GWP: £3.1bn


The top team of chief executive Paul Geddes and chief financial officer John Reizenstein continue to lead the UK’s biggest personal lines insurer.

If the company’s performance on the stock market since its 2012 flotation is anything to go by, the pair and their team are doing a good job.

The stock now trades at more than double its 175p IPO price.

By contrast, rival listed personal lines insurer Esure trades at around a 13% discount to its 290p IPO price.

That said, Geddes and Reizenstein will need to keep their wits about them to tackle the rigours of the UK personal motor market, which makes up a large portion of the group’s revenue and profitability.


Since its flotation in 2012, Direct Line Group has been focused on restoring and maintaining profitability and cutting its cost base, which it saw as out of kilter with the opposition.

It achieved its aims of returning its commercial business to underwriting profit in the full 2014 year – the unit reported a combined operating ratio of 98.8% that year, and has remained profitable since.

The company now has a pure UK focus, having sold its international arm to Mapfre in 2014 for £430.5m.

With personal lines motor making up a large proportion of its book, Direct Line Group is looking to be a key player in the telematics-based insurance market.

It is also looking to break into the cyber insurance market. Its broker-only commercial arm NIG launched a cyber product in October.