Van der Wielen starts Friends Life role

John Van der Wielen has begun his new role as managing director of international for Friends Life, reporting to chief executive Andy Briggs.

Andy Briggs
Andy Briggs

Van der Wielen, who will become part of the group’s executive committee, will oversee the life insurer’s international division, based in the UK and Isle of Man.

Van der Wielen will also oversee its German distribution company fpb, Luxembourg-based wealth planning business Lombard and life insurer AmLife, in which it owns a 30% stake.

The former Clerical Medical managing director joins from Sydney-based ANZ Banking Corporation where he was managing director of wealth.

He says: “I’m joining Friends Life at an interesting time and am looking forward to getting to grips with my new role.

“One of my first tasks will be to understand the strategy, get to know the businesses that make up the international division and to meet the staff.”

Van der Wielen adds: “Despite the global economic turmoil the international business has seen good growth in the majority of its core markets most notably in North and South East Asia. 

“These markets have developed well over the period with growth in regular and single premium business benefitting from the local economy being more buoyant than Europe. I’m keen to keep the momentum going.”

Briggs says: “He has a wealth of experience in financial services, gained both in the UK and overseas.

“This means that he is able to hit the ground running and deliver on the objectives that have been set for the international business.”

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