Phillip Bell becomes non-executive director of Towergate-owned software provider

Chief executive of Open GI Phillip Bell is to relinquish his role, the company has said.

The announcement comes less than six months after Towergate bought the Open International Group - including Open GI, the Countrywide Network, and London Market technology provider MI - for £276m. At the time of the acquisition, sources speculated that Bell was likely to leave the company, which was previously bought by Montagu Private Equity for £182m in May 2006.

Chris Guillaume, research & development director of Open GI, is set to take charge as managing director with effect from March 20th. Guillame joined the business in 1999 and was promoted to operations director in 2002. He took additional responsibility for HR in 2001, and was made director of research & development in May 2005.

In a statement Open GI said: "The change coincides with current CEO Phillip Bell’s decision to step away from a direct executive role. Phillip will be retaining a keen interest in the business by taking on a non-executive directorship of Open International.

Guillaume added: "Under Phillip’s leadership the business has grown from strength to strength and finds itself leading its market and operating at the forefront of innovation and I am keen to build on that success and to drive the business forward."

Open GI is used by over 2,000 commercial and personal lines brokers in the UK.