Furness, who has held the role of chief operating office at Covéa Insurance since December 2019, was formerly claims director of the company and its predecessor Provident Insurance. Discussing his appointment, he paid tribute to Reader and highlighted that the firm was “extremely grateful” to him for the legacy he leaves within Covéa.
“I’ve worked with him for 18 years and he has been a brilliant leader of the business and, from both a professional and personal perspective, I will miss him greatly and wish him all the very best for the future,” he said. “Taking over from James is an absolute honour.”
Furness noted that he had been with Covéa for many years and that it is a company he loves and believes in. The business has an “agreed and progressive” strategy in place, he said, backed up by great people and he intends to continue to propel this forward, together with the rest of Covéa’s team.
Commenting on his decision to step down, Reader said that after nine years as CEO, he decided that now is the right time to hand over the role. It had been a privilege to lead such a great business, he said, and he is very proud of all the team has achieved together.
“Covéa Insurance has an exciting future ahead of it,” he said, “and I’m delighted to be handing the baton on to Adrian, who I’ve no doubt will be a more than worthy successor.”
Meanwhile, Covéa Insurance’s chairman Dominique Salvy added: “While the board of directors and our shareholder regret James’s personal decision to leave, we respect his choice. We are grateful for his leadership of the company throughout his tenure, which has delivered a solid strategic positioning for the business and has helped navigate the unprecedented challenges brought about by the pandemic.”
Salvy said he believes that, going forward, no-one is better positioned than Furness to continue to guide the business and build on its strengths and that the board wishes him every success.