A step too far by the regulator? Is the PRA justified in blocking insurer L&G’s appointment of Oliver Tant as CFO?
A good article by Anthony Hilton in the Evening Standard, questioning the PRA’s decision to block Oliver Tant’s appointment as L&G’s CFO based on the fact that he has no insurance experience. He is right to question this, Hilton draws upon other examples – David Nish at Standard Life and Oliver Tant’s proposed employer Nigel Wilson, both of whom are now CEO of their respective companies having first served as CFO with no previous insurance experience. A worthwhile point which promotes a wider question to be asked of the PRA; should the insurance industry be forced to continually appoint from within? This seems to reduce the diversity of thought required in a successful business (and leading sector) which is, in our opinion, desperately required within insurance specifically. It reduces the possibility of financial service companies looking outside of the ‘merry-go-round’ of industry experienced CFOs. The ability to bring in real talent from outside of the sector has been dealt a significant blow. Where else do L&G turn given the fact that many insurance Group CFOs are newly in their roles as of 2012? As Hilton suggests, if a business, its Board and therefore its shareholders see fit to appoint an individual to a role, even a Group role within a plc, should a regulator block this appointment – is this ‘oversight’ too far? What it suggests to us is that the SIF interview is an ever important part of the interview process and is not one that should be taken lightly, quite the opposite! An ongoing saga, and the best of luck to Nigel Wilson in making a swift and successful secondary appointment.
You can read the full article by Anthony Hilton in the Evening Standard on the blocked appointment of Oliver Tant as insurer L&G’s CFO here.