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Direct Line Group appoints new CFO and executive director

Direct Line Group appoints new CFO and executive director | Insurance Business

Direct Line Group appoints new CFO and executive director

In January 2021, Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) announced that its chief financial officer Tim Harris would be taking a leave of absence while a member of his family undergoes medical treatment. Today DLG’s board has regretfully revealed that this medical treatment will likely continue for longer than anticipated and that Harris has decided to retire as an executive director and as CFO in order to prioritise his family.

As a result, he will not seek re-election at the CFO AGM today. The board has therefore resolved to make the following changes to its membership and chairmanship of its board committees.

Neil Manser, chief strategy officer, former MD of DLG’s commercial business, NIG, and former director of investor relations, has been acting CFO since January 2021. The board has resolved to appoint him as an executive director and CFO, and as a member of the investment committee, with effect from the conclusion of the AGM today.

Withdrawal of AGM resolution

As DLG’s AGM Notice has already been issued, DLG confirms that the resolution to re-elect Tim Harris as an executive director of the Company (resolution number 6) is now withdrawn. This withdrawal does not otherwise impact the validity of the Notice of Meeting, the proxy form or any proxy votes already submitted on other proposed resolutions. The numbering of all other proposed resolutions at the AGM will remain unchanged.

Board Committee chairmanship

The following changes will also take effect from the conclusion of the AGM today.

Mark Gregory, independent non-executive director, will become chair of the board risk committee, succeeding Jane Hanson, who will be stepping down from the board, as announced on 21 December 2020. Gregory will give up his chairmanship of both the remuneration committee and the investment committee but will remain a member of both committees.

Meanwhile, Richard Ward, senior independent director, will become chair of the remuneration committee while Fiona McBain, independent non-executive director, will become chair of the investment committee.

Commenting on the changes, Danuta Gray, chair, said: “On behalf of the DLG board and all our colleagues, I would like to thank Tim Harris for the exceptional contribution he has made as CFO since 2019 and to wish him and his family the very best. The board warmly welcomes Neil Manser as our new CFO. Not only has Neil proven himself to be extremely capable while acting as CFO during Tim’s leave of absence but he has also held a number of senior roles across the business, giving him a deep understanding of capital markets, strategy and the culture of the group.”

Neil Manser, CFO-designate, noted that having held a number of leadership positions within DLG, he has seen first-hand the quality of DLG’s business model and the dedication of its talented people.

He said: “I am proud and excited to be taking over from Tim as CFO at a time when we are grasping the opportunities made possible by our significant investment in capability.”

This announcement is made in compliance with the Company's obligations under Listing Rule 9.6.11.