Protection lobby group appoints chairman

Protection lobby group appoints chairman

The Protection Distributors Group has appointed a new chairman following the departure of founding member Emma Thomson.

Alan Knowles, managing director at member firm Cura Financial Services, will chair the group with immediate effect following unanimous member agreement.

Founded in 2016, the group consists of distributor firms with an aim to improve the protection market and lobby insurers for better consumer outcomes.

The current members are Assured Futures, Cavendish Ware, Cura, Drewberry, Futureproof, Highclere, LifeSearch, Lightblue, London & Country, SBG and Roxburgh.

Last month, chairwoman Ms Thomson announced her departure from Lifesearch to join protection provider British Friendly in the role of product strategist, which saw her automatically leave her position.

Mr Knowles said the group had driven a number of improvements across the protection market and was becoming more influential and visible since its foundation in 2016.

He said: "We have seen the market move forward with our Funeral Payment Pledge campaign and more recently our Protection Distributors Group Claims Charter, and on behalf of the group, I would like to thank Emma Thomson for all the dedication and hard work she did in getting the group where it is today."

Mr Knowles added: "We have lots of ideas about how we can continue to take the protection market forward and we look forward to sharing those with the industry in due course."

Peter Hamilton, protection management director at Zurich, said he was pleased to hear of Mr Knowles’ appointment to chairman.

He said: "Alan’s firm Cura evidence a dynamism and infectious energy for protection in general and the markets they serve.

"Alan has always been ready to engage with and challenge insurers on how best to improve processes for customers who, through complex health histories, in many cases do not have easy access to much needed cover.

"I am sure he will bring the same kind of energy and enthusiasm to the wider remit of the Protection Distributors Group."