New senior appointments at First Central Group

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First Central Group has made three new appointments to its leadership team as it looks to position its portfolio of insurance companies for commercial growth.

Ben Tomasetti has joined as chief commercial officer. He will shape the digital and retail pricing programmes for insurance, as well as focusing on broader areas of strategic change.

He has had a long career in product development, marketing, insurance retail and underwriting with organisations such as BGL, Castle Cover and, most recently, Hastings Direct.

Tomasetti will be based at First Central’s West Sussex office and will report directly to group chief executive officer Michael Lee.

He replaces Andy James in the role, who has left First Central to pursue new opportunities following seven years of service.

Elsewhere, Gareth Howell has joined as chief underwriting officer and will lead the technical functions of First Central.

Howell started his career in pricing and underwriting at Zurich, where he worked for 11 years, before moving to AXA in 2012.

Over the past four years, he has had responsibility for AXA’s personal lines businesses (both AXA Direct and AXA Intermediary).

Paul Priestley has been appointed as counter fraud director and brings extensive knowledge and experience of the fraud market from Hastings Direct. He will focus on developing tools, techniques and strategies to build on First Central’s existing fraud prevention credentials.

Lee said of the new appointments: “This is an exciting time for the insurance sector, with a rapidly evolving landscape to consider, and it’s important we adapt and position ourselves for success, developing new technologies to drive growth.”

“Ben, Gareth and Paul are key additions to our senior team. I’m looking forward to working with them all closely, as we continue to build upon the success of the business.”

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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk