Dutch insurer Aegon has appointed Adrian Grace as new CEO of Aegon UK. He will replace Otto Thoresen, who is leaving Aegon after six years as UK CEO, to take up the role as director general of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

Currently, Grace is chief operating officer of Aegon UK, a position he has held for the past twelve months, where he has been responsible for developing and implementing the major business transformation plan for Aegon UK currently underway.

In order to improve the returns of the business, Aegon adopted the restructuring program in June 2010, with aim at reducing the operating costs by 25% of the life and pensions business by end 2011.

Similarly the Dutch insurer also took some efforts aimed at refocusing the business on the two growth markets of At Retirement and Workplace Savings, in which Aegon already has strong positions.

Grace joined Aegon in February 2009. During his first year at Aegon, as director of group development, he was responsible for delivering greater operational efficiency in Aegon’s sales force and in its owned adviser businesses Origen and Positive Solutions.

Prior to Aegon, he held a variety of business development roles at GE Capital, during which he was based also in the US and Far East. He held managing director roles at Sage Group, HBoS and Barclays Insurance.

Aegon CEO Alex Wynaendts said that Adrian Grace is uniquely qualified to lead the organization in the UK forward given his extensive industry experience and the significant role he has played in repositioning the business over the past several months.

"Adrian is committed to deliver on the strategic priorities for Aegon UK which are aimed at achieving a new era of focused growth in the At Retirement and Workplace Savings markets," Wynaendts said.

Grace’s appointment is subject to approval by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) and he is expected to take up his new role as of 1 April 2011.