Ex-Highway chief exec found market too tricky

Former Highway chief executive Andrew Gibson says he considered buying a number of businesses before joining IAG UK.

Gibson, who had a private equity-backed bid rejected for HSBC’s motor insurance arm earlier this year, will join IAG UK as chief financial officer next month. He already has links to the business and its chief executive Neil Utley.

He was also previously finance director at Equity Insurance Group before it was acquired by IAG in 2006.

“I’ve looked at buying a couple of businesses this year but the market has proved very difficult,” he said. “So when I got the call from [IAG UK], it was very exciting.”

Gibson will replace the insurer’s current chief financial officer, Richard Brewster, who is retiring to pursue various non-exec roles.

IAG UK, which last year sold its Equity branch network to Swinton, and Hastings and Advantage to management, said it was in the final stages of its restructure and rightsizing programme, which will also result in the departure of director of business transformation, Phil Anderson.

Utley said Gibson’s return to the business was “very positive for the group”. “He already has a depth of understanding of our business and will bring expert market knowledge,” he added.