Direct Line Insurance Group (LON:DLG) has promoted its chief financial officer Penny James to the top job, the blue-chip insurer has announced. The news comes after the company said last year that Paul Geddes will step down in the summer of 2019, at which point he will have served in the role for a decade.
Direct Line’s share price has been subdued in London in today’s session, having given up 0.87 percent to 354.50p as of 13:53 GMT. The stock is marginally underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index currently standing 0.56 percent lower at 7,143.72 points. The group’s shares have lost just under five percent of their value over the past year, as compared with about a two-percent drop in the Footsie.
Direct Line appoints new CEO
Direct Line announced in a statement today that it had selected its chief financial officer Penny James to succeed Paul Geddes as CEO with effect from the conclusion of the group’s annual general meeting on May 9. The insurer said that it had launched the search for a new finance chief.
“The Board is delighted to appoint Penny James as Chief Executive of DLG,” the company’s chairman Mike Biggs noted in the statement, adding that she “is ideally suited to leading the delivery of DLG's short-term strategic imperatives, including technological and business transformation, and the development of the next stage of our strategy”.
Analysts on blue-chip insurer
Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed Direct Line as an ‘outperform’ at the end of last month, while Barclays, which sees the company as an ‘equal weight,’ lowered its price target on the shares from 344p to 339p. According to MarketBeat, the blue-chip group currently has a consensus ‘buy’ rating and an average valuation of 387.85p.
Direct Line is scheduled to update investors on its full-year performance on March 5.
As of 14:52 GMT, Tuesday, 26 February, Direct Line Insurance Group PLC share price is 354.10p.