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Grace leaving Aegon, new chief executive takes over next month

Adrian Grace

Adrian Grace: leaving after 10 years

Aegon chief executive Adrian Grace is leaving the Edinburgh-based pensions company and will be replaced next month by Mike Holliday-Williams who was until recently an executive director at Direct Line Insurance.

A statement from Aegon said Mr Grace has decided to retire after ten years with the company. Mr Holliday-Williams, who left Direct Line at the end of June, starts work in Edinburgh on 1 October.

His appointment came as a surprise to the market which had been tipping Mark Till, managing director digital solutions, to succeed Mr Grace.

Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts said: “I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Holliday-Williams as the successor of Adrian Grace.

“Mike’s appointment signals Aegon’s continuing commitment to build on the strong foundation of our UK business. Mike brings extensive experience in the financial industry and a strong track record in focusing on customer solutions. I look forward to working with him.”

Mike Holliday-Williams: takes over in October

“We would like to thank Adrian for having successfully modernised, transformed and repositioned our UK business. Under his leadership, our UK business has grown from £40 billion of unit-linked pensions in 2009, to today where we oversee £175 billion of pension and investment assets.

“We have repositioned Aegon to be the leader in the market of investment trading platforms and the company is now well positioned for further growth. We wish Adrian well in his deserved retirement.”

Mr Holliday-Williams commented: “I am delighted to be joining Aegon at this pivotal time in our industry. I look forward to working with advisers to develop new solutions to enhance their relationships with their clients.”

Mr Holliday-Williams is expected to join Aegon’s management board.

He was executive director and personal lines managing director at Direct Line, having joined the business in 2014 as personal lines MD and serving as an executive director from 2017. Chairman Mike Biggs described him as having made an outstanding contribution to the group over the last five years. He was previously at OneTel and More Than.

Mr Grace will retire from the company on 31 March. There was no comment from him.

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