Direct Line Group announces significant leadership changes

Direct Line Group (“The Group”) today announces three new appointments to its Executive Committee to further strengthen its management capability and drive growth. Craig Thornton is to be appointed Managing Director Home and Growth, Martin Milliner as Managing Director of Claims and Hugh Hessing as Chief Operating Officer. All three appointments will report directly to the CEO and are subject to regulatory approval.

In addition, the Group announces two further senior appointments: Roger Lowry as Director of Corporate Affairs and Alexandra Hayes as Chief of Staff, to augment and strengthen the skills and experience of its leadership team. Both appointments will report directly to the CEO, Adam Winslow, and will attend the Executive Committee.

In the role of Managing Director Home and Growth, Craig Thornton will lead the Group’s Home and Growth insurance strategies across all brands and utilise his impressive track record at ExCo level for the benefit of the business more broadly. Craig joins the Group after spending the last ten years at Lloyds Banking Group, where he was General Insurance, Protection and Investments Director.

Martin Milliner joins as Managing Director of Claims and brings extensive claims experience and expertise. He will drive the Group’s ambition to build a market leading claims function, delivering great service for customers and increasing operational efficiency. He joins the Group from Allianz where he was Claims Director and was previously Head of Operational Claims and Director of Claimant Technical Services at LV=. Martin is an industry thought leader and strategist and has sat on the Thatcham and Insurance Fraud Bureau boards.

As Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hessing will lead our Customer operations, Procurement, and Transformation activity across DLG ensuring there is a strong customer focus. Hugh has extensive experience in these areas, having been UK Chief Operating Officer and UK Customer Services Director at Aviva and CEO of Aviva Ireland. Hugh has also led major transformation initiatives that delivered significant outcomes whilst he was at Aviva and prior to that at KPMG. He has most recently been running his own consultancy business in the financial services sector.

Roger Lowry will join as Director of Corporate Affairs to strengthen the Group’s external and internal communications. Roger was most recently Director of Communications and Marketing at QBE Insurance. He brings a wealth of financial services and regulatory experience having also held senior positions at Royal Bank of Scotland and Ofcom.

Alexandra Hayes (Alex) will take up the post of Chief of Staff to the CEO supporting him across the Group’s strategic priorities and deliverables. Alex joins from Lloyd’s where she has been Chief of Staff to the CEO. She has extensive experience of driving results across a range of financial services companies in various roles, along with multiple leadership roles on operations as a Royal Engineers Officer in the British Army.   

Adam Winslow, Chief Executive Officer of Direct Line Group, said:

“At our full year results, I committed to strengthening our leadership team to deliver the changes that are required. The new appointments I’m announcing today will be central to delivering our strategy to transform the Group. The calibre of these appointments is a testament to the underlying strength and attractiveness of the business. The experience and expertise of these leaders will make a significant difference, not only in the areas they oversee, but also at ExCo where they will provide strategic leadership and drive to shape the future of our organisation.”


Notes to Editors:

This new joiner announcement supplements the news of the recent appointment of Jane Poole as CFO announced on the 10 April.

Direct Line Group announced that Jane Poole is to be appointed as Group Chief Financial Officer of the Company, subject to regulatory approval. Jane will join the Board in October 2024, succeeding Neil Manser who has been in post since January 2021.

Since 2021, Jane has been CFO for Aviva’s UK and Ireland General Insurance business, driving business performance and improving profitability. Prior to this, Jane was CFO for Royal & Sun Alliance (RSA) UK & International businesses having held senior Finance roles at the insurer since 2006. Jane qualified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Start dates:

  • Roger Lowry, Director of Corporate Affairs: May
  • Hugh Hessing, Chief Operating Officer: July
  • Alexandra Hayes, Chief of Staff: August
  • Martin Milliner, Director of Claims: October
  • Craig Thornton, Managing Director of Home and Growth: October

For further information, please contact:

Ewan Robertson

Head of News and Issues

Direct Line Group

Mob: 07779718865

Email: [email protected]   


Jade Trimbee

Corporate Communications Manager

Direct Line Group

Mob: 07825 315931

Email:[email protected]


Nick Cosgrove



Tel: 0207 404 5959

Email: [email protected]