Multinational insurer Ageas announced Andy Watson is to step down from his role as chief executive officer of Ageas UK at the end of June 2020 and will be succeeded by Ant Middle.
Watson has decided to step down to embark on the next stage of his life including further education and securing a small portfolio of non-executive roles. Watson will remain with the business until the end of June to ensure a smooth handover to Middle who will take up the position from 1 June 2020, subject to regulatory approval.
Since deciding to step down last year, Andy has been working closely with the executive team at Ageas Group to support a smooth handover to his successor.
Watson joined Ageas in 2010 as managing director of its retail arm and became CEO for Ageas UK in 2013.
Middle joined the business as managing director of Partnerships in 2014. In his time with the business he has played a pivotal role in the development of Ageas’ relationships in the broker and intermediated market, as well as overseeing the launch of Ageas as a direct brand.
Bart De Smet, CEO Ageas Group said: “The Board welcomes Ant to the position of CEO. 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 added: “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.
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.