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Board

The current members of the Board are:

Mike Biggs, Chairman

Mike Biggs joined the Board as Chairman in April 2012 and is also Chair of the Nomination Committee.  

Mike has over 40 years’ experience of the UK and international financial services sector.  He is a respected figure in the insurance industry and is well regarded by City investors.

Mike was previously Chairman of Resolution Limited, the FTSE 100 UK life assurance business, and has acted as Chief Executive Officer and Group Finance Director of Resolution plc. He was previously Group Finance Director of Aviva plc.

He has a Masters degree in History from the University of Oxford and is an Associate of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Paul Geddes, Chief Executive Officer

Paul Geddes joined the Board as an Executive Director in August 2009 and is Chief Executive Officer.

Paul’s experience in leading one of the UK’s largest retail banking businesses during a challenging period for the industry and improving its customer and financial performance against peers singled him out in 2009 as the Chief Executive able to lead the turnaround of Direct Line Group and its divestment from RBS Group.

He was the Chief Executive Officer of RBS Group’s mainland UK retail banking business, having joined in 2004 as Managing Director with responsibility for products and marketing. Before joining RBS Group, Paul held a number of senior roles in multi-channel retailing in the GUS and Kingfisher groups. He started his career in marketing, with UK and European roles at Procter & Gamble. Paul read Philosophy, Politics and Economics at the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland.

He is a member of the Association of British Insurers Board, a member of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s insurance industry steering group, and a member of the Financial Conduct Authority’s Practitioner Panel.

John Reizenstein, Chief Financial Officer

John Reizenstein joined the Board as an Executive Director in December 2010 and is Chief Financial Officer.

John is an experienced Chief Financial Officer and former banker with extensive City and financial services experience.

John was previously an Executive Director at The Co-operative Insurance Society, CIS General Insurance and The Co-operative Bank. He was Chief Financial Officer of these entities between 2003 and 2007, and subsequently Managing Director, Corporate and Markets. Prior to that, John spent more than 20 years in investment banking with UBS and Goldman Sachs. He is an Economics graduate from the University of Cambridge.

John is a Trustee and a Director of Farm Africa and is an alternate representative of the Association of British Insurers on the Panel on Takeovers and Mergers.

Glyn Jones, Senior Independent Non-Executive Director

Glyn Jones joined the Board in September 2012. He is our Senior Independent Director and is Chair of the Investment Committee.

Glyn has undertaken a number of senior roles within the financial services industry and, as a former Chief Executive Officer in the asset management industry, he also understands the City and shareholders well.

Glyn was Chairman of Towry Holdings Limited between 2006 and 2011 and Chairman of Aspen UK from 2007 to 2014. He also served as Chairman of Hermes Fund Managers from 2008 to 2011 and was Chairman of its sister company, BT Pension Scheme Management, for a part of this period. Glyn was Chief Executive Officer of the independent investment group, Thames River Capital, from 2005 to 2006. From 2000, he served as Chief Executive Officer of Gartmore Investment Management in the UK for four years. Before this, Glyn was Chief Executive Officer of Coutts NatWest Group and Coutts Group, having joined in 1997. Glyn joined Standard Chartered in Hong Kong in 1990 where he became the General Manager of Global Private Banking. He was a consulting partner with Coopers & Lybrand/Deloitte Haskins & Sells Management Consultants from 1981 to 1990. He is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Glyn is Chairman of Aspen Insurance Holdings Limited, a New York listed specialty lines insurer. He is also Chairman of Aldermore Group plc and its subsidiary Aldermore Bank plc.

Jane Hanson, Non-Executive Director

Jane Hanson joined the Board in December 2011 and is Chair of the Board Risk Committee.

Jane has extensive experience of risk management, corporate governance and internal control. She also has extensive experience of developing and monitoring customer frameworks.

Jane spent 12 years with KPMG, where she worked in the financial sector, becoming the Director responsible for delivery of corporate governance, internal audit and risk management services in the North of England. Jane has also held executive roles including Director of Audit, and Risk and Governance Director at Aviva’s UK Life business. She is a graduate of the University of York with a degree in Music and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.Jane is Chair of Reclaim Fund Ltd and a Non-Executive Director of Old Mutual Wealth Management Limited. She is also an Independent Member of the Fairness Committee at ReAssure Ltd. She has her own financial sector consulting business, delivering audit, enterprise risk management and corporate governance advisory and consulting services to the financial sector. Jane is also a magistrate.

Sebastian James, Non-Executive Director

Sebastian James joined the Board as a Non-Executive Director in August 2014.

Sebastian is Group Chief Executive of Dixons Carphone plc and has held a number of senior strategic and operational positions in the retail, consulting and insurance sectors.

Sebastian was Group Chief Executive of Dixons Retail plc from 2012 until its merger with Carphone Warehouse Group plc on 6 August 2014. Before this, he was Chief Executive Officer of Synergy Insurance Services Limited, a private equity backed insurance company, and was previously Strategy Director at Mothercare plc.

Sebastian began his career at The Boston Consulting Group, having graduated from the University of Oxford and completed an MBA at INSEAD. Sebastian is also a Trustee of the charities Save the Children and Tablets for Schools.

Andrew Palmer, Non-Executive Director

Andrew Palmer joined the Board in March 2011 and is Chair of the Audit Committee.

Andrew has undertaken a number of senior roles within the financial services and insurance industries. In addition, he has insight into corporate governance developments and best practice in financial reporting through his membership of the Financial Reporting Review Panel of the Financial Reporting Council.

Andrew retired from Legal & General Group plc, where he was the Group Finance Director, in 2009. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Andrew is a Trustee of the Royal School of Needlework, a Trustee and Treasurer of Cancer Research UK and a Non-Executive Director of Royal London Mutual Insurance Society Limited. He is also a member of the Financial Reporting Review Panel of the Financial Reporting Council.

Clare Thompson, Non-Executive Director

Clare Thompson joined the Board in September 2012 and is Chair of the Corporate Social Responsibility Committee.

Clare brings with her extensive experience and knowledge gained from roles across the professional services industry, including as Lead Audit Partner at PwC, where she guided companies through change and acted as an adviser to insurance companies. Clare gained significant experience of both general and life insurance in this role.

Clare was a partner at PwC from 1988 to 2011. During her 23 years as a partner at PwC, she held several senior and high profile roles, particularly within the insurance sector. She is a graduate of the University of York with a degree in Mathematics and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

Clare is a Non-Executive member of the Partnership Board of Miller Insurance Services LLP and is a Trustee and Treasurer of the Disasters Emergency Committee. She is also a Director of Retail Charity Bonds plc.

Priscilla Vacassin, Non-Executive Director

Priscilla Vacassin joined the Board in September 2012 and is Chair of the Remuneration Committee.

Priscilla has great knowledge and experience of developing organisational values, and creating the leadership, succession, development and remuneration structures required to support corporate strategy. She has worked both as a practitioner and as an adviser and therefore understands the complexity around remuneration in both technical and market terms.

Priscilla was most recently Group Human Resources Director at Prudential plc and a Non-Executive Director at the Ministry of Defence. She has previously held senior human resources positions across a number of financial services and customer facing industries, including roles at Abbey National plc, where she was Executive Director, Human Resources; BAA plc, where she was Group Human Resources Director; and Kingfisher plc. She graduated in Law from the University of North East London.

Priscilla has her own search and consultancy business.

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