South West rural insurer Cornish Mutual has announced the appointment of Jeremy Oatey as its new chair for its board of directors.
Oatey succeeds outgoing chair Ian Pawley, who retired from the post after 10 years. A former managing partner of South West law firm Stephens Scown, he joined the Cornish Mutual Board in 2009, bringing with him an extensive knowledge of modern legal and business requirements including corporate governance.
Pawley was elected deputy chair in 2010 and chair in 201.
The appointment was agreed at the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), an event which is usually attended by Members but which this year was conducted through a conference call as a result of the Covid-19 restrictions.
Oatey has served as a non-executive director since 2014. With an extensive background in farming, he owns South East Cornwall based contract farming company Agricola Growers.
He said: “I am delighted to be taking on the role of chair at Cornish Mutual. The company has a long history, solid values and is a very well respected organisation across the South West. I look forward to working with the board and the entire team in continuing and further developing the business and the important role it plays in our rural communities.
“Ian has made an outstanding contribution as chairman. He has led the board through a period of change, helping Cornish Mutual successfully adapt to the different needs of the agricultural community.”
Cornish Mutual managing director, Peter Beaumont said: “I would like to thank Ian for the leadership of the Board, his support for all the Cornish Mutual team and the contribution he has made over many years to the continued growth and success of the company.
“Given Ian’s expertise and experience, his chairmanship was ideally timed. Since the financial crisis there has been a long period of regulatory change which Ian has been instrumental in navigating. We are similarly fortunate to have Jeremy in a position to take up the role at a point in time when we see challenge and opportunity in store for our farming members.”
He added: “As a successful and active commercial farmer himself, Jeremy’s leadership of the board coincides with a period during which we will ensure our offering supports our Members through this change and I am looking forward to working with him enormously.”