Wednesday 15 August 2018

CEO and Chair of financial services company IFG stand down

John Cotter is stepping down as CEO of IFG
John Cotter is stepping down as CEO of IFG
Ellie Donnelly

Ellie Donnelly

Financial Services company IFG group has announced the departure of its chief executive John Cotter and its chairman John Gallagher.

Mr Cotter is being immediately replaced by Kathryn Purves, a non-executive director of the group and chair of the company’s risk committee.

Ms Purves, who joined the group in 2016, previously worked as chief risk officer of Partnership Assurance, and has more than twenty years of senior leadership experience in financial services companies, a statement from Dublin and London listed IFG said.

Meanwhile, Mr Gallagher has decided to step down as chairman following the Annual General Meeting in May, at which point Mark Dearsley, currently acting as the group's interim chief financial officer, will succeed him.

A chartered accountant, Mr Dearsley has "extensive" board level experience in the financial services sector, including serving as international managing director of Partnership Assurance, group finance director of Partnership Assurance, and group chief financial officer for Savills.

Mr Gallagher has reaffirmed his intention to maintain his major shareholding in the group, given what he described as "the strong prospects for the group."

IFG also announced the appointment of Gavin Howard as interim group chief financial officer with immediate effect.

"I look forward to working closely with Mark and Gavin and the leadership teams of Saunderson House and James Hay to maximise each business's potential and create the conditions in which they, and the group overall, are best placed to flourish and deliver further value to shareholders," Ms Purves said.

Earlier this month the company said that it had abandoned any plans to sell its UK-based wealth management business, Saunderson House.

It said offers for the unit were "not wholly aligned with the strategy of Saunderson House and would present significant execution risks that would likely create lower shareholder value than from retaining the business".

The Saunderson House unit had £5.1bn (€5.8bn) of assets under management at the end of 2017, an 11pc increase on 2016. It added 247 new clients last year, to bring its total to 2,121, and made an £8.6m (€9.8m) operating profit.

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