Hastings Direct

Gary Hoffman joins Hastings Insurance Group as Group Chief Executive Officer

15th October 2012

Hastings Insurance Group

Hastings Insurance Group (HIG) has appointed Gary Hoffman to the position of Group CEO with effect from 1 November 2012.

This is an important addition to the management team, reflecting Hastings' continuing growth in scale and profits. Since the buyout in 2009, Hastings has been one of Europe's fastest growing insurance companies. EBITDA was £35m in 2011 up 60% on 2010, and the business has maintained growth in profit for first 6 months to 30 June 2012*.

Edward Fitzmaurice will take on the role of Executive Chairman of Hastings Insurance Services, the main UK trading entity within the Group, and will spend more time shaping the long term strategic direction of the business to help ensure the Group capitalises on the many opportunities within the marketplace.

Gary has held a number of senior positions in the UK financial services industry. He spent 25 years with Barclays where he was an Executive Director from 2004-2008 and group Vice Chairman from 2006-2008. He held a number of senior management roles in the Retail Bank, part of which was Barclays Life, including introducing telephone banking and running marketing and distribution. He was CEO of Barclaycard from 2001-2005 and then was made Chairman of UK Banking and Barclaycard responsible for the worldwide card and UK Retail and Commercial Businesses.

At the height of the financial crisis Gary was asked to lead the successful rescue, stabilisation and restructuring of Northern Rock. Since 2010 Gary has been CEO of NBNK, a banking start-up formed to bid for the UK bank branches which Lloyds Bank is being forced to sell by the EU Commission.

Gary Hoffman's appointment has been approved by the FCA.

Neil Utley, Chairman of Hastings Insurance Group, commented: "I am delighted the opportunity has arisen for us to further strengthen our existing team with the appointment of Gary who brings exceptional experience to Hastings.

"The business continues to grow rapidly with many more customers continuing to switch to Hastings for the great service and value they receive, and his expertise gives us the additional management depth to help take our business to the next level."

Edward Fitzmaurice, Executive Chairman Hastings Insurance Services, commented: "It is great news that Gary is joining us as Group CEO. 2012 has been our best year yet — we passed our 1 millionth customer mark and we were recognised by the industry with awards for Personal Lines Intermediary of the Year, Customer Service Provider of the Year and Best Anti-Fraud Strategy of the Year.

"We are very pleased with our progress over the last few years and we see even more opportunities for the Group's activities in the coming years to deliver its vision of becoming a real force in UK Personal Lines Insurance. Having Gary with his extensive experience on the team will enable us to take advantage of the increasing number of opportunities for our business.

"Together with our current management team of Tobias van der Meer, Managing Director Retail, and Michael Lee, Managing Director Insurer Services, Gary will give us breadth and experience to take the business forward to the next stage in its development."

Gary Hoffman, Group Chief Executive Officer, commented: "Since the management buyout in 2009, Edward Fitzmaurice and his team have done an exceptional job in returning the Group to profitability and building the business. There is now a great platform to build upon with Hastings people dedicated to providing the right value and service to customers in a market that doesn't always do that.

"I'm looking forward to working with this entrepreneurial team to take the Group into its next period of growth."

* Based on unaudited management accounts.

About Hastings Insurance Group

Hastings Insurance Group Limited, Jersey based, registered and controlled, is the ultimate holding company of Hastings Insurance Services Limited and Advantage Insurance Company Limited.

About Hastings Insurance Services

One of the UK's fastest growing insurance brokers employing in excess of 1,300 people. We are a multi-award winning company which has built our business by championing the consumer and helping to hold down the cost of quality insurance. A customer takes out a policy every 41 seconds.

We offer car, motorcycle, van and household direct to the public and through our growing affinity partnerships with many UK and global leading brands.

We employ the very latest anti fraud technology to protect our customers and have driven a seven-fold increase in the amount of fraud detected since February 2009.

Hastings Direct is the main trading name of Hastings Insurance Services Limited.

The company's brands are Renew, Likewise, Insure, People's Choice, Hastings Direct and Hastings Local.

List of awards:

  • 2012 Best Company — First Class
  • 2012 Personal Lines Intermediary of the Year, UK Broker Awards 2012
  • 2012 Customer Service Provider of the Year, UK Broker Awards 2012
  • 2012 Personal Lines Broking Initiative of the Year, British Insurance Awards
  • 2012 Best Anti-Fraud Strategy of the Year, FS Tech Awards
  • 2012 Best IT Team of the Year, FS Tech Awards
  • 2012 Best Use of Networking, FS Tech Awards
  • 2012 Best HR Team of the Year, HR Excellence Awards
  • 2012 Best Talent Management Strategy, HR Excellence Awards
  • 2011 Personal Lines Broker of the Year — Insurance Times Awards
  • 2011 CIPR Pride Award — Gold Winner for Best Internal Magazine
  • 2011 Insurance Fraud Awards — Combating Fraud Broking Initiative of the Year

About Advantage Insurance Company

Advantage is a low cost motor insurer based in Gibraltar that uses sophisticated actuarial rating techniques. It partners with Hastings Direct in the UK to deliver a first class claims service with a zero tolerance attitude to fraudsters who ultimately cheat the honest motorist.

To improve capital efficiency, as well as being in Gibraltar, it works with a number of major reinsurance partners using both quota share and co-insurance contracts.

All of Advantage's business is sourced via Hastings Direct and, by adopting this approach, Advantage is able to provide cost effective products for its targeted market sectors.

About Gary Hoffman

Summary of previous experience

  • 2011-date NBNK Investments, Chief Executive
  • 2008-2010 Northern Rock plc, Chief Executive
  • 1982-2008 Barclays Group
  • 2006-2008 Group Vice Chairman, Barclays plc
  • 2004-2008 Executive Director, Barclays plc
  • 2005-2006 Chairman, UK Banking & Barclaycard
  • 2001-2005 Chief Executive, Barclaycard
  • 2000-2001 Managing Director, Marketing & Distribution
  • 1998-2000 Managing Director, Customer Service
  • 1997-1998 Deputy Chief Executive, UK Retail Banking
  • 1995-1997 Managing Director, Telephone Banking
  • 1993-1994 Director of Transition Planning, UK Bank
  • 1992-1993 Head of UK Systems Planning
  • 1989-1992 Project Manager, Customer Information Systems
  • 1987-1989 Sales Manager, London North West Region
  • 1985-1987 Various project assignments in different divisions of the bank
  • 1982-1984 Graduate Trainee

Other activities

  • 2001-2006 Visa International, Board Director
  • 2001-date Visa Europe, Credit Cards
    Non-executive Director; Chair of Risk Committee and Chair of Remuneration Committee
  • 2005-date Trinity Mirror plc
  • 2007-date Senior Non-executive Director
  • 2005-2007 Non-executive Director
  • 2005-2008 Charities Aid Foundation, Board Member
  • 2011-date Football Foundation, Chairman

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