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Senior leadership appointments at the ABI

Three senior leadership appointments have been confirmed today at the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

  • Baroness Nicky Morgan appointed as first Independent Chair

  • Hannah Gurga appointed as Director General

  • Baroness Dianne Hayter to join as independent Non-Executive Director

Baroness Nicky Morgan is to become the first Independent Chair in a newly defined role. She takes over from Jon Dye who is stepping down having served as ABI Chair since July 2019.

Hannah Gurga will become the new Director General, taking up the post in early 2022. Hannah joins from UK Finance where she is Managing Director, Digital, Technology & Cyber and Chief of Staff, and has previously worked for the London Stock Exchange Group, ICAP and HM Treasury alongside other Government roles. She replaces Huw Evans who announced earlier this year that he is stepping down from the role in December to join KPMG as a partner in the new year.

Baroness Dianne Hayter will join as an independent Non-Executive Director (iNED) and become the Senior Independent Director (SID) on the ABI Board.

The two new Board roles have been introduced as part of reforms announced earlier this year to bring fresh external perspectives, enrich diversity of experience and reinforce strong governance.

The Independent Chair will chair the ABI Board and the new Reputation and Customers Committee. The role of the iNED includes being a member of the Audit Committee, the Reputation and Customers Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Committee, as well as attending other key Board sub-groups as appropriate and acting as the SID of the Board.

Both of the Board appointments have commenced this month for a period of three years. The roles are focused solely on internal activity and governance.

As previously announced, Barry O’Dwyer, Group CEO, Royal London has taken on the role of ABI President and Cristina Nestares, UK CEO, Admiral Group Plc, is the ABI’s Deputy President to provide public-facing leadership.

Baroness Nicky Morgan says:

2019 Photo Head and shoulders .jpgThe insurance and long-term savings industry is one of the UK’s biggest global success stories. There are many challenges and opportunities facing the sector ranging from customer trust to supporting the transition to Net Zero. The ABI has an excellent reputation and I’m excited to take on this new role as the ABI’s first Independent Chair at this crucial time.

I would like to offer my thanks to Jon Dye for his leadership of the sector during a challenging time and for a smooth handover of responsibilities.”

Hannah Gurga says:
Hannah Gurga SQ.jpg
The ABI is globally recognised as a leading advocate for the insurance and long-term savings industry, and I am committed to building on its reputation to ensure we help members deliver the best outcomes for their customers. The external environment in which we’re operating is changing rapidly and it is vital that the ABI delivers across issues as varied as climate change, diversity and inclusion, resilience and the digital and data revolution. I look forward to working with members, colleagues, government and regulators to enhance our industry’s reputation and impact.”

Baroness Dianne Hayter says:DH by Willie 9 July 10.JPG

The ABI’s members play a vital role in supporting our economy and providing a financial safety net for families across the UK. I’m delighted to take up the role of independent Non-Executive Director and look forward to seeing what more can be done to boost consumer trust.”

Barry O’Dwyer, ABI President and Group CEO, Royal London, says:

I am pleased to announce such strong changes to the ABI’s executive leadership and Board providing a wealth of experience from inside and outside of financial services.

We’re honoured to welcome Baroness Nicky Morgan as Independent Chair of the Association of British Insurers and Baroness Dianne Hayter as independent Non-Executive Director. Both bring with them exceptional experience and as consumer champions will be an independent voice for customers across the insurance and long-term savings sector.

Hannah Gurga is a respected and experienced financial services professional with a strong track record of leadership built in the UK civil service, the City and a leading trade association. The ABI Board is delighted to appoint someone of her calibre as our next Director General after an open and competitive process.I look forward to working closely with Hannah as we strive to deepen our work on climate change, do more to improve customer outcomes and seek to harness the digital revolution for the benefit of those we serve.

I would also like to thank Huw Evans for such formidable leadership during a decade of great change for our industry.”

Notes for Editors

  1. Baroness Nicky Morgan (Baroness Morgan of Cotes) is a former MP, Cabinet Minister and Chair of the House of Commons Treasury Committee and is now a member of the House of Lords. She is a qualified solicitor and prior to being elected to Parliament spent 16 years with City law firms, focused on mergers and acquisitions and advisory work.  She brings a wealth of experience of a number of sectors including financial services, education, media and technology.

    Nicky is a Non-Executive Director of Santander UK, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, The Careers & Enterprise Company and Great Central Railway plc. She also chairs the Advisory Board for Reform.

  2. Hannah Gurga will join the ABI from UK Finance where she leads the governance and membership teams, with specific responsibility for Foreign Banks. As MD for Digital, Tech & Cyber, Hannah oversees activities relating to digital innovation, AI & data ethics, cyber security, third party risk management and operational resilience.  Prior to joining UK Finance in 2018, Hannah was group chief of staff at LCH.  She previously led global regulatory strategy and government relations at the London Stock Exchange Group.

    Hannah began her career in the civil service where she held roles across HM Treasury, including as Deputy Director for Securities and Markets, as well as working at the Cabinet Office and Ministry of Defence.

  3. Baroness Dianne Hayter has most recently served as the Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Lords. In October 2021, she stepped down from the Labour front bench in the Lords and became Chair of the Lords International Agreements Select Committee. Her previous political roles include General Secretary of the Fabian Society and Chief Executive of the European Parliamentary Labour Party.

    Outside of politics, Dianne has held a number of positions in the legal and consumer affairs industry, including board membership of the Financial Reporting Council's Board of Actuarial Standards, the Determinations Panel of The Pensions Regulator, the Property Standards Board and the Insolvency Practices Council. She was previously Chair of the Legal Services Consumer Panel and Vice-Chair of the Financial Services Consumer Panel.
  1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry. A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.

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Last updated 10/11/2021