Govt names CEO for single guidance body

Govt names CEO for single guidance body

John Govett has been named the first CEO of the Single Finance Guidance Body (SFGB), which replaces the Money Advice Service, Pension Wise and The Pensions Advisory Service later this year.

Mr Govett will start his new role in October for a four and a half year period, the Department for Work and Pensions said.

He will draw on experience gained across the public, private and charity sectors to head up the new organisation, which will offer free and impartial guidance on money, debt and pension matters in England.

Mr Govett is deputy chairman of Basildon and Thurrock University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

He previously served as group chief executive at Ixion Holdings, MD of Surrey County Council, P&O Ferries commercial board director and charity board executive at the Shaw Trust.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Esther McVey, said she was "delighted" about the appointment.

She said: "John has extensive experience and knowledge from across a range of public and private organisations which make him the ideal candidate to establish this crucial new body, heralding a new era of excellence for financial guidance and debt advice in the UK."

Sir Hector Sants, who was appointed chair of the SFGB in May, also welcomed the appointment. He said: "My vision is of an organisation which is seen as transparent, accountable, effective and above all respected by all.

"I am delighted that John is joining us and I look forward to supporting him over the coming years."

Mr Govett said: "The new organisation will become a leader in its field, where we will strive to equip those in need of help with the money and pensions guidance and debt advice that they need to engage confidently with financial services.

"The key for the SFGB will be to focus on those services our customers need, with a joined up partnership approach with the wider industry."

Matthew Clark, a chartered financial planner at Seabrook Clark, believes John Govett will need to hit the ground running. He said: "Rolling the three bodies into one is a positive step, as it simplifies matters.

"I would like to see the SFGB move beyond educating consumers about the pros and cons of various personal finance options and do more to signpost where and how people can get proper regulated advice."