Legal & General goes for insider as FD to appease City watchdog


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The Independent Online

Legal & General has ended its year-long search for a new finance director, having had its original choice blocked by the City regulator.

The company today revealed that Mark Gregory, head of its savings business, will take up the role next month as part of a wider revamp of its management team.

The group had originally hoped to appoint senior KPMG auditor Oliver Tant but is understood to have been told by the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) that he did not have enough experience in the insurance industry.

John Pollock, currently head of the group’s protection and annuities business, will take charge of Gregory’s old beat. His annuities division will become a separate business led by Kerrigan Procter.

L&G had been on the hunt for a new finance director since Wilson was promoted to the top job last year.

It is understood that Tant walked away from the process when it became clear that the PRA believed he was unsuitable for L&G.

Reports have suggested that Tant is still likely to walk away from KPMG, having lost out on the top job at the firm to Simon Collins.

L&G declined to comment on this, but was keen to stress Gregory’s merits. During his time at the company’s savings business, he grew its operating profits from £7 million in 2008 to £133 million last year.

Chief executive Nigel Wilson said: “The successful turnaround of the savings business now enables us to reorganise our business in a way which best reflects customer needs and the increasingly digital distribution environment of RDR, auto-enrolment and platforms.

“Customers want straightforward access to our products and services and the new structure will enable us to deliver this and maximise the synergies between our businesses.”

Chairman John Stewart added: “I am delighted Mark has been appointed... his appointment shows the breadth and depth of talent in Legal & General.”

The shares today rose 1p to 171.9p.