National Friendly appoints CEO after Long’s passing

National Friendly appoints CEO after Long’s passing
National Friendly CEO Graham Singleton

National Friendly has appointed interim chief executive Graham Singleton as its permanent CEO. 

Singleton takes over the reins from Jonathan Long, who headed up the mutual friendly society for more than six years, but who passed away at the end of last year.

He joined the member organisation’s board back in December 2019, and stepped into the interim chief executive position a year later.

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He previously headed up major insurers Phoenix Resolution Life Companies, and Swiss Re’s UK insurer, Reassure Limited, together with its life and pensions outsourcing business, Admin Re.

National Friendly also recently announced the appointment of chairman Geoff Brown.

The new CEO, a qualified actuary, said he was joining the firm “at a time when the social need for the products and solutions which National Friendly specialise in has probably never been greater”.

The insurer, which has no shareholders and serves some 36,000 members, specialises in private medical insurance, later life care, savings and investments.

Chairman Brown said it was the firm’s “ambition to strongly grow its membership delivering value for money sickness and health products and services”.

In May, National Friendly launched an accident-only income protection product designed for clients who have not been able to find the right cover due to cost or health.

The policy, which involves no medical questions, provides a regular benefit if a client incurs a qualifying disabling injury caused by an accident.

It is also linked to digital health provider HealthHero for services such as telephone or video access to a panel of private GPs and preventative consultations on emotional wellbeing, aches and pains.

National Friendly conducted its own research this year, which suggested such a new policy would find a “ready market” among the self-employed, particularly in the age range of 25 and 44, which the insurer said it had not previously targeted and believed to be a growing sector.

Research from The Exeter corroborated this. It found only 9 per cent of self-employed workers currently protected their income through insurance.