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Britannic boss quits after two months

Britannic Group chief executive Danny O&#39Neil is stepping down after two months in charge for personal reasons.

His resignation comes as the group announces an £800m jump in new business to £2.2bn last year from £1.4bn in 2000 on the back of mortgage and retirement product sales.

O&#39Neil, who has nine-year-old triplets and an 18-year-old daughter, says he is leaving to spend more time with his family. He will continue as a consultant to the group and bec- ome non-executive deputy chairman of Britannic Asset Management.

Group chairman Harold Cottam will fill the chief executive&#39s role until a replacement is found.

The rise in overall group sales for the year ending December 31 has been attributed to Britannic Money&#39s mortgage sales jumping to £1.1bn from £163m. IFAs accounted for £818m while £233m came through direct channels.

Britannic Retirement Solutions grew its new pension annuity business to £166m from £37m but Britannic Assurance&#39s sales were down by almost 50 per cent at equivalent premium income of £22m last year compared with £41.7m in 2000.

It says the slump was in line with expectations due to the closure of its direct salesforce. It will now focus on developing lower-cost IFA and worksite marketing distribution.

Britannic Asset Management&#39s business fell to £751m last year from £788m in 2000. It claims this is a good result in tough market conditions.

Cottam says: “These are good results in light of last year&#39s tough trading conditions and give further evidence of the effectiveness of Britannic&#39s strategic moves as we continue our transformation to a modern financial services group.”

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