LV= boss quits after successful sale of insurance business

The boss of savings and investment business LV= is to leave the company at the end of the year.

Richard Rowney’s departure after 13 years with the firm comes just months after he oversaw the sale of LV’s general insurance division to Allianz.

Chairman Alan Cook will take over the running of the Bournemouth-based business while a replacement is sought, with an announcement due before the end of the year.

Mr Cook said: “The board and Richard have agreed that the time is right for him to step down.

“As managing director life and pensions, he turned LV= into one of the UK’s leading specialist retirement and protection providers.

“Most recently, as chief executive he led the sale of LV=’s general insurance business and the process to convert from a friendly society to a company limited by guarantee.”

Richard Rowney
Richard Rowney

Mr Rowney said: “After 13 memorable years with LV= and the successful sale of our General Insurance business to Allianz, now felt like the appropriate time to step aside and seek a new opportunity outside of the society.”

In the past 12 months he has concentrated on cost-cutting and placing more emphasis on the company’s core business to become solely a life and pensions provider with a clear focus on the low-risk, advice- led, mass affluent market.

At its last set of results in August, the company revealed a jump in like-for-like profits for the first half of the year, despite a downturn in sales for its life and pensions business.

Pre-tax profits hit £35 million for the six months to June 30, up 191% from £12 million in the same period in 2018.

Nevertheless, the company said that its life and pensions division, one of its largest arms, has faced “tough trading conditions” in 2019.

The unit saw sales slide by 26.8% to £710 million, from £970 million in the same period last year.

Its savings and retirement business also saw sales plunge, as they fell 31.5% to £560 million amid a continued decline in the pensions market.

The decision to sell its general insurance division to Allianz comes as the sector consolidates.

Allianz also bought Legal & General’s insurance business earlier this year, making it the second largest insurance provider in the UK.