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Catch up on our news and announcements.
Jon Sellors, LV= Head of Corporate Affairs
Clive Bolton, LV= Managing Director - Protection, Savings and Retirement
David Stevens, LV= Propositions Director - Savings and Retirement
Katherine Carnegie, LV= Commercial Director - Savings and Retirement
Insurance, investment and retirement specialist Liverpool Victoria Financial Services Limited (LV=) has appointed Suzy Neubert and Natalie Ceeney, CBE as independent Non-Executive Directors.
Subject to regulatory approval they will join the Board on 1 March and replace David Barral, Alison Hutchinson and Luke Savage who confirmed their intention to step down earlier this year.
Natalie Ceeney CBE, is an experienced Chief Executive and Non-Executive Director with strong financial services and regulatory experience. She was Chief Executive Officer of the Financial Ombudsman Service between 2010 and 2013 and has held Non-Executive roles on the Boards of FCE Bank plc, Anglian Water Group Ltd, Innovate Finance Ltd and Countrywide plc.
Suzy Neubert has deep financial services experience as both Executive and Non-Executive Director. She is currently Senior Independent Director of Witan Investment Trust, a Non-Executive Director of Jupiter Fund Management plc and of ISIO the pensions & actuarial firm. Her Executive roles have included Managing Director of Equities at Merrill Lynch followed by 14 years as Global head of sales & marketing at J O Hambro Capital Management.
Further to its announcement of Board changes on 7 February, LV= also confirms that Alan Cook has today stepped down as chair with Seamus Creedon becoming interim chair with immediate effect.
Seamus Creedon, LV= interim chair, said: “I would like to place on record my gratitude to my outgoing colleagues for the service they have given LV= during their time on the Board. Our members benefit from a thriving and successful LV=. As interim chair, my first task in refreshing the Board was to bring in new directors who will continue to develop LV= as a growing mutual insurer. In Natalie and Suzy we have two highly experienced, independent directors who will bring a wealth of expertise to the Board.
“The process to recruit a permanent chair is also underway and we are seeking an established chair with extensive commercial and technical knowledge of life insurance or wider financial services and experience of diverse business models.”
Natalie Ceeney CBE, added: “LV= is an historic brand with an impressive history and strong heritage. I look forward to working with Board colleagues to grow and develop LV= as a sustainable mutual insurer, putting customers at the heart of LV=s future.”
Suzy Neubert, said: “This is an exciting time for LV= and an opportunity to put the company on a stronger footing for the benefit of our members, employees and our wider communities. It’s a story of which I will be proud to play a part.”
LV= entered into merger discussions with Royal London at the start of the year. However, it has become clear to LV= that our different mutual models mean such a merger would not be in the best interests of LV= members. As a result, talks between the two companies have now ceased.
Seamus Creedon, interim LV= chair commented; "We thank Royal London for its engagement and we look forward to operating alongside it as part of a vibrant mutual sector. The strength of LV=’s business performance over the past 18 months combined with its operational progress has strengthened the Board’s belief in, and commitment to, the continuation of our status as an independent mutual.
"We have heard what our members have said about the importance of mutuality and the continuation of the LV= brand. We continue to maintain our strong capital position, are trading well and building a successful future for LV=, its members, employees and wider communities. We will shortly update our members on our business strategy and will continue to engage with them over the coming weeks and months."
With effect from 1 April 2022, and subject to regulatory approval, Seamus Creedon will take over as interim chair from Alan Cook who indicated his intention to step down following the Special General Meeting on 10 December 2021.
David Barral will reach the end of his six year term on 7 March and will therefore step down from the Board. In addition, at the end of March Alison Hutchinson and Luke Savage will also step down as non-executive directors and members of the Board.
Seamus Creedon said;
"LV= is owned by over 1million members and it is humbling that over 174,000 voted on the proposed transaction which the Board put to them in good faith last year. We felt it right to take time to understand the message members gave the board. Put simply, our members told us that what they viewed as the modest financial advantages of the transaction, were not worth the loss of ownership and voting rights for our million-plus members.
"My task as interim chair is to replace valued colleagues with a new chair and directors who will continue to develop LV= as a modern mutual insurer. I will be working closely with Mark Hartigan who has been doing an excellent job in strengthening the performance of the business. The board takes full responsibility for the unsuccessful transaction which Mark actively advocated on its behalf and my colleagues and I have high confidence in him and his team.
"Since the vote we’ve been listening to feedback from our members that many value our brand and proud history as a mutual, and are keen to see these continue. We have a strong balance sheet and have refocused our planned IT investment to continue to carefully manage our capital in order to sustain value for members. The uncertain course of the pandemic has renewed customers’ interest in insurance and income protection and we believe as a mutual in standing ready to meet those needs.
"We share a common interest with Royal London in a healthy and vibrant mutual sector so that we can both compete fairly with shareholder-owned firms. We have had, and continue to have, discussions with Royal London about if and how we can co-operate to the benefit of both sets of members and the mutual sector. In the meantime, we will continue to strengthen our independent business for the benefit of our existing and future policyholders."