IMMEDIATE 19 December 2002
Royal & SunAlliance announces new Chairman and Chief Executive
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc today announced the appointments of Mr
John Napier as Chairman designate and Mr Andy Haste as Group Chief Executive.
Mr Napier, who is also Chairman of Kelda Group Plc, will join the Royal &
SunAlliance Board in January 2003, succeeding Sir Patrick Gillam as Chairman in
March. Mr Haste, currently Chief Executive of AXA Sun Life and an Executive
Director of AXA UK, will take up the role of Group Chief Executive in April
2003, subject to regulatory approval. He will also become a Main Board Director
of Royal & SunAlliance.
Chairman Sir Patrick Gillam said: "This is a very important time for Royal &
SunAlliance and we are delighted to be appointing two accomplished business
leaders to take on the roles of Chairman and Chief Executive. John Napier has
extensive experience across a broad range of industry sectors, achieving
considerable success in refocussing companies. Andy Haste has many years'
experience of managing financial services companies. He is a proven implementer
with an excellent track record of managing change and delivering improved
"I am confident that John and Andy will provide the leadership and drive to
ensure that we improve our performance and deliver better results. They will
bring a fresh perspective to the Group and valuable insights into how change
and business improvements have been implemented in other major companies."
Commenting on his new appointment, Mr Napier said: "Royal & SunAlliance is one
of the great names of the insurance industry. The Company, in common with much
of the insurance industry, has had a number of difficult external and internal
challenges, to which it is responding. I look forward to making my contribution
to the Company's success."
Mr Haste said of his move: "The Group has recognised the need to make changes.
It will be focussing on profitable markets. My challenge is to lead the
management team and work with the Chairman and Board to establish a secure,
sustainable and profitable business which will grow in the future."
Bob Gunn, Acting Group Chief Executive, announced his plans to retire in 2003
after completing a successful management hand-over. Mr Gunn had previously
indicated to the Board that he did not wish to be considered as a candidate for
the Group Chief Executive role. Sir Patrick said: "We are grateful to Bob for
assisting in the transition, a final task, following 30 years of service, in
which he has made a great contribution to the Group."
Malcolm Gilbert Stephen Clark Karen Donhue
Tel: +44 (0)20 7569 6139 Tel: +44 (0)20 7569 6127 Tel: +44 (0)20 7569 6133
Photos available at: www.newscast.co.uk (tel: +44 (0)20 7608 1000)
Notes to Editors
1. Biographical details of John Napier and Andy Haste are attached.
2. Sir Patrick Gillam was appointed Chairman of Royal & SunAlliance in 1997
following the merger of the Royal with Sun Alliance in 1996. He is also
Chairman of Standard Chartered Plc. Sir Patrick will be retiring from both
positions in 2003 upon reaching the age of 70. He is a former Managing
Director of The British Petroleum Company and a former Chairman of Asda
3. Bob Gunn was appointed Acting Group Chief Executive of Royal & SunAlliance
in September 2002 in addition to his role as Group Chief Operating Officer.
Prior to moving to London in September 2001 to take up the Group COO role,
Mr Gunn had served as Group Director - Americas since 1998, and as a member
of the Group's Board of Directors since June 1999. Previously, Mr Gunn was
Chief Executive of the Group's Canadian operations from 1990, having
originally joined Royal & SunAlliance in Canada in 1973.
4. Royal & SunAlliance is a leading international insurance group, writing
business in over 130 countries and serving more than 20 million customers.
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc
John Napier, 60, will join the Board of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group
plc in January 2003, and will succeed Sir Patrick Gillam as Chairman in March
Mr Napier has extensive experience across a broad range of industry sectors. He
began his career in the printing and newspaper industries, initially in
production and then in general management. He became Managing Director of AGB
Plc, an international market research and information services company, in
1986, and, in 1991, joined business services group Hays Plc as Managing
In 1998, he took on the role of Chairman of the cash and carry group, Booker
Plc, where he oversaw a restructuring of the Board and management team and the
introduction of a stronger performance culture.
Mr Napier was appointed a non-executive director of Kelda Group Plc in
mid-1999, and became Executive Chairman a year later with the departure of both
the Chairman and Chief Executive. Mr Napier led the Group's restructuring
programme, disposing of non-core assets and focussing the business back on the
fundamental issues of the water industry. He reverted to the role of
non-executive Chairman in September 2002, following the Group's recovery and
the appointment of a new Chief Executive.
Group Chief Executive designate
Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Group plc
Andy Haste, 40, will take up the role of Group Chief Executive of Royal & Sun
Alliance Insurance Group plc in April 2003. He will also become a Main Board
Director of Royal & SunAlliance.
Mr Haste has a strong background in financial services. He is currently Chief
Executive of AXA Sun Life, one of the market leaders in the UK life and
pensions industry, and an Executive Director of AXA UK. He was appointed Chief
Executive of AXA Sun Life in 1999, responsible for the company's strategic
development, operations and overall financial performance. He led the
successful repositioning of the AXA Sun Life business in the UK.
Mr Haste was previously President and CEO, Global Consumer Finance Europe at GE
Capital, responsible for operations employing some 13,500 staff across 12
countries. This business unit covered such activities as private label credit
cards, personal lending, bank cards, sales finance, and insurance products
throughout the UK, Western Europe and Eastern Europe.
Prior to joining GE Capital, Mr Haste spent 16 years with National Westminster
Bank Group, both in the UK and USA. From 1992 to 1995, Mr Haste headed the
consumer loan products division of NatWest Bank's US operations. In 1995, he
was appointed President of the Bank's US consumer credit business.
-0- Dec/19/2002 10:16 GMT
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