People moves: Direct Line, Aviva, Eastspring, AllianzGI

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Direct Line has found a permanent chief executive, eight months after the departure of Penny James. Aviva has named a new leader for its UK and Ireland’s general insurance business and a CEO for its Canadian operations. Meanwhile, the asset management unit of Prudential has promoted its chief investment officer to CEO, and Allianz’s active asset manager has hired an equity expert to lead its core and value business.

Direct Line hires CEO from Aviva

Adam Winslow will join Direct Line Group as CEO in the first quarter of 2024, succeeding Jon Greenwood, who has been acting CEO since January 2023.

Winslow is currently Aviva's CEO for the general insurance business in the UK and Ireland for both personal and commercial lines. Before this, he was CEO of global life at AIG Life and Retirement (now Corebridge) having held a number of general insurance and life insurance roles in his eight years at AIG. 

Danuta Gray, chair of Direct Line Group, said the board had conducted “an extensive search” for the CEO role and Winslow “stook out for this strategic understanding of the sector”, adding: "Adam has deep expertise in the UK general insurance market and significant leadership experience, spanning two decades across personal and commercial lines insurance.”

Greenwood will work with Winslow when the latter joins the firm to ensure a smooth handover and transition. 

Greenwood took up the acting role as Penny James stepped down in January after the general insurer issued a profit warning saying the board would not expect to declare a final dividend for 2022. 

Winslow will receive an annual salary of £820,000 and a pension allowance of 9% of salary. He will be able to participate in the company's annual and long-term incentive plans.

His appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Aviva finds Winslow’s replacement and hires CEO for Canada

The composite insurer has appointed Jason Storah as CEO of UK & Ireland general insurance to replace Winslow and Tracy Garrad as CEO of Aviva Canada.

Storah has almost 20 years of experience with Aviva in a variety of roles. He is currently CEO of Aviva Canada, a role he has held for four years. Before that, he most recently served as chief distribution officer, where he oversaw broker distribution, partnerships, as well as Aviva’s direct insurance business and marketing.

Garrad will succeed Storah to lead Aviva Canada and take up her new post on 16 October. She was most recently at AXA’s UK healthcare business. Previously, she was CEO of HSBC’s Channel Islands and Isle of Man business, following a four-year tenure as the CEO of First Direct Bank. 

The pair will report to group CEO Amanda Blanc, who said of Storah: “In Jason, we have a CEO with a track record in running a high performing general insurance business, and our Canadian operation has thrived under his stewardship… I know that under his leadership [the business] will go from strength to strength.”

Commenting on Garrad’s hire, Blanc said: “Tracy brings a wealth of experience to our business, across multiple sectors, and her expertise will prove invaluable as we continue to grow our Canada franchise, and Aviva more broadly. She is a proven CEO, with the strength of leadership to add huge value to our business across the Atlantic.” 

Storah’s and Garrad’s appointments are subject to regulatory and, in the case of Garrad, visa approvals. 

Eastspring’s CIO becomes CEO

Eastspring Investments, the asset management business of Hong Kong insurer Prudential, has given the permanent position of chief executive to Bill Maldonado, who has been serving as interim CEO since April following the retirement of Wai-Kwong Seck. Maldonado's appointment is effective 1 September. 

Maldonado is also the chief investment officer of Eastspring and has spearheaded the firm’s platform across equities, fixed income, multi-asset, quantitative and alternatives, overseeing the company’s investment strategies and products.

He has 30 years of asset management experience. Prior to joining Eastspring in September 2021 as head of equities, he served as the Asia Pacific CIO and global CIO for equities at HSBC Global Asset Management.

Based in Singapore, Maldonado will report to Prudential CEO Anil Wadhwani. 

The company said a new CIO will be appointed “in due course”.

AllianzGI boosts equity team in London

Allianz Global Investors, the active asset manager of the German insurance group, has named Kayvan Vahid head of equity Europe core & value, a newly created role to strengthen and expand the firm’s capabilities in European core and value, a key segment for clients. 

Vahid has spent more than 20 years at UBS Asset Management and most recently was deputy head of global value equity, responsible for managing a range of institutional and retail funds across global, European and UK equity mandates. 

At AllianzGI, he will be based in London and report to Jörg de Vries-Hippen, head of investments equity Europe, who said: “Kayvan’s investment approach, particularly his experience in value investing, will complement the existing team whilst bringing a fresh perspective to our existing approach and client solutions.”

Vahid’s hire is the latest step to strengthen AllianzGI’s equities team in London following the appointment of Giles Money as CIO for the global sustainability/SRI equity team, announced in May.

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