Ecclesiastical taps new head for schemes business

Predecessor retires after multi-decade career

Ecclesiastical taps new head for schemes business

Insurance News

By Mika Pangilinan

Ecclesiastical Insurance has tapped a new leader for its schemes business following the retirement of Tony Fletcher.

Chris Withers (pictured) is set to take over Fletcher’s position as schemes and facilities director, having served as broker distribution director at Ecclesiastical since 2016.

Prior to joining Ecclesiastical, Withers worked as schemes manager and head of distribution at Covea. He also held several business development and leadership roles at RSA.

The changes within Ecclesiastical also include Geoff Turner stepping up to fill Withers’ previous role as broker distribution director.

Turner, who joined the company in 2018 as distribution performance manager, has over a decade of experience in the insurance industry and previously held a similar role at LV=.

These appointments come as Ecclesiastical aims to double the size of its business as part of its commitment to contribute more to charitable causes.

In line with these growth plans, the insurer has prioritised the expansion of its schemes division. It has already increased its schemes book by 50% since 2020. Further expansion is anticipated this year, with plans to onboard new schemes and support existing broker partners in their growth efforts.

Ecclesiastical has also begun to diversify its distribution methods and explore new areas of expertise, entering the leisure market for the first time.

Commenting on the appointments, Ecclesiastical commercial director Adrian Saunders expressed his confidence in Withers and Turner as they assume their new roles.

“I’m delighted Chris has taken on the role,” said Saunders. “His expertise, passion and knowledge of the business will help us to deliver on our ambitious plans to grow our schemes business. Similarly, Geoff has helped us to develop positive relationships with broker partners and will build on that further still in his new role.”

He also acknowledged Fletcher’s instrumental role in growing Ecclesiastical’s schemes book and wished him the best in his retirement.

“I’d like to thank Tony and wish him all the best in his retirement,” said Saunders. “Under his guidance we’ve grown our schemes book and built new relationships with brokers and MGAs, as well as building on existing partnerships. He will be missed by peers, colleagues, and his team as well as the brokers he has worked so closely with in his time with us.”

Fletcher is retiring after a multi-decade career with Ecclesiastical. He joined the specialist insurer in 1988 from Norwich Union (now Aviva) and has held various positions in underwriting and business development.

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