SCOTTISH Friendly has appointed a veteran of the country’s financial services industry to be the next chief executive of the savings and investment business.

Stephen McGee will take up the post at the Glasgow-based mutual in April. He has been chief financial officer of Edinburgh-based Aegon UK since 2016.

Mr McGee was previously Chief Actuary at Lloyds Banking Group and Head of Actuarial at Phoenix Group.

He has been a non-executive director of Scottish Friendly since September.

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Mr McGee will succeed Martin Pringle, who became chief executive of Scottish Friendly in April following the death of Jim Galbraith.

 “It is a great honour to be appointed the next CEO of Scottish Friendly,” said Mr McGee.

“I have known the organisation for some time and have always greatly admired its innovation, pace and commitment to a coherent and successful vision and purpose repeatedly articulated to me by Jim Galbraith over the years.”

Scottish Friendly grew sales by around 10 per cent in 2020, to £42 million on the standard industry measure, up from £37.8m in the preceding year.

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Member numbers reached a record high of 745,000 in 2020, up from 712,000 in the preceding year, leaving the business administering more than one million policies.

The chair of Scottish Friendly, David Huntley, said Mr McGee offered a unique combination of drive, enthusiasm, experience and knowledge and would provide experts leadership for the business.

He thanked Mr Pringle for providing the steady leadership needed during an incredibly difficult time while giving the board time and space to make such an important long-term appointment.

Jim Ewing has been appointed to succeed Mr McGee as chief financial officer of Aegon UK. Mr Ewing has been Chief Risk Officer at Aegon UK since 2014. He is a trained actuary and worked at Lloyds Banking Group before joining Aegon UK.