Direct Line Group announces further steps to deliver previously announced £100 million gross annual cost savings

Today Direct Line Group has communicated the next phase of its programme to achieve £100 million of gross annual cost savings by the end of 2014 as detailed in August. The Group has announced its intention to reduce around 70 senior leadership roles. This builds on the first phase of the cost saving programme, announced in September, which included measures to reduce costs in central functions and the closure of our Teesside office.

The Group has carried out a comprehensive review of its leadership population and structure following the successful completion of the extensive and complicated work to design the transformation programme, separate the business from RBS Group and prepare it for a successful IPO. The review, which included an external benchmarking exercise, recommended a leaner, simpler structure to deliver the next phase of the Group’s strategy, with fewer layers and clearer accountability across the leadership population.

As a result of these changes, Jonathan Davidson, Chief Operating Officer, and Sheree Howard, Managing Director, Solvency II and Executive Projects have decided to leave the organisation. Angela Morrison, Chief Information Officer, will now report directly to Paul Geddes, CEO and will join the Executive Committee. Key elements of Solvency II activity have been embedded in the Finance and Risk functions with Jose Vazquez, Chief Risk Officer, being responsible for oversight of the remaining elements. Elements of the Chief Operating Office have been devolved to other business functions.

Paul Geddes, Chief Executive Officer of Direct Line Group, said:

"Following the successful completion of our separation from RBS Group and our recent IPO, the timing is now right for us to make these changes. We are creating a simpler, more efficient business which costs less to run. As market leader, these changes are essential for us to succeed in a competitive marketplace. I don’t make these changes lightly, and we will do all we can to support those affected."