Middle will commence in the new role from 1 June, subject to regulatory approval
Ageas UK has named Ant Middle, the firm’s current managing director of partnerships, as its new chief executive, replacing exiting boss Andy Watson – who is leaving the business at the end of June.
Subject to regulatory approval, Middle will take up his new post from 1 June. This will mean a month-long handover process with Watson to ensure a smooth succession.
Watson, who has been with Ageas for 10 years, opted to step down last year. Upon leaving the organisation, he plans on undertaking further education as well as securing a small portfolio of non-executive roles.
Watson initially joined Ageas in 2010 as the company’s managing director of its retail business. He then became chief executive in 2013.
Middle, on the other hand, joined Ageas as managing director of partnerships in 2014. Since then, he has developed Ageas’s relationships in the broker and intermediated market, as well as took responsibility for the launch of Ageas as a direct brand.
Bart De Smet, chief executive of the Ageas Group, said: “The board welcomes Ant to the position of [chief executive]. With Ant, we have appointed a leader with a broad background and knowledge of the industry, combined with familiarity of the business and strong and established industry relationships with brokers and partners.
“His significant leadership experience and passion for the business means he is well positioned to drive the business forward and navigate the opportunities and challenges facing the UK insurance market.
“We are incredibly grateful to Andy for his commitment to leading the UK business over the last 10 years, in what have been very challenging market conditions.
“While we are very sorry to see Andy leave, we recognise the significant contribution he has made to the business and the industry as a whole. He leaves the business with our best wishes for his future endeavours.”
Watson described his tenure at Ageas UK as a “privilege”.
He continued: “It has been a privilege to be at the head of Ageas UK for over seven years. During my tenure I have been fortunate to enjoy the support of the board, the senior team and, indeed, all colleagues, and that support has always been valued and very much appreciated.
“Together, we have progressed the business, implemented huge amounts of change and ensured that Ageas UK continues to compete hard in one of the most competitive insurance markets in the world.
“The intermediated channel continues to be, by some way, our biggest, and I want also to acknowledge the support of our brokers and other trading partners.”
Middle added: “I’m delighted to succeed Andy and to lead Ageas in the UK. It’s a business that I’m passionate about and the last few weeks in particular have underlined why.
“The care and commitment our people show is what makes Ageas stand out and I am proud to be taking over a business that is so dedicated to delivering for our customers, our brokers and partners, our shareholders and each other.”