Change at the top for Scottish Friendly

Scottish Friendly chief executive Fiona McBain. Picture: ContributedScottish Friendly chief executive Fiona McBain. Picture: Contributed
Scottish Friendly chief executive Fiona McBain. Picture: Contributed

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Fiona McBain is to step down as chief executive of Scottish Friendly after more than a decade in the top post.

She will be succeeded by the current deputy chief executive, Jim Galbraith, at the start of next year, it was announced today by the Glasgow-based mutual.

Having held the role of finance director, McBain took over the post of chief executive on 1 January 2006 when the group had £530 million in assets and sales of £5.5m.

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Under her leadership, assets have grown to some £2.5 billion and new business sales have reached £29m while membership has increased by more than 100,000 to nearly 500,000.

McBain said: “I am extremely proud of what we have achieved together at Scottish Friendly. With a great staff of less than 100 people, our strategy has reaped huge rewards in terms of assets and scale for Scottish Friendly policyholders.
“For me another tangible sign of our progress is that when I started as CEO I was often greeted by industry consultants with ‘Scottish who?’, but these days the opening line is usually ‘What is Scottish Friendly up to now?’

“I am delighted that the board has appointed Jim Galbraith with regulatory approval to take over as CEO; he has been a key player in all aspects of our success and I know he will lead the team to continue to build the business for the benefit of Scottish Friendly’s policyholders.”

Galbraith said: “Fiona has been at the helm of Scottish Friendly through one of the most difficult periods in the history of the financial services industry. It is a testament to her patience, strategic vision and her ability to inspire others that over this period the Scottish Friendly Group has continued to strengthen and grow.

“Succeeding Fiona is going to be hard but I look forward to working with everyone at Scottish Friendly to continue to develop the group’s ‘innovate, diversify and grow’ strategy.”

Michael Walker, chairman of Scottish Friendly, added: “We shall all miss Fiona enormously. We give Fiona all our best wishes for the future and thank her for everything that she has done for Scottish Friendly during her time here.”

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