First Central Makes Key Hires, as It Goes for Growth

First Central Group has announced three new appointments to its leadership team as it positions itself for commercial growth.

Ben Tomasetti has joined as Chief Commercial Officer. He will shape the insurer’s digital and retail pricing programmes, as well as focusing on broader areas of strategic change. He brings a wealth of experience from his long career in product development, marketing, insurance retail and underwriting with organisations such as BGL, Castle Cover and, most recently, Hastings Direct.

Ben will be based at First Central’s West Sussex office and will report directly to Michael Lee, First Central Group’s CEO. He replaces Andy James in the role, who has left the company to pursue new opportunities following seven years of dedicated service. The business is extremely grateful for Andy’s contribution and wishes him the very best for the future.

Elsewhere, Gareth Howell has joined as Chief Underwriting Officer and will lead the technical functions of First Central to help maintain its market-leading capabilities. Gareth started his career in pricing and underwriting at Zurich, where he worked for 11 years, before moving to AXA in 2012. Over the past four years he has been operating at executive level with end-to-end responsibility for AXA’s personal lines businesses (both AXA Direct and AXA Intermediary).

Meanwhile, Paul Priestley has been appointed as Counter Fraud Director and brings extensive knowledge and experience of the fraud market from Hastings Direct. Paul will focus on bringing his proven expertise on the best tools, techniques and strategies to build on First Central’s existing fraud prevention credentials.

Michael Lee, First Central Group CEO, said: “This is an exciting time for the insurance sector, with a rapidly evolving landscape to consider, and it’s important we adapt and position ourselves for success, developing new technologies to drive growth.”

He added: “Ben, Gareth and Paul are key additions to our senior team. I’m looking forward to working with them all closely, as we continue to build upon the success of the business.”

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