Resolution Names Williamson to Replace Biggs as Chairman

Resolution Ltd. (RSL), the insurance buyout firm founded by Clive Cowdery, said former Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Williamson will replace Mike Biggs as chairman later this year.

Williamson, 73, will lead the firm once it has simplified its governance structure and unified the boards of holding company Resolution Ltd. and subsidiary Friends Life Group, it said today in a statement. Williamson was deputy chairman of Cowdery’s former insurance buyout venture, also named Resolution, between 2005 and 2008.

Resolution is ending a governance arrangement where it outsourced the management of the firm to a privately held company named Resolution Operations LLP, also owned by Cowdery, who set up the publicly listed firm in 2008 to buy ailing U.K. life insurers. The Financial Services Authority last year warned that so-called externally managed companies may lose their right to a listing on the stock exchange if they fail to change their management structure.

Williamson’s “experience as a chairman, as well as his understanding of the group’s operations, its people and its regulatory and governance framework, will equip him well to lead the company in the future,” Biggs said in the statement.

Biggs, 60, has been chairman of Resolution since 2008 and last year took up the same role at Direct Line Insurance Group Plc (DLG), leading the U.K.’s biggest home and auto insurer through an initial public offering.

Resolution has dropped by almost a third since it was founded after the market rallied in 2009, making it more expensive for the firm to make acquisitions. The company has said doesn’t intend to make further purchases after buying Friends Provident, Axa SA (CS)’s U.K. life business and Bupa Health Assurance Ltd.

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