BGL Group, a leading digital distributor of insurance and household financial services, which owns brands including comparethemarket.com, affinity insurance provider Junction, LesFurets.com and online life insurer BeagleStreet.com, has announced the appointment of Debbie Hewitt as its new Non-Executive Chairman. She will take over from Peter Winslow on 1 July 2018. Peter will take up a position with BGL’s main shareholder, BHL, looking at projects outside of the UK.
Peter has been with BGL for 23 years, joining in 1995 and becoming Chief Executive in 1997. He became Chairman in 2013. During his time at BGL, Peter transformed the business from a direct insurer operating a single motor insurance brand to a group of companies responsible for some of the best-known names in financial services. Prior to BGL, Peter followed a career in publishing, ultimately becoming Chief Executive at Harper Collins. In 2005, he joined the Board of Governors at St Andrew's Healthcare, where he is currently Chairman. He was awarded a CBE in the 2012 New Year's Honours List in recognition of his contribution to Financial Services.
Debbie is currently BGL’s Senior Independent Non-Executive Director, having first joined the business in September 2011. She was previously CEO for the RAC, where she led all commercial activities, including the roadside and recovery business, Auto Windscreens and the BSM Driving School. She also had full management accountability for RAC’s pan-European activity. Debbie is currently Non-Executive Chairman of Moss Bros plc and The Restaurant Group plc and Non-Executive Director of Redrow plc*. She also holds a Non-Executive Director role in private companies White Stuff Limited and Domestic and General Limited and is Non-Executive Chairman of Visa Europe, a subsidiary of Visa Inc. She was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for Services to Business and the Public Sector.
Speaking about her appointment, Debbie said: “BGL is a company whose values I both admire and share. I have enormous respect for the leadership that Peter has brought to the Group over the years and I am very appreciative of his sponsorship of me as his successor. It is such an exciting time to be taking up the role.”
Current Chairman, Peter Winslow, said: “An enormous amount of hard work – and fun - has gone into being part of our transformation over the past 23 years. None of this happens without very talented and committed teams and I have had the pleasure of working with many over the years. I am delighted to be handing over to Debbie, who is an experienced chairman, both of public and private companies, and she fully understands our Group, both in terms of its business and strategy but also, very importantly, its culture. I will miss BGL but have absolutely no doubt the Group will continue to go from strength to strength.”
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