LV= finds new Chief Executive close at home with internal promotion
The head of insurance giant LV=’s life and pensions business has been named as its new chief executive. Richard Rowney, who previously spent 14 years at Barclays, will take over from long-serving boss Mike Rogers later this summer after a brief handover period, the company announced.
Mr Rowney is credited with turning LV= into one of the country’s leading protection and retirement businesses, and was at the forefront of a dramatic turnaround in the finances of its life business, which delivered a £41m operating profit in 2015, from a £7m loss in 2014.
LV=’s chairman Mark Austen paid tribute to the outgoing Mr Rogers, who has been chief executive for ten years, and said he was pleased to be able to promote from within the company, which is one of the country’s biggest mutual societies.
Richard is an exceptionally talented business leader and the board is confident that he is the right person to build on the heritage of the Society’s 170 year history.
“We believe that effective succession planning is done from a position of strength and, following a thorough search process that produced a shortlist of excellent internal and external candidates, the board is particularly pleased to be able to promote from within to fill the role of chief executive,” Mr Austen said.
“Mr Rowney is an exceptionally talented business leader and the board is confident that he is the right person to build on the heritage of the Society’s 170 year history and the platform that Mike Rogers has created to take LV= to the next level.”
Mr Rowney, who joined LV= in 2007 as chief operating officer, said he was “excited by the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead”, adding: “It has been a real privilege to work alongside Mr Austen as we have built LV= into the successful and profitable mutual it is today.
“I look forward to working with my team to build a business that delivers the best possible outcomes for our people, customers and members.”
In March, the company revealed that sweeping changes to pensions savings had reshaped the company’s life insurance sales, with retirement sales boosted by more than a fifth in one year.
At the time, Mr Rogers spoke of how the group was planning for a growth in “mix-and-match” retirement products, and for the rise of so-called ‘robo advice’, which provides cheap online assistance for savers.
“We think that’s got a lot of growth potential,” he said. “Our belief is the retirement landscape is going to be more blended solutions, with people taking a bit of drawdown, maybe an annuity later on in their retirement. We might see more investment around products that mix things up.”