Direct Line Group appoints new CEO

Direct Line Insurance Group plc (‘DLG’) announces today that Penny James, DLG’s Chief Financial Officer (‘CFO’), has been selected to succeed Paul Geddes as Chief Executive with effect from the conclusion of the Annual General Meeting (‘AGM’) on 9 May 2019. Paul will step down as a member of the Board following the AGM on 9 May 2019 and will leave the Group at the end of July 2019.

 The company has launched the search for a new CFO.

Mike Biggs, Chairman of Direct Line Group, said:

‘The Board is delighted to appoint Penny James as Chief Executive of DLG. She combines a deep understanding of our sector with outstanding leadership skills, financial and risk expertise, and deep strategic thinking. The Board is confident that Penny is ideally suited to leading the delivery of DLG’s short-term strategic imperatives, including technological and business transformation, and the development of the next stage of our strategy. On behalf of the Board and everyone at DLG, I would like to thank Paul Geddes for his leadership over the last decade. Paul successfully led the executive team in the separation of the Group from the Royal Bank of Scotland, its listing on the London Stock Exchange and its entry into the FTSE100. We wish him the very best for the future.’

Penny James, CEO-designate, said:

‘It is a privilege to be taking over the leadership of Direct Line Group. DLG has a talented and diverse group of people, a customer-focused culture, powerful brands and a multi-channel, multi-product business. Together with our strong balance sheet, this has helped make DLG the successful business it is today and means we are ideally placed to thrive in an evolving market. This year we are beginning to execute the next phase of our business transformation strategy, in pursuit of our mission to make insurance much easier and better value for our customers.  I feel excited about the long-term potential of the Group and confident that we will continue to deliver for our customers, our shareholders and our people.’

Paul Geddes, CEO, said:

‘It gives me great pleasure to be handing over to Penny as DLG’s next CEO. Penny’s expertise as our CFO and the breadth of experience she brings from previous roles will be invaluable as she leads the business. I’ve worked closely with Penny for over twelve months and have been impressed by her drive, energy and ambition for the Group. I am pleased to be leaving the Group in such experienced and capable hands.’

Penny was appointed to the DLG Board in November 2017 and became CFO in March 2018. She came to DLG from Prudential plc, where she was Group Chief Risk Officer (‘CRO’) and a member of the board. She had previously been Prudential’s Director of Group Finance, Group CFO of Omega Insurance Holdings plc and CFO, UK General Insurance of Zurich Financial Services, where she had held a number of senior finance roles since qualifying as a Chartered Accountant with Coopers & Lybrand in 1995. Penny also served as an independent non-executive director of Admiral Group plc from 2015 to 2017.

Notes to Editors

1.         Penny James will receive an annual salary of £800,000 and a pension allowance of 9% of salary, which is aligned to the pension allowance for the Group’s workforce. She will be able to participate in the Company’s existing annual incentive plan up to a maximum of 175% of salary and the long-term incentive plan up to 200% of salary. All remuneration arrangements are consistent with the terms of the Directors’ Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders at the AGM in May 2017.

2.         Any payments relating to the departure of Paul Geddes will be in accordance with the Remuneration Policy approved by shareholders at the Company's 2017 AGM and will be disclosed in the Directors' Remuneration Report to be contained in the Company's Annual Report and Accounts for the year ending 31 December 2019.


For further information please contact:

Roger Clifton

Company Secretary

Tel: +44 (0)1651 832030


For investor enquiries please contact:

Andy Broadfield

Director of Investor Relations

Tel: +44 (0)1651 832877


For media enquiries please contact:

Lisa Tremble

Head of External Affairs

Tel: +44 (0)1651 834211


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