Lloyds Banking Group’s general insurance and protection director Craig Thornton is succeeding former Ageas UK chief executive Andy Watson as chair of the General Insurance Council (GIC) at the Association of British Insurers (ABI).
Thornton, who chaired the Industry Advisory Board which was instrumental in the creation of Flood Re, currently serves as chair of the ABI’s audit committee. Prior to joining Lloyds Banking Group in 2013, the ABI board member was UK Life chief financial officer at Aviva.
“The COVID-19 crisis has put the industry right under the spotlight,” stated the 11-year Swiss Re veteran, “and it’s more important than ever for the sector to work together on lessons from this and highlight the importance of our role in getting the UK back on track.
“I’m looking forward to taking on the role as chair of GIC at such a crucial time when, alongside the post-pandemic recovery, there are other areas of critical importance including Brexit, regulation, and improving the reputation of the industry to build consumer confidence.”
ABI director general Huw Evans, meanwhile, cited Thornton’s considerable industry experience which spans reinsurance as well as both commercial and personal lines.
Evans noted: “His leadership skills, such as his role in developing the world-first Flood Re scheme, will be invaluable in helping the general insurance sector speak authoritatively across the wide range of challenges it faces.”
Lifting the lid on the post, ABI general insurance policy director James Dalton said the GIC chairmanship is “a key role in helping shape the strategy of the general insurance market – one that plays a pivotal role in the lives of millions of people and businesses.”
“As we start to emerge from the COVID-19 crisis,” Dalton added, “we enter a critical time for the industry. It is a time when highlighting to policymakers, the regulators, and customers the key role that our industry plays in people’s lives and the UK economy has never been more important.”