Direct Line CEO Departs

Chief executive officer Penny James has agreed to step down immediately. This follows the dividend being scrapped earlier this month and a big drop in the share price

Alliance News 27 January, 2023 | 9:42AM
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car in the snow

Direct Line Insurance Group (DLG) on Friday said chief executive officer Penny James has agreed to step down immediately.

The Bromley, England-based insurance company said it has named chief commercial officer Jon Greenwood as acting CEO until it finds a successor. Greenwood is to join the board, subject to any additional regulatory approvals.

Chair Danuta Gray said: "During her time as CEO, Penny has overseen significant strategic progress, transforming the technology and capability across the business, accelerating the digitalisation of customer journeys and helping to set the company up for the future."

Earlier this month, Direct Line shares dropped by a quarter in one day after saying it won't pay a final dividend due a big increase in weather related claims, pushing the insurer into a loss on underwriting.

It said it had helped 3,000 customers deal with burst pipes, water tanks and other related damage due to a prolonged period of sub-zero temperatures across the UK. It scrapped its final payout as it expects related claims of around £90 million across the home and commercial divisions.

In August last year, Direct Line had reported a 32% drop in pretax profit to £178.1 million in the six months ended June 30 from £261.3 million a year before.

Shares were down 0.8% at 177.40 pence each on Friday morning in London. They are down 20% over the past month and 42% over the past year. According to Morningstar analysis, the shares are significantly undervalued, with a fair value of 295 pence. 


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