Diane Cougill has been named chief financial officer at UK broker Ardonagh Group three months after Mark Mugge stepped down suddenly.
At the time of Mugge’s departure from the private equity-owned firm his deputy, group finance director Antony Erotocritou, took over his responsibilities.
Ardonagh – the owner of market wholesaler Price Forbes and UK retail intermediary Towergate – said that Cougill had been working with the firm in an advisory role for a number of weeks prior to her appointment as CFO.
Cougill joins from motor insurer the RAC where she was CFO and insurance director. She spent seven years with firm.
The Ardonagh has also appointed a new chief risk officer, Sarah Dalgarno.
A former UK regulator, Dalgarno has been strategic risk director at Towergate since May 2016.
In a statement Ardonagh said Dalgarno had spent her tenure with the firm “unravelling of legacy issues in Towergate which sat at the heart of the turmoil that engulfed the company back in 2014”.
Dalgarno has worked closely with her successor Mugge and CEO David Ross over the years being part of the senior management team that defected from Gallagher International in 2016.
Along with Ross and Mugge she was named in a legal suit brought by Gallagher that led to a £20mn settlement later that year.
“With the back end of Towergate fixed, Sarah now steps into the CRO role for Ardonagh, where she deploys her commercial approach to working in a regulated environment so expertly,” Ross said.
“The past two years provided me with an incredible opportunity to get under the bonnet of this business and build fresh foundations for compliant and ambitious growth,” Dalgarno said.
These appointments come hot on the heels of former Lloyd’s CEO Richard Ward being named executive chairman of Ardonagh’s specialty and international and MGA segments.
In the first quarter Ardonagh saw its pre-tax first quarter losses narrow from a deficit of £26mn ($34.7mn) in Q1 2017 to £17mn this quarter while its revenues leapt following a flurry of recent acquisitions.
On an adjusted Ebitda basis - a measurement the Towergate-owning group prefers as its strips out its heavy finance costs, which stood at £22mn for Q1, as well as depreciation while adding in tax credits – it reported a positive gain of £28mn, up 12.7 percent, for the quarter.
But the group also admitted that it suffered negative cash flow in the period which pushed it to draw down a further £15mn from its revolving debt facility.