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Ross ousted at Widows

Scottish Widows chief executive Mike Ross has been ousted in a shake-up which sees Lloyds TSB man Archie Kane take his place.

The news comes the same week the FSA is expected to hit Lloyds with a hefty fine for misselling structured products.

Ross leaves Widows after nearly 40 years, having led it to become one of IFAs favourite life and pensions providers.

His replacement, Kane, spent more than a decade with TSB before its merger with Lloyds in 1995. He was the project manager for the integration of the two banks and since January 2000 has been group executive director, IT and operations. He also becomes group executive director, insurance and investments from October 1.

Speaking to Money Marketing, Kane says he is looking forward to building on Widows&#39 strong presence in the intermediary market although he admits that he has no personal experience of working with IFAs.

Kane denies Ross&#39 departure is in any way related to the structured products issue and would not comment on any enforcement action from the FSA.

He says: “Mike Ross&#39s leaving has nothing to do with structured products at all. He has a fantastic track record both with Widows and with the insurance industry at large.”

Syndaxi Financial Planning principal Robert Reid says: “This is further evidence that Lloyds TSB is committed to Widows. In a roundabout way, they have shown they are in it for the long-term.”

Chartwell chief executive Craig Wetton says: “I believe Widows remains very firmly on the for sale list but in the current climate who wants to buy, particularly with the with-profits book it has got?”

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