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Widows picks Blackwell as new chairman

Scottish Widows has appointed Lord Blackwell as chairman to succeed Sandy Leitch, who stepped down from the role last September.

Blackwell will take up the post on September 1. He will also become a non-executive director on the Lloyds Banking Group board on June 1. Blackwell retired as non-executive director at Standard Life in May. He was previously director of group development at NatWest and was head of the Prime Minister’s policy unit between 1995 and 1997.

Widows has appointed Dr Norval Bryson to the newly created role of deputy chairman. Bryson has been a non-executive director at the provider since 2007 and will also take up his new position on June 1.

LBG has also recruited Carolyn Fairbairn as a non-executive director. Fairbairn served as a non-executive director of the FSA between 2007 and 2011 and was chair of the regulator’s risk committee from 2009 to 2011.

Lloyds Banking Group chairman Sir Winfried Bischoff says: “Both Carolyn Fairbairn and Lord Blackwell bring experience in a number of important roles to the deliberations of our board and my colleagues and myself very much look forward to working with them.”

Hargreaves Lansdown pension investment manager Laith Khalaf says: “It was important that Scottish Widows eventually got someone in because the chairman clearly has an important role to play in determining the strategy of the company.

“The key question now is whether Lord Blackwell is happy with the current structure. If he is not, we may well see another provider undertaking a strategic review.”

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