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Rowney steps down as LV chief executive

Rowney steps down as LV chief executive

Richard Rowney is to step down as LV’s chief executive at the end of the year after thirteen years with the provider.

LV today (December 11) announced that Mr Rowney will leave the company to “seek new opportunities” after taking up the role as chief executive in 2016.

Mr Rowney joined the company in 2006 after 14 years at Barclays Bank where he held a number of senior positions across corporate and retail banking.

In 2010 he was promoted to managing director of life and pensions at the society.

According to LV, the process to appoint a successor is underway and in the interim, Alan Cook, chairman of LV, will assume executive chair responsibilities. 

Mr Cook said: "As managing director life & pensions [Mr Rowney] turned LV into one of the UK's leading specialist retirement and protection providers.  

"Most recently as chief executive he led the sale of LV's General Insurance business and the process to convert from a friendly society to a company limited by guarantee.

"The board and Richard have agreed that the time is right for him to step down. The process to appoint a new chief executive is now underway and we expect to conclude this before the end of the year."

Mr Rowney oversaw the creation of the strategic partnership with Allianz to create one of the major players in the UK general insurance marketplace.

In December 2017, LV sold a 49 per cent stake in its general insurance business to Allianz for £500m with a second stage of the transaction due to take place at the end of 2019 for £213m.

But in May this year, Allianz purchased the remaining 30.1 per cent stake for £365m, bringing its total holding to 100 per cent.

Mr Rowney said: "After 13 memorable years with LV and the successful sale of our general insurance business to Allianz, now felt like the appropriate time to step aside and seek a new opportunity outside of the society.  

“Our members continue to enjoy the benefits of being part of a strong and successful mutual organisation and I look back with pride at the strong and trusted brand that our people have worked so passionately to create."

In March, LV started plans to convert to a mutual company limited by guarantee, saying its friendly society status restricted its development.

The change would result in LV being governed by the Companies Act, but it would not change the company’s mutual status. 

Similar to a friendly society a company limited by guarantee does not typically have shareholders or share capital. It has members whose personal liability is limited to the amount they agree to contribute towards the debts of the company.

At the time Mr Rowney said: "Our friendly society status has served us well for many years but the Friendly Societies Act is becoming outdated and restricts our opportunities for growth and future development. 

"While our ethos remains the same, we need the right mutual structure in place to truly flourish moving forward.