Life insurance intermediary LifeSearch has appointed Debbie Kennedy as chief executive, in a role Kennedy described as the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’.
Kennedy, who succeeds LifeSearch founder Tom Baigrie in her new role from November and who was most recently protection director at insurer LV=, has also held senior roles at Royal London, Capita, MLC Life Insurance and Axa.
Baigrie founded LifeSearch in 1998 and leads a 500-strong team that works with leading financial services brands, including MoneySupermarket and Compare The Market.
Commenting on her appointment, Kennedy said: “I’m honoured to be joining LifeSearch and can’t think of a more iconic protection company to work with. This is a wonderful opportunity for me to help lead LifeSearch through its next stage of growth. I’m leaving an amazing team at LV, and I am immensely proud of the growth and transformation we have achieved. I will be cheering them on as they go from strength to strength.”
Elaborating on her top priorities in a role she described as the ‘opportunity of a lifetime’, Kennedy told Health & Protection they include delivering on the company’s ‘very ambitious’ growth plans and establishing LifeSearch as the leading advice tech company.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for me because I’m able to step into a CEO role with a company that holds the same values and ambitions for protecting families. LifeSearch will bring about an evolution in distribution and I want to play a leading role in that…
“We will evolve through a relentless focus on customer service and quality of our protection conversations. This is what has made LifeSearch great and now the focus will be on further growth and scale.”
Baigrie added: “I am incredibly proud of the business that LifeSearch has become these last 20 years and I am delighted to have found a successor who will run this big business far better than I ever could. Debbie brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in managing complex and fast-growing businesses.
“Having been hugely impressive at LV and having led the team that utterly transformed Royal London from a dormant brand into a market leader. We are excited to say that Debbie will start work with us on the 1st of November.
“But worry not, I’m not going away just yet. My focus will concentrate more on partnerships, marketing, PR, improving our industry and seriously influencing our market to make it a better place for consumers and advisers.”
Also commenting on Kennedy’s appointment, an LV= spokesperson said: “This is a great opportunity for Debbie and we’re pleased that she will be joining one of our strategic protection partners.
“We look forward to strengthening and developing our relationship with LifeSearch in the future under Debbie’s leadership.”