New chairman named for Peterborough insurance giant

Debbie Hewitt, who has been appointed the new non-executive chairman of the BGL Group. She will take over from Peter Winslow on July 1.
Debbie Hewitt, who has been appointed the new non-executive chairman of the BGL Group. She will take over from Peter Winslow on July 1.
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Peterborough-based insurance giant the BGL Group has announced the appointment of a new chairman,

The digital distributor of insurance and household financial services, based in Bakewell Road, Orton Southgate, has named Debbie Hewitt as its new non-executive chairman.

She will take over from current chairman Peter Winslow who is retiring after 23 years with the company.

The change will take place on July 1 and Mr Winslow will take up a position with BGL’s main shareholder, BHL, looking at projects outside the UK.

Mr Winslow joined BGL in 1995 and become chief executive in 1997 and chairman in 2013.

During his time at BGL, he transformed the business from a direct insurer operating a single motor insurance brand to a group of companies responsible for some of the best-known names in financial services, for instance Comparethemarket.com, renown for its meerkat advertising campaign.

Mr Winslow said: "An enormous amount of hard work – and fun - has gone into being part of our transformation over the past 23 years.

None of this happens without very talented and committed teams and I have had the pleasure of working with many over the years.

"I am delighted to be handing over to Debbie, who is an experienced chairman, both of public and private companies, and she fully understands our Group."

Debbie Hewitt is currently BGL’s senior independent non-executive director and joined the company in September 2011.

She was previously chief executive of the RAC, where she led all commercial activities, including the roadside and recovery business, Auto Windscreens and the BSM Driving School.

She said: "BGL is a company whose values I both admire and share. I have enormous respect for the leadership that Peter has brought to the Group over the years and I am very appreciative of his sponsorship of me as his successor.

"It is such an exciting time to be taking up the role."

She is currently non-executive chairman of Moss Bros plc and The Restaurant Group plc and Non-Executive Director of Redrow plc.

She also holds a non-executive director role in private companies White Stuff Limited and Domestic and General Limited and is non-executive chairman of Visa Europe, a subsidiary of Visa Inc.

She was awarded an MBE in the 2011 New Year’s Honours List for Services to Business and the Public Sector.