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Otto Thoresen quits ABI to become Nest chairman

Association of British Insurers director-general Otto Thoresen is leaving the trade body next February to become chairman of Nest.

Thoresen will be succeeded by ABI deputy director-general Huw Evans and replaces Lawrence Churchill as chair of Nest, who completes his five-year term in February.

Thoresen will work two and a half days a week at Nest and receive £91,000 a year.

ABI chairman Paul Evans thanked Thoresen and said Evans was the unanimous choice of the board.

Evans says: “In the current environment of high levels of regulatory and legislative change across the insurance sector, the need for an effective trade body is greater than ever – there is huge value to be gained from collaborative efforts on key policy issues. 

“My experience of working with ABI members on issues as varied as Flood Re, pension reform and the ageing society has shown me the power and potential of what we can achieve as an industry when we work together.

“Otto and I have worked very closely over the last few years and I am looking forward to accelerating the momentum we have established”.

Thoresen says: “It has been a privilege to lead the ABI during a critical point in its evolution. While it will be a personal wrench to leave the organisation, the opportunity to chair the trustee board of Nest at a key stage in the delivery of pension reform was an opportunity I couldn’t pass by. The role also gives me the scope to develop some of my other interests, in the third sector and elsewhere.”  

Outgoing Nest chairman Churchill says:I have relished my time at Nest but now my term is drawing to a close I am absolutely delighted that I will be handing over to somebody of this calibre.

“Otto Thoresen brings with him a wealth of experience and I’m sure he will be a superb new chair for the next phase of Nest’s development.”

Pensions minister Steve Webb says: “Thoresen brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience of pensions to this challenging role and has a distinguished career of operating at the highest level in large and complex organisations.

“His appointment as Nest chair demonstrates our commitment to recruiting people with a proven track record and the expertise to get the job done.” 

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  1. Strange timing.

    With the advent of new master trust solutions undercutting the ABI membership and likely to manage well within the cap, I would have said that NEST is already more redundant than the ABI.

    If Otto wants to leave a real mark on NEST, he should be its chairman who put self-interest aside and advise the Government to organise an orderly wind-up and his own retirement.

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