Phoenix to appoint Aviva exec as CEO Bannister steps down

11/08/2019 | 03:10am
Clive Bannister

Insurer Phoenix Group Holdings Plc Chief Executive Officer Clive Bannister will retire next March after nine years in charge, and will be replaced by former Aviva Plc executive Andy Briggs, the company said on Friday.

Briggs will join Phoenix as CEO-designate and board member on Jan. 1, 2020 and will be tasked with continuing the insurer's growth, led by the takeover of many closed pension schemes from UK companies anxious to offload the long-term risks.

Bannister has steered the FTSE 100 company through a number of acquisitions, including the buyout of Standard Life Assurance last year. Since he joined in 2011, the firm has more than tripled its assets under management.

Shares of Phoenix, which have risen about 26% this year, slipped 1.2% in early deals.

Bannister will step down after the company reports its full-year results. Phoenix reported a surge in profit in the first half of 2019 as it bought out more British corporate pension schemes, but had warned of a Brexit-induced hit to money coming into its open book business.

Briggs, who was the head of UK Insurance at Aviva until earlier this year, has more than three decades of experience in the insurance industry. He has served as the chairman of the Association of British Insurers and also held roles at Prudential and Friends Life. His annual salary will be 800,000 pounds ($1.02 million), Phoenix said.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

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