Karl Helgesen replaces Rob Townend with immediate effect

Specified anti-fraud organisation the Insurance Fraud Bureau (IFB) has appointed Karl Helgesen, chief claims officer, UK and international at insurer RSA, as its new chair.

Helgesen, who has 20 years of industry experience, will replace the IFB’s current chair – Aviva’s managing director for UKGI Rob Townend – with immediate effect.

Helgesen will work alongside the IFB board to support the organisation’s future strategy, providing oversight of the Insurance Fraud Enforcement Department (IFED) and the Insurance Fraud Register (IFR).

The IFB is a regular panellist at Insurance Times’s Fraud Charter discussions.

New role

Helgesen, who joined RSA from Zurich in 2017, said: “The insurance industry continues to be a target for career fraudsters and insurance fraud is not a victimless crime. As a sector we have a social responsibility to do all that we can to stamp down on those committing fraud and protect honest policyholders.

“The IFB, IFED and IFR continue to spearhead our industry’s collective response, and I look forward to supporting an ambitious counter-fraud vision moving forward. With the IFB launching its Insurance Fraud Intelligence Hub and with IFED as a dedicated police unit focused specifically on insurance fraud, we have never been in a stronger position as a sector with the tools to detect and disrupt fraud.

“The challenge moving forward is keeping pace with societal change, staying one step ahead of the fraudsters, and ensuring that we remain agile enough to respond to an ever-changing landscape. Our objective is to continue to deliver the results that as an industry we can collectively be proud of.”

Next year, the IFB will publish the latest iteration of the insurance industry’s Strategic Threat Assessment; this identifies the industry’s emerging fraud threats.