Financial services group IFG, which also owns Sipp provider James Hay, initially put Saunderson House up for sale having received “unsolicited offers”, but cancelled its plans after deciding it was not in shareholders’ long-term interest.
IFG said the departures, which include group chief executive John Cotter and chair John Gallagher, were taking place at the “appropriate time”, with the business having “shifted significantly following its successful exit from its non-UK operations to focus on the attractive and growing UK wealth management and intermediary platform markets”.
It added that the pair’s departure was their decision.
Cotter will be immediately succeeded by Kathryn Purves, a non-executive director of the group and chair of the group risk committee.
Purves was previously chief risk officer of Partnership Assurance and has more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in financial services companies; including Phoenix Equity Partners, Deutsche Bank and UBS. She is also a non-executive director of Intermediate Capital Group.
Gallagher will step down as group chairman following the annual general meeting in May 2018 when Mark Dearsley, currently acting as interim chief financial officer, will succeed him.
However, Gallagher stressed he was remaining involved as a shareholder.
In the meantime, Dearsley will relinquish his interim executive role to take on the role of deputy group chairman.
Dearsley, a chartered accountant was previously a managing director at Savills, a group M&A director and finance director of Aviva Europe & International, the international division of Aviva. Prior to joining IFG, he was group strategy director for Just Group.
Gavin Howard will become group chief financial officer with immediate effect. He has worked as a chief financial officer and finance director at Octopus Group, Just Group, Partnership Assurance, Barclays and Friends Provident.
Gallagher said: “I would like to thank John Cotter for his important contribution to the group in a number of roles over the past four years. The group has been repositioned significantly over this period resulting in a more streamlined structure with two very strong and well positioned businesses.
“Looking ahead, we are extremely fortunate to have already amongst our ranks a successor of Kathryn’s calibre. Given the strong prospects for the group, I remain fully committed to IFG as a shareholder.”
Purves added: “Firstly, I would like to record my thanks, on behalf of my board colleagues, to John Gallagher for his leadership and counsel as our chairman for the last five years. His continuing support as a major shareholder matches my own belief in the excellent prospects of IFG going forward.
“I now look forward to working closely with Mark and Gavin and the leadership teams of Saunderson House and James Hay to maximise each business’s potential and create the conditions in which they, and the group overall, are best placed to flourish and deliver further value to shareholders.”