital integration of van specialist Autonet, motorbike broker Carole Nash and Swinton Insurance. Its trading brands have expanded to include Lloyd Latchford, Marmalade, Healthy Pets, Be Wiser and Paymentshield.
Higginson said: “The Ardonagh Group has successfully developed a number of complementary but independent divisions and I am particularly excited by the opportunities presented by Ardonagh Retail.”
Chairman of The Ardonagh Group, John Tiner, added: “The Ardonagh Retail platform is a significant business with a strong track record, ambitious growth plans and a high calibre leadership team, which Andy is ideally suited to chair. His relevant experience in the strategic evolution of customer centric businesses together with his background in chairing major retail groups brings valued additional knowledge.
“We welcome his appointment as part of the broader group, deepening our bench strength across our highly diversified range of insurance-related services in the UK, Ireland and broader international markets.”