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Equitable Life chief Charles Thomson to step down

Equitable Life chief executive Charles Thomson is stepping down from the company in the autumn.

Thomson’s decision follows the announcement made by the society on November 27 that it will implement the best possible strategy for running off the business until the current policies mature.

Equitable says that, as a closed fund in run-off, the scale of management challenges will continue to reduce, and so the job of running the business will become fundamentally different from what it has been over the past eight years.

Thomson’s departure in the autumn will give the society time to start negotiating a third party agreement for the management of Equitable Life policies while allowing the board to appoint a new executive.

During Thomson’s time at Equitable, the society implemented the Compromise scheme in 2002, the sale of non-profit annuities to Canada Life Ltd in 2006 as well as the sale of with-profits annuities to Prudential in 2007.

Chairman Vanni Treves says: “When Charles took up his post at Equitable Life in 2001 the society faced some of the darkest days in its entire history and its future hung in the balance.

“Under his leadership, our financial position has been stabilised and strengthened both through excellent day-to-day management of the business, and through the major transactions with Prudential and Canada Life, which Charles led.”

Thomson says: “It has been a privilege to serve the policyholders of Equitable Life.

“Although the past eight years have been among the most challenging of my career, they have also been the most stimulating.

“When I first began this job, we set out, from the most perilous position, with one central aim: to put the society on a secure financial footing.

He adds: “I believe that this goal has been achieved and I have therefore decided to seek fresh challenges elsewhere.”

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