Scottish Widows  

HSBC exec named as Scottish Widows' CEO

HSBC exec named as Scottish Widows' CEO
Chirantan Barua, incoming CEO at Scottish WIdows

Lloyds Banking Group has appointed Chirantan Barua, current global head of strategy at HSBC, as Scottish Widows' next chief executive.

In his new role, Barua, who was part of HSBC's group executive committee, will also lead Lloyds Banking Group's insurance, pensions and investments business unit.

Barua takes over from Antonio Lorenzo, who is set to retire in 2023 after sitting at the helm of Scottish Widows since 2015.

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Before joining HSBC, where he spent just over two and a half years of his career, Barua was a partner at McKinsey & Company where he worked in their financial services practice.

Barua has also spent stints at research and brokerage firm Sanford C Bernstein, as well as Standard Chartered and Citigroup in India.

The new CEO's soon-to-be predecessor, Lorenzo, played a "critical role" in stabilising Lloyds during the financial crisis, according to the bank's group chief executive Charlie Nunn. 

"Since 2015 [...] Scottish Widows has grown its assets under administration from £130bn to £210bn," said Nunn.

"Antonio came to me some time ago to let me know he intended to retire, but very kindly agreed to stay and work with me to reshape the organisation, giving me time to search for a successor and ensure we have a smooth transition period.”

Nunn said Barua has "a wealth" of financial services experience, while Lorenzo said he will be "watching the next part of the [Scottish Widows] journey with great interest".

Lloyds is currently in the process of building a new system so advisers can access the bank’s protection products more easily. 

In June, the bank also bought protection advice firm Cavendish Online for £12mn as part of its plan to become “a top three protection provider by 2025”.

Scottish Widows chair, Scott Wheway, praised Lorenzo's leadership over the past seven years, referencing the business' "bold technology strategy" and "a number of strategic acquisitions".