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Phoenix appoints new leaders as part of the Group’s commitment to growing its Open business

Posted: 6th August 2020

  • Five business units established for the Open business with senior leaders appointed for each
  • Tom Ground appointed as Managing Director of the Retirement Services unit, responsible for BPAs, annuities and equity release
  • Remaining unit heads have been promoted from within Phoenix Group

Phoenix Group, the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business, has today confirmed the appointment of Tom Ground as Managing Director of its Retirement Services business unit, which forms part of the new structure to drive growth in its Open business.

The five Open business units will run alongside the Heritage and newly acquired ReAssure businesses, and consist of:

  • Retirement Services: Which brings together Bulk Purchase Annuities (BPAs), a material driver of business for Phoenix, with annuities and equity release;
  • Workplace: Focused on providing companies with workplace benefits and enhancing Phoenix’s leadership position in this market;
  • Customer Savings & Investments: Targeting individual customers, focusing on engaging existing customers on their retirement needs as they approach and journey through retirement;
  • Europe, including Standard Life International and Ark Life: This unit will look after activity outside of the UK;
  • SunLife: The market leader in guaranteed insurance products for the over 50’s.

Alongside Tom Ground’s appointment, Gail Izat and Jenny Holt – existing members of the Phoenix senior management team – will become MDs of the Workplace and Customer Savings & Investments

units respectively, highlighting our commitment to growing talent from within our organisation. Nigel Dunne and Dean Lamble retain their roles as leaders of the European business and SunLife,

Tom Ground will become the Managing Director of the Retirement Services unit and will be responsible for driving growth in Bulk Purchase Annuities (BPA) and work to explore the equity release market.

Tom joins from Aviva, where he is currently Managing Director of Annuities and Equity Release, and brings over 20 years of life and pensions experience, having previously held senior roles at L&G and Accenture. He will join the organisation in January.

The leaders of each of the units will report into Andy Curran, CEO of Savings and Retirement, UK and Europe, when he takes over from Susan McInnes. Andy was appointed in July to lead the Open business.

Andy Briggs, CEO of Phoenix Group, said, “At the centre of everything we do at Phoenix are our customers. The creation of business units for the Open business reflects this focus and will ensure that the needs of each customer group are catered to specifically. We already have exceptional expertise within the organisation to draw upon, and the change will drive accountability down the organisation, with empowerment of leadership and people to drive performance. The addition of Tom Ground as Managing Director of Retirement Services sets off the complement, and his excellent track record and depth of experience will further bolster the team.”

Phoenix broadly divides its business into two segments, Heritage and Open. The Heritage segment comprises products that are no longer actively marketed to customers and has been built through the consolidation of over 100 legacy insurance brands, whist the Open business manufactures and underwrites new products and policies to support people saving for their future in areas such as Workplace pensions. These products are actively marketed to new and existing customers primarily under the Standard Life brand. We also generate new business through our market leading brand – SunLife.

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