RSA confirms new chief executive

<p>Stephen Hester is taking over as chief executive of RSA.</p>

RSA has confirmed that Stephen Hester is going to take over as the firm's chief executive.

Mr Hester is best known for being the chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland during the course of the global financial crash and he made headlines when he turned down a bonus worth more than £1 million.

The new chief executive will replace Simon Lee, who quit RSA in December in the wake of accounting irregularities in its Irish business and on the back of a series of profit warnings.

Mr Hester said that "challenges of recent months have demonstrated that we have not lived up to expectations".  He added: "I look forward to getting started immediately and working closely with the board on the business review to ensure that we are able to deliver strength and value to all of our stakeholders and re-emerge as an attractive solidly performing group."

Chairman reaction

Chairman of RSA Martin Scicluna stated he was "extremely pleased" that Mr Hester had agreed to join the company as its new chief executive.

He said: "He is an exceptional business leader with extensive global financial services expertise. He has an outstanding track record of transforming the performance of businesses, bringing new energy and focus and implementing a challenging agenda to ensure significant value is delivered for customers and shareholders."

Investors have responded strongly to the appointment of Mr Hester as the new chief executive of RSA, with the share price of the company shooting up in the early stages of trading this morning (February 4th).

By 08:41 GMT, stocks were trading by more than four per cent up for the session and were still rising quickly as the trading day continued. At 10:05 GMT, stocks were five per cent up.

Mr Hester will be tasked with turning around the fortunes of the failing RSA business, which has been making the news for the wrong reasons in recent months as a result of a series of scandals within its Irish business, all of which have been damaging to its share price.

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