Just Retirement, a life assurance group, has appointed Patrick Gale as its new COO and a main board director.

Mr Gale was the CEO of Sesame Group until December 2007, when he assisted Misys, the owners of Sesame, in the sale and subsequent transition of the company to Friends Provident.

In January 2008, Mr Gale was appointed as a non-executive director of HBOS Financial Services.

As COO of Just Retirement, Mr Gale will have a critical role managing the group’s day-to-day operations and will have specific responsibility for the marketing, distribution and information technology functions.

Mike Fuller, CEO of Just Retirement, said: Given the importance of distribution and technology to our future success, Patrick’s experience at Sesame is particularly relevant to our business. His involvement will allow the board to devote more time to the strategic development of the group’s business to take advantage of the substantial market and product opportunities which we have.