’It’s a privilege to be invited to lead DLG into the future,’ says new appointee

Direct Line Group (DLG) has confirmed that Aviva’s Adam Winslow will become its new top boss in 2024.

Earlier this month (19 August 2023) Sky News reported that DLG had been holding talks with Winslow about becoming its new chief executive.

And in a statement released this morning (30 August 2023), DLG said that Winslow is expected to take up the position in Q1 2024.

He will succeed acting chief executive Jon Greenwood, who will remain in the role until Winslow joins.

When Winslow moves to DLG, he will receive an annual salary of £820,000.

“DLG is one of the UK’s leading insurers with some of the most recognisable brands in the retail and commercial market,” Winslow said.

“It’s a privilege to be invited to lead DLG into the future, particularly given its rich heritage and passion for serving its millions of customers.”

Next steps

Winslow joined Aviva in January 2021 as chief executive of international markets before leading its UK and Ireland general insurance practice.

He also is a board member at the ABI and a non-executive director at Pool Re.

The announcement of his appointment at DLG came after Penny James stepped down as the group’s chief executive earlier this year (27 January 2023).

When Winslow steps into the role, Greenwood will work with him to ensure a smooth handover and transition.

After this, Greenwood intends to step back from his executive career and pursue other opportunities, including non-executive roles.

Danuta Gray, chair of DLG, said: “The board is delighted to announce that Adam Winslow is to be our new chief executive.

“Adam has deep expertise in the UK general insurance market and significant leadership experience, spanning two decades across personal and commercial lines insurance. 

“I would like to thank Jon Greenwood for stepping up as acting chief executive, where he has shown commitment, leadership and focus to improve business performance and for his leadership of the successful commercial function before that.”

‘Extensive search’

The confirmation of Winslow’s appointment came after DLG saw its profits nosedive in 2022 after it was hit by the highest level of claims from major weather events since it listed a decade ago.

In a trading update earlier this year (14 March 2023), the insurer revealed its full year underlying gross written premiums (GWP) fell 3.2% to £2.97bn last year.

Of this GWP, £2.09bn was generated via own brand policies, although premium from this sector fell 5.5% year-on-year.

While the firm grew GWP for its motor direct own brands in Q1 2023 by 4.3% year-on-year, it warned that it had experienced further adverse claims development in respect of late 2022 and early 2023 in motor, particularly in relation to damage.

“This is expected to put pressure on earnings in 2023 including from prior-year reserve releases,” the firm said.

Gray said that when looking for a new chief executive, the board “conducted an extensive search and Adam Winslow stood out for his strategic understanding of the [insurance] sector, outstanding track record of leading high performing businesses and his focus on driving operational excellence to consistently meet customer needs”.

“The board and I look forward to working with Adam in providing high-quality insurance to our customers through our platform of powerful brands and targeting attractive and sustainable returns for shareholders,” Gray added.