Royal London Ireland Appoints New Chief Executive
Thu Jun 11 2020
Noel Freeley has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer of leading protection specialist Royal London Ireland. Noel takes up the role following his position as Royal London Group’s Legacy Division Director, succeeding Alex Koslowski. Prior to this, he has held senior roles at Co-operative Insurance Society and Friends Provident as well as Royal London Group. Noel plans to build on Royal London’s successes in Ireland, and with the continued support from Financial Brokers, ensure it carries on putting the customer at the heart of its propositions.
Speaking about his appointment Noel said, “I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead Royal London Ireland and look forward to working with the excellent team here as we continue to focus on providing, and expanding, our compelling proposition to brokers and customers.
“I took up the position during Covid-19 and I’ve been immediately proud of our committed team who adapted very fast to deliver a smooth transition to the new ways of working. We immediately prioritised continuing to deliver our award-winning service levels to brokers and we are delighted to say we remained fully open and accessible throughout this period. We were very conscious to provide full support to our brokers during a very challenging period. A truly great example of our values and mutuality in action. As we start to emerge from this period, I am very much looking forward to when I can spend time with my colleagues and Financial Brokers face-to-face when Covid-19 permits.”
“In terms of a little about me, I grew up in Manchester but in a very Irish household (my parents are both from Ireland). As a sports fan, being from the red half of Manchester for soccer as well as following Mayo in Gaelic means it’s been a painful few years recently! In my working life I have led Protection and Pensions businesses both in the UK and Asia. For Royal London, I have been with the Group for six years, looking after a large proportion of the Group’s customers and transforming the Legacy business with some major programmes as well as operating as CEO of a number of our subsidiary companies.”
Recently, Royal London Group, the largest mutual life, pensions and investment company in the UK, announced strong new business growth results for the twelve months ending 31 December 2019. While the Group’s full year business results reported robust new life and pensions business volumes, Royal London in Ireland performance was particularly strong. New business sales (PVNBP*) grew strongly by 20% to €152m (2018: €126.5m), while its new business contribution increased to €15m (2018: €12.2m). Performance was strong across all products, particularly Mortgage Protection and Term Assurance.
Noel finished by commenting, “In recent times, Royal London Ireland has seen strong market-share growth and consistent awards from brokers for both product and service excellence. Our innovative protection business, which distributes only through you, Financial Brokers, has gone from strength to strength and I am delighted to join such a great team. Into the future, Royal London will continue to support brokers and launch initiatives by focusing on our core strengths, including our service proposition, to help you to continue to do business in the current climate and beyond. I hope you and your families stay safe and I look forward to working with you.”
Noel Freeley, CEO of Royal London Ireland
Noel Freeley joined Royal London in 2013 and is Chief Executive Officer of Royal London Ireland and a member of our Irish Board. He is responsible for devising and executing our strategy in our Irish business. Prior to that he was our Legacy Division Director with responsibility of overseeing Royal London’s many longstanding customers across Life, Savings, Protection and Investment products.
Noel is a chartered insurer and was previously CEO and a board member of four of Royal London’s subsidiary companies. Prior to joining Royal London, Noel has held senior management positions within the Financial Services industry, including five years at Co-operative Insurance heading up their Pensions and Protection business. Before this, Noel spent 10 years working for Friends Provident both in the UK and Asia.
* Present Value of New Business Premiums (PVNBP) is the total of new single premium sales received in the year plus the discounted value, at the point of sale, of the regular premiums the Group expects to receive over the term of the new contracts sold in the year. The rate used to discount the cash flows in the reported results has been derived from the 31 December 2019 swap curve calculated in accordance with specification provided by the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA).