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Royal Liver chief executive steps down

Royal Liver chief executive Steve Burnett has stepped down after seven years in the job.

Chairman David Woods has been appointed as chief executive on an interim basis until a new chief executive is appointed.

The mutual says it is carefully considering the future for its investments in Park Row and Citadel Financial Services.

Park Row posted a deficit of £2.17m at the end of the first half of 2009. The UK distribution arm of Royal Liver is currently being investigated by the FSA as part of a review into its systems and controls.

Royal Liver and Park Row would not comment further on the future of Park Row or the FSA investigation.

Royal Liver says it is planning to simplify its structure and focus on core manufacturing brands, Progress and Caledonian Life, in a bid to cut costs.

Woods says: “The after-shocks of the unprecedented events in the financial markets in 2008 continue to impact on all our markets and I am proud of the way the Society has faced these challenges. We have taken bold and often difficult decisions to mitigate these circumstances.

“However, the continuing strength and quality of our operations can be seen in the commendable performance of our manufacturing brands, Progress and Caledonian Life. We have therefore decided to focus our efforts around these businesses, to simplify our Group structure, actively manage our capital position and find further ways to reduce expenditure.

“This process has already begun and we have completed a major IT outsourcing project and brought to an end, expensive door-to-door collections in the UK and, soon, Ireland. We are considering carefully the future for our investments in Park Row and Citadel Financial Services.

“Given these developments, the Board, in discussion with the chief executive, has decided that this is an appropriate time for a change of leadership to meet the new challenges facing the Society. Accordingly, Steve Burnett has elected to leave the business after a seven year period as chief executive.

“On behalf of the Society, I would like to thank Steve for the enormous contribution he has made to Royal Liver. It was Steve who was the architect of the refocusing and modernization of the Society that has given it a new lease of life. Thanks to Steve, we have had a strong focus on reducing expenditure and two fine financial services brands in Progress and Caledonian Life. Seven years is a good innings and Steve leaves with our best wishes for him and his family.”



Brian Tora: A timely reminder

Cracks in investor confidence are appearing – and not before time. Our own market has held up remarkably well, but some of the better performing areas of the world – like China, for example – have seen a swift reversal of fortune. In a brief fortnight in the middle of August the Shanghai Composite Index shed 20 per cent – pretty much enough to qualify as a bear market.


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There are 3 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Royal Liver chief executive steps down
    I wouldn’t mind betting that a major contributory factor to the woes of Park Row and Citadel is the back-breaking burden of regulation, both in administrative and financial terms. If you overload and then force enough rag down the throat of even the strongest beast of burden, eventually it will choke and die. That is what the FSA is doing to the IFA sector.

  2. “Investments”!?*
    Investing in certain financial services buinesses is madness. The cost of regulation and the burden imposed by an arbitrary compensation machine will squeeze many more margins and push firms out of business leaving one single IFA to foot the FSCS levy. Mike Fenwick predicted this in 1985, nobody listens…

  3. David Cowell, Myddleton Croft 28th August 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Park Row
    It’s very short-sighted and blinkered to blame the FSA for this debacle. The cause of 99.9% of failures is bad management and/or a poor proposition.
    Granted, compliance could be a contributory cause but if so, it is more likely to be the empire-building and intransigence of the internal compliance function rather than the FSA. From my experience they gold plate the gold plating and are encouraged by ignorance of the rules on the part of the senior management. An acquaintance once christened his compliance officer the ‘business prevention officer’.

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