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Change at insurer

Bannister passes Phoenix baton to former Widows boss Briggs

Gilbert Clive Bannister Skeoch

Clive Bannister, centre, with Martin Gilbert and Keith Skeoch of Standard Life Aberdeen

Clive Bannister will retire as chief executive of Phoenix, the zombie funds manager, and will be replaced by former Scottish Widows CEO Andy Briggs, who left Aviva earlier this year.

Mr Bannister joined Phoenix in February 2011 and in that time has achieved a total shareholder return of 179%, while assets under management have risen by 263% to £245bn, and the number of policyholders has risen by 67% to 10 million.

He was the architect of a series of successful acquisitions, culminating in the £2.9 billion purchase of Standard Life Assurance in 2018; after which Phoenix became a constituent of the FTSE100 Index in March.

Mr Briggs has more than 30 years of insurance industry leadership experience. He was group chief executive of Friends Life, the listed insurer, managing director of Scottish Widows, chief executive of the Retirement Income division at Prudential and chairman of the ABI.

He was CEO UK Insurance of Aviva until earlier this year and is understood to have left after missing out on the group job.

Mr Briggs will further develop the group’s open businesses under the Standard Life & Sun Life brands and will aim to strengthen its positioning in the group’s traditional heritage and bulk purchase annuity segments.

Nick Lyons, Phoenix Group chairman said: “Clive has worked with great passion and energy during his nine years as CEO. He has led Phoenix in a period of sustained growth and success to its current position as the largest life and pensions consolidator in Europe and he leaves us, as a business, confident and assured.

“Andy as our future CEO, we will be in the best position to leverage the broad strategic platform that Clive has delivered.”

Mr Bannister said: “I am delighted to welcome Andy as CEO-designate. He is the ideal candidate.

“I am proud of all that we have achieved and I’m confident that I leave the Group in good shape for my successor.”

Andy Briggs said: “Clive has done an excellent job leading Phoenix, and the Standard Life acquisition is strategically transformational for the group. I believe the business is uniquely placed for a truly exciting future, and I look forward to leading the next stage of the journey.”

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