IL&P insists new chairman will help group on the path to 'better times'
IRISH Life & Permanent last night said its new chairman Alan Cook would play a "critical role" in helping the bancassurer "navigate" the "challenging period" ahead.
The comments come a fortnight after IL&P was told it needed an extra €4bn to recapitalise its Permanent TSB bank, a demand that will force the sale of Irish Life Assurance and force the remaining group to accept billions of state aid.
IL&P's long-running chair Gillian Bowler had indicated her intention to step down in mid-December, and Mr Cook was first named in the Irish press two weeks before his formal appointment yesterday.
"Alan brings enormous experience and skills to the board and we are looking forward to working with him very much," IL&P group chief executive Kevin Murphy said.
"We're entering a new and challenging phase for our group and I believe that Alan will play a critical role in helping us to navigate through this period to better times ahead."
Mr Cook is a former managing director of the UK post office and former chief operation officer of Prudential (UK and Europe). He is also a serving non-executive director of the Office of Fair Trading and the Financial Ombudsman Service.
The appointment comes as IL&P prepares for a stock market flotation of its life insurance business to contribute to the €4bn recapitalisation of Permanent TSB.
Most of the group's leading executives are planning to depart with the life insurance business but Mr Cook's future role is unclear.