Andy Watson is stepping down as chief executive officer of Ageas UK after 10 years in the role.
Watson will leave Ageas at the end of June. He intends to secure a small portfolio of non-executive roles.
Ant Middle will take over as UK chief executive officer on 1 June, subject to regulatory approval. He joined Ageas as managing director of partnerships in 2014.
In his time at Ageas, he has played a pivotal role in the development of its relationships in the broker and intermediated market, as well as overseeing the launch of Ageas as a direct brand.
Since becoming chief executive officer of Ageas UK in 2013, Watson has seen the business through significant change, while operating in one of the most competitive markets in the world, and maintaining a significant presence in the broker and intermediated market.
Commenting on the changes, Bart De Smet, chief executive officer of Ageas Group, said: “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.”
On Watson’s departure, De Smet said: “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 said: “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.”
Middle added: “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.”