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Phoenix lines up Aviva UK insurance head as CEO designate

Andy Briggs will take over in March when Clive Bannister retires after nine years in the top job

Phoenix Group Holdings PLC -
Phoenix ascended to the FTSE 100 after last year's £2.9bn acquisition of Standard Life

Phoenix Group Holdings PLC (LON:PHNX) has lined up Andy Briggs, currently Aviva PLC’s (LON:AV.) head of UK insurance as its new chief executive, to take over from Clive Bannister when he retires in March.

The FTSE 100-listed insurer revealed that Briggs who will join the business as CEO-designate, subject to appropriate regulatory approval, on 1 January 2020 in order to effect a smooth handover.

The company noted that Briggs' previous positions include being chief executive at insurer Friends Life, managing director of Scottish Widows Ltd, and chief executive of retirement income at Prudential PLC.

Bannister leaves the pension fund and life insurance specialist after nine years in the role, during which time he steered Phoenix’s elevation to the FTSE 100 with the £2.9bn acquisition of Standard Life Assurance in 2018, boosting assets under management by 263%.

Phoenix’s profits surged this year as the company has continued its buy-up of British corporate pension schemes.

In a statement, Bannister said he leaves Phoenix in good shape for Briggs, who he called the “ideal candidate” for the position since he has deep knowledge of the life assurance business, strong integration and M&A skills, and his “proven track record in driving a radical change agenda for major UK insurance businesses”.

The CEO-designate said that the acquisition Bannister led of Standard Life was “strategically transformational” for Phoenix, which has left the company “uniquely placed for a truly exciting future”.

Phoenix shares were 1.7% lower at 706.70p in early trading on Friday.

Quick facts: Phoenix Group Holdings PLC

Price: 722 GBX

LSE:PHNX
Market: LSE
Market Cap: £5.21 billion
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