27 Jun 2012

Tidjane Thiam to be next Chairman of the ABI

The Association of British Insurers have issued the following news release.

Tidjane Thiam has been nominated by the Board of the Association of British Insurers to become its next Chairman, with effect from July 3. Mr Thiam, Group Chief Executive of Prudential plc, takes over from Tim Breedon of Legal & General who will be stepping down having completed his two-year term of office.

Mr Thiam has been an executive director at Prudential plc since 2008, having previously spent six years in executive positions at Aviva plc. He is a member of the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Council.

Mr Thiam said:

“I am honoured to be chosen as chairman of the ABI, particularly in succession to Tim Breedon, who has done an outstanding job in refocusing the organisation to face the challenges of a changing world. I am looking forward to working with Otto Thoresen, who has brought a wealth of experience and leadership skills to the ABI.

“Insurance is one of Britain’s business success stories and it continues to provide jobs, security and much of the long-term investment that drives economic growth. It remains one of our most important invisible export earners.

"Insurers need to continue working together in close partnership with government and regulators to find solutions to the challenges we collectively face – supporting our customers in a time of unprecedented austerity and developing practical policies that will promote sustainable growth.”

Otto Thoresen, Director General of the ABI, said:

“Tidjane Thiam is a globally recognised business leader whose understanding of the opportunities and challenges facing the global insurance industry will be a huge asset to UK-based insurers.

“I am looking forward to working with him to deepen the impact of the ABI as the authentic voice of an industry that is such a critical part of the UK's economic well-being.

“On behalf of the ABI’s members, I would like to place on record their appreciation for Tim Breedon’s outstanding leadership and record of achievements over the two years of his chairmanship. Tim has refocused and re-energised the ABI and has played a key role in both the public leadership of the UK industry and ensuring the ABI is equipped with the strategic direction, consumer perspective, member engagement and key staff to deliver for its members in this challenging environment. Tim has brought unwavering commitment to the task and his passion for the social and economic value of insurance has made a significant impact on ministers, regulators and industry leaders.”

Notes:

  1. Tidjane Thiam, Group Chief Executive, Prudential plc

    Tidjane Thiam has had more than a decade of senior experience in the British insurance industry having held executive level positions at Prudential and Aviva.

    An executive director of Prudential since March 25, 2008, he was the Chief Financial Officer until September 30, 2009 and became Group Chief Executive with effect from October 1, 2009.

    Prior to joining the Prudential, Tidjane worked at Aviva for six years where he successively held the positions of Group Strategy and Development Director, Managing Director of Aviva International, Group Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, Europe.

    Tidjane spent the first part of his professional career with McKinsey & Company in Paris and New York, serving insurance companies and banks. He then spent a number of years in Africa where he was Chief Executive and later Chairman of the National Bureau for Technical Studies and Development in Cote d’Ivoire and a cabinet member as Secretary of Planning and Development. Tidjane returned to France to become a partner with McKinsey & Company and one of the leaders of its Financial Institutions practice before joining Aviva in 2002.

    Tidjane became a member of the Board of the ABI in 2010 and is a member of the Council of the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in London. Tidjane is a member of the Africa Progress Panel chaired by Kofi Annan and a sponsor of Opportunity International. In January 2011, he was appointed to chair the G20 High Level Panel for Infrastructure Investment, which reported to the G20 Leaders at the G20 Summit in Cannes in November 2011. Tidjane is a member of the UK-ASEAN Business Council and of the Strategic Advisory Group on UK Trade and Investment. In January 2012, Tidjane was appointed to the Prime Minister’s Business Advisory Group. Tidjane was awarded the Légion d’Honneur by the French President in July 2011. Age 49.

  2. Tim Breedon, Retiring ABI Chairman and Group CEO, Legal & General Group Plc

    Tim Breedon has served as chairman of the ABI since July 2010. He is retiring as Group Chief Executive of Legal & General on June 30, a post he has held since January 2006, having joined the Board of Legal & General in 2002. Among the key areas of achievement during Tim Breedon’s chairmanship have been:-

    • Driving strong industry agreement on key positions in areas such as Solvency II, executive remuneration, the future flood insurance arrangements, pension reform, fraud policing and reform of the civil compensation system.
    • Creating a revitalised executive team led by Otto Thoresen.
    • A refocused ABI with a new Business Plan focused on delivering outcomes in 14 priority areas for the industry and its customers
    • A Board-commissioned review of the ABI’s Member Groups which resulted in streamlining of the ABI’s committees and standardisation of process.
    • A long term agreement with the ABI’s pension trustees to provide certainty on the funding of the closed DB scheme.
  3. In accordance with the ABI constitution, Mr Thiam will formally be elected as chairman at the association’s annual general meeting on September 12.
  4. Media enquiries can be directed to:

    ABI: Freya Rodger, Head of Communications (E: Freya.Rodger@abi.org.uk, T: 020 7216 7444/07808 642 972) or Malcolm Tarling, Chief Press Officer (E: Malcolm.Tarling@abi.org.uk, T: 0207 216 7410/07776 147661)

    Prudential plc: Jonathan Oliver, Director of Group Media Relations
    (E: Jonathan.Oliver@prudential.co.uk, T: 0207 548 3719/07740 096018

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