ABI hires new Director General and announces two other leadership appointments


Three senior leadership appointments have been confirmed at the Association of British Insurers.

Baroness Nicky Morgan appointed as first Independent Chair

Hannah Gurga appointed as Director General

Baroness Dianne Hayter to join as independent Non-Executive Director

Baroness Nicky Morgan is to become the first Independent Chair in a newly defined role. She takes over from Jon Dye who is stepping down having served as ABI Chair since July 2019.

Hannah Gurga will become the new Director General, taking up the post in early 2022. Hannah joins from UK Finance where she is Managing Director, Digital, Technology & Cyber and Chief of Staff, and has previously worked for the London Stock Exchange Group, ICAP and HM Treasury alongside other Government roles. She replaces Huw Evans who announced earlier this year that he is stepping down from the role in December to join KPMG as a partner in the new year.

Baroness Dianne Hayter will join as an independent Non-Executive Director (iNED) and become the Senior Independent Director (SID) on the ABI Board.

The two new Board roles have been introduced as part of reforms announced earlier this year to bring fresh external perspectives, enrich diversity of experience and reinforce strong governance.

The Independent Chair will chair the ABI Board and the new Reputation and Customers Committee. The role of the iNED includes being a member of the Audit Committee, the Reputation and Customers Committee and the Appointments and Remuneration Committee, as well as attending other key Board sub-groups as appropriate and acting as the SID of the Board.

Both of the Board appointments have commenced this month for a period of three years. The roles are focused solely on internal activity and governance.

As previously announced, Barry O’Dwyer, Group CEO, Royal London has taken on the role of ABI President and Cristina Nestares, UK CEO, Admiral Group Plc, is the ABI’s Deputy President to provide public-facing leadership.

Baroness Nicky Morgan said, “The insurance and long-term savings industry is one of the UK’s biggest global success stories. There are many challenges and opportunities facing the sector ranging from customer trust to supporting the transition to Net Zero. The ABI has an excellent reputation and I’m excited to take on this new role as the ABI’s first Independent Chair at this crucial time. I would like to offer my thanks to Jon Dye for his leadership of the sector during a challenging time and for a smooth handover of responsibilities.”

Hannah Gurga commented, “The ABI is globally recognised as a leading advocate for the insurance and long-term savings industry, and I am committed to building on its reputation to ensure we help members deliver the best outcomes for their customers. The external environment in which we’re operating is changing rapidly and it is vital that the ABI delivers across issues as varied as climate change, diversity and inclusion, resilience and the digital and data revolution. I look forward to working with members, colleagues, government and regulators to enhance our industry’s reputation and impact.”

Baroness Dianne Hayter added, “The ABI’s members play a vital role in supporting our economy and providing a financial safety net for families across the UK. I’m delighted to take up the role of independent Non-Executive Director and look forward to seeing what more can be done to boost consumer trust.”

Barry O’Dwyer, ABI President and Group CEO, Royal London, said, “I am pleased to announce such strong changes to the ABI’s executive leadership and Board providing a wealth of experience from inside and outside of financial services.

We’re honoured to welcome Baroness Nicky Morgan as Independent Chair of the Association of British Insurers and Baroness Dianne Hayter as independent Non-Executive Director. Both bring with them exceptional experience and as consumer champions will be an independent voice for customers across the insurance and long-term savings sector.

Hannah Gurga is a respected and experienced financial services professional with a strong track record of leadership built in the UK civil service, the City and a leading trade association. The ABI Board is delighted to appoint someone of her calibre as our next Director General after an open and competitive process.I look forward to working closely with Hannah as we strive to deepen our work on climate change, do more to improve customer outcomes and seek to harness the digital revolution for the benefit of those we serve.

I would also like to thank Huw Evans for such formidable leadership during a decade of great change for our industry.”