A&L appoints new CEO

Alliance & Leicester has appointed David Bennett – formerly group finance director at A&L – as its new chief executive officer.

Bennett will take up the post on July 27 and follows outgoing group chief executive Richard Pym’s announcement in February that he was stepping down and that a new head should be found. Pym officially retires on July 27.

Chris Rhodes, currently managing director for retail banking at A&L, will become group finance director.

A&L’s retail banking business will report directly to Bennett, the commercial banking business will continue to report to Richard Banks.

Sir Derek Higgs, chairman of A&L, says: “The search process we went through was extremely thorough, and we are delighted to appoint Bennett as A&L’s group chief executive.

“In his eight years with the group, Bennett has continually proved himself to have outstanding leadership abilities and judgement.

He has played a key part in the development of A&L and in building the growth and momentum we can see in the group’s results.

“Rhodes, too, is a vital part of A&L’s leadership team and will make an excellent group finance director. In his 19 years with the group he has been successful in a variety of roles in retail banking, commercial banking and finance.”

“Richard Pym has been an outstanding group chief executive. Under his leadership the group has defined and is implementing a clear and successful strategy for growth, offering customers competitive products and shareholders strong returns. I would like to thank Pym for his drive and commitment to A&L, and to wish him well for the future as he builds a portfolio of interests where he can apply his many talents and experience.”

Bennett says: “I welcome the opportunity to lead A&L and to ensure that the growing momentum in our business continues at pace as we implement our strategy. A&L has a great management team and I have every confidence in the Group’s continuing and growing success.”

Pym says: “It has been an honour to be chief executive of A&L, it is a first rate organisation with first rate people. In David Bennett, the board have appointed a very talented leader who will bring flair and drive to building the business.”