We are the voice of insurance and long-term savings | Contact us

Amanda Blanc named new Chair of ABI

First woman in 100 year history of top industry role.

Amanda Blanc, the incoming CEO of ZURICH, Europe, Middle East & Africa, will become the next Chair of the ABI it was announced today. She is the first woman to Chair the trade association since it began life as the British Insurance Association more than 100 years ago.

The former CEO of AXA UK and Ireland, Amanda Blanc will officially take up the role in October. She succeeds Andy Briggs, CEO of Aviva UK who will remain on the Board as the Senior Independent Director.

Phil Loney, CEO of Royal London, will become Deputy Chair succeeding Paul Geddes, from Direct Line Group, who will also remain on the Board.

Amanda Blanc said:

“I’m delighted and honoured to become the next Chair of the ABI and the first woman in this role. I want to thank Andy Briggs and the rest of the Board for giving me this opportunity.

“I am proud to say I built my career in this industry. In that time I have seen it change dramatically. It is now a more inclusive sector than I can ever remember, but the journey is not over. As Chair I want to continue to drive the excellent work the ABI has already done in this area. With so much focus on the role of women in society today, I hope my appointment sends a signal to young women considering a career in insurance that there are no closed shops in this sector.

“Insurance plays a vital role in the UK economy and provides peace of mind and practical help to millions of people every year. Rapid changes in the market, the use of technology and data and unprecedented geopolitical changes make it more important than ever that the industry can speak with a clear, single voice through the ABI.”

Andy Briggs said:

“It has been a privilege to serve as Chair over the past two years and I am proud of the progress that the ABI has made in key areas during this time, including growing our membership. The insurance industry has a fundamental role – to help our customers to enjoy a secure and prosperous retirement, and to protect what’s important to them.  While there is more to be done, our work on auto enrolment and digital innovation has led to strong growth in pension provision, and our work in general insurance is now leading to fairer premiums for customers.

"In my successor, Amanda Blanc, the ABI has appointed someone of the highest ability, experience and drive. I am very proud that the ABI has taken a leading role in promoting gender diversity over the last two years, and in appointing the first ever woman to become Chair, this is an important moment for the industry“

Phil Loney said:

"I am pleased to have been chosen as Deputy Chair of the ABI and feel that this is an opportunity for continued collaboration as an industry. I look forward to supporting Amanda and ensuring ABI is able to represent all parts of insurance & long-term savings sector.”

Alun Cairns, Secretary of State for Wales, said:

“Congratulations to Amanda on becoming chair of the ABI. She has held a series of top jobs In insurance and now has an international profile as incoming chief executive of ZURICH Insurance.

“I’m pleased that Amanda remains proud of her roots in the Rhondda. Wales now has a formidable name in financial services and people like Amanda are helping to drive that trend.”

First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon said:

“Amanda Blanc’s appointment is great news for the sector and I’d like to offer my congratulations to her. As a woman who has worked hard to succeed in a male dominated arena, I know how hard it can be to gain an equal standing.

“The case for gender equality on boards is an overwhelming one and improving women’s participation across the economy as a whole should be a priority for all of us.

“We should celebrate the progress made, but also continue to push for greater progress. The Scottish Government is determined to work with businesses to support them in whatever way we can to take action.”

Amanda Blanc biography:

Amanda Blanc was recently appointed as the incoming CEO EMEA for ZURICH Insurance Group - due to commence in Q4 2018. She was formerly Group Chief Executive of AXA UK & Ireland and a Board Member of the ABI and Chair of its General Insurance Committee. Amanda Blanc is a past Chair of the Insurance Fraud Bureau and a past President of the Chartered Insurance Institute.

Amanda joined AXA in 2011 from Towergate, where she was Deputy Group Chief Executive. She has held senior executive roles at Groupama Insurance Company Ltd and has enjoyed management responsibilities at Ernst & Young and Commecial Union (now Aviva plc).

Last updated 07/06/2018