Leadership team

Executive team
Ardonagh CEO David Ross

David Ross

Chief Executive Officer

David Ross was appointed Chief Executive Officer of The Ardonagh Group in June 2017. This represented the culmination of a two-year process by shareholders and management to create the market leading independent distribution Group in the UK.

David became the CEO of Towergate, the original investment by HPS in the UK insurance intermediary industry, in November 2015 and led the business through a period of turnaround and transformation which included stabilising revenue, people, financials, infrastructure and governance. The demonstrable progress made with the Towergate transformation during 2016 and 2017 enabled the creation of The Ardonagh Group in June 2017. David advised MDP and HPS on the acquisition of the other assets required to fulfil the vision during 2015 and 2016.

An Insead Alumnus, David’s career has spanned 27 years on the front line of the insurance industry. This included a 25-year career at Arthur J Gallagher, most recently as the CEO of the International Division, during which time the company underwent a defining period of growth and expansion.


Ardonagh CFO Diane Cougill

Diane Cougill

Chief Financial Officer

Diane joined The Ardonagh Group in June 2018 as Chief Financial Officer. Diane was previously CFO and Insurance Director of the motoring and financial services group RAC. In her seven years she, alongside the CEO, sold the business out of Aviva to the Carlyle Group and more than doubled the enterprise value of the Group ahead of the eventual sale to GIC and CVC.

Diane is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has previously held senior management roles at a number of financial and energy companies including Aviva and TXU.


Ardonagh General Counsel Geoff Gouriet

Geoff Gouriet

General Counsel

Geoff joined the management team in Towergate as General Counsel in March 2016 and worked on the turnaround and transformation of the business as well as on the formation of The Ardonagh Group throughout 2016 and 2017. Geoff has been Group General Counsel of The Ardonagh Group since its creation in June 2017 and is a member of its executive committee.

Geoff was previously a Partner in the corporate teams of City firms Stephenson Harwood LLP and Lawrence Graham LLP. He has more than 20 years of experience in advising on complex public and private company corporate transactions in a number of sectors and has also held senior management and executive committee positions during his time in private practice.


Ardonagh Chief Risk Officer Sarah Dalgarno

Sarah Dalgarno

Chief Risk Officer

Sarah has more than 27 years’ industry experience and has served as The Ardonagh Group’s Chief Risk Officer since June 2018. She joined Towergate in 2015 from Arthur J Gallagher International, where she spent nine years, latterly as CRO, responsible for all regulatory, compliance risk management and governance matters of the UK regulated entities and international operations. Prior to Arthur J Gallagher, Sarah worked at the FSA for six years.


James Masterton - Executive Chairman and CEO, Ardonagh Specialty

James Masterton

Chairman Specialty Broking*

James Masterton is Chairman of Ardonagh Specialty, which incorporates leading brands in Lloyd’s of London and global markets. Previously Chief Executive Officer of Price Forbes & Partners James has over 37 years’ experience in the insurance market. Prior to the purchase of the business, assets and ‘Price Forbes’ brand by the management of Price Forbes & Partners Limited, James led the combined non-marine groups for the merged Price Forbes Limited and Prentis Donegan & Partners Limited under the ownership of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. Previously, James joined Prentis Donegan & Partners Limited in 1998 to help develop and subsequently lead its non-marine group. James started his career in 1983 in London at Sedgwick, joining as a broker of property programmes for North American corporations, placing business into Lloyd’s and European markets and became a Director of Sedgwick North America Limited before moving to Prentis Donegan. James was appointed to the Board of the London and International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) in June 2019.


Andrew Wallin

Andrew Wallin

CEO Specialty Broking*

Andy was appointed CEO Specialty Broking following the successful completion of the sale of BGC Partners insurance operations (formerly known as Corant Global) to The Ardonagh Group in November 2021.

Andy founded Corant following the successful completion of the sale of the Ed Broking Group to BGC Partners Inc. where he had been Group Commercial Director and a member of the executive board since May 2016.

Andy was CEO – International / Underwriting at Ed and a member of the executive board. Prior to joining Ed in May 2016, Andy was Group Chief Executive Officer of Brightside Insurance Services, the UK online insurance intermediary. Previous positions include Group Commercial Director of Arthur J Gallagher International and Managing Director of Robertson Taylor, part of the Oxygen Holdings group, where he was also Managing Director of Oxygen Partners. He began his insurance career at Willis Limited, having graduated in Economics and Politics from the University of Manchester.


Steve Hearn

Steve Hearn

CEO Reinsurance and Capital*

Steve was appointed CEO Reinsurance and Capital following the successful completion of the sale of BGC Partners insurance operations (formerly known as Corant Global) to The Ardonagh Group in November 2021.

Steve formed Corant following the successful completion of the sale of the Ed Broking Group to BGC Partners Inc. where he was CEO since November 2015.

Prior to this he was Group Chief Executive of the Ed Broking Group where he had been since November 2015. Previously, Steve served as Deputy CEO of Willis Group Holdings. He joined Willis in 2008 as a result of its acquisition of Hilb Rogal & Hobbs (HRH) and held a number of senior roles including Chairman and CEO of Willis Global, CEO of Willis Re and CEO of Willis Limited, the Group’s principal UK regulated entity. Prior to its acquisition by HRH, Steve was Chairman and CEO of privately owned London wholesale insurance broker, Glencairn Limited.

Earlier in his career, Steve was President and CEO of Marsh Affinity Europe, having previously held a number of positions at Marsh and Sedgwick Limited. He has served as Chairman of both the London Market Group (LMG) and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association (LIIBA) and as a Vice President of the Insurance Institute of London.


Derek Coles - CEO URIS Group

Derek Coles

CEO MGA, Binders and Facilities

Derek has spent his career in Financial Services, starting at Barclays where he worked for 23 years in various roles gaining extensive experience in general insurance, life and retail markets. Derek was appointed Managing Director at international loss adjusters GAB Robins in 2003 before joining Direct Group in 2006. At Direct Group (now known as URIS Group) Derek led a MBO backed by Lloyds Development Capital in 2007, setting the strategy to develop it into a full insurance services business. Subsequently Direct Group was acquired by Ryan Specialty Group in 2012 and then Ardonagh in 2017. Throughout this time Derek continued in his role as CEO.


Ian Donaldson - CEO Autonet, Carole Nash and Swinton

Ian Donaldson

CEO Ardonagh Retail*

Ian co-founded Autonet in 1998 in Stoke-On-Trent, and successfully led the business to achieve turnover of one million pounds after just two years. Since then he has grown Autonet to become one of the UK’s largest insurance brokers handling over 1.2 million calls a year and relationships with over 30 leading insurance providers. In 2010, Autonet launched a van price comparison site for moneysupermarket.com and in 2016 he oversaw investment from Highbridge Principal Strategies and Madison Dearborn Partners before becoming part of The Ardonagh Group. Ian was appointed CEO of Carole Nash in January 2018, as well as CEO of Swinton in December 2018, in addition to his leadership of Autonet.


Rob Worrell – CEO Ardonagh Advisory

Rob Worrell

CEO Ardonagh Advisory

Rob was a founding partner of The Insurance Partnership in 1993, overseeing the business to achieve a turnover of over £60 million, before becoming Managing Director in 2000, and negotiating its sale to Jelf in 2013. He joined the Jelf Group Executive Board became Managing Director of Trading following the sale before being appointed CEO of Jelf in 2015 following its acquisition by Marsh. In December 2017, Rob was appointed CEO of Ardonagh’s Advisory platform which includes the Towergate trading brand. Outside insurance, Rob has a wide, varied and successful business portfolio across property, estate agency, legal services, education, manufacturing and logistics.


Conor Brennan - CEO Ardonagh Europe

Conor Brennan

CEO Ardonagh Europe

Conor Brennan has more than 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry gained in both the UK and Ireland. Conor has led Arachas, Ireland’s fastest growing specialist corporate broker since May 2018. Prior to this, he joined Zurich in 2008, first in Ireland where he rose through the ranks from Director of Broker Distribution to Chief Executive Officer, before moving to the UK where he became Head of General Insurance. Prior to Zurich, he was Deputy CEO of Chambers Ireland and a director and shareholder in two tech start-up businesses.


Des O'Connor

Des O'Connor

CEO Ardonagh Global Partners

Des O’Connor was appointed CEO of Ardonagh Global Partners in April 2021, a newly formed segment responsible for driving International expansion outside of UK and Europe. Des has more than 30 years’ experience in the UK Insurance Broking sector, more recently as CEO of Bravo Group, a UK retail broking consolidator that made more than 40 acquisitions between 2016 and 2021. Bravo Group was acquired by The Ardonagh Group in July 2020. Prior to Bravo Group, Des assumed various MD roles at Gallagher International between 2006 and 2014, having worked within the Lloyds broking community since 1990.


* subject to regulatory approval

Non-executive directors
John Tiner CBE
Chairman

With a career spanning over 40 years in financial services, from accounting through to his position as Chief Executive of the FSA, John has played a significant role in reforming the regulation of both the life and general insurance industries and improving consumers’ understanding of personal finance. John is an independent Non-Executive Director of the Board of Credit Suisse Group and Tilney Group Limited, where he is also Chairman of the respective Audit Committees and a member of the Risk Committees. Prior to this, John was CEO of the Resolution Group, a private investment company which, through M&A, sponsored the formation of The Friends Life Group Plc, a FTSE 100 company prior to its acquisition by Aviva in 2015.

Clive Bouch
Independent Non-Executive Director

Clive was appointed to the Board in January 2017. He currently serves as an independent non-executive director of Invesco UK Limited, where he chairs the Audit and Risk Committees, and as an independent non-executive director of the Steamship Mutual Insurance London and Bermuda Protection & Indemnity Clubs where he is a member of the Claims, Finance & Nomination and Audit & Risk Committees. Previously he was a partner in Arthur Andersen and then Deloitte where he provided audit and advisory services to companies in the financial services industry, latterly specialising in the insurance, asset management and pension sectors. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment and a Chartered Insurance Practitioner. Clive chairs Towergate’s Audit Committee.

Pat Butler
Independent Non-Executive Director

Pat spent 26 years of his career at McKinsey where he led the firm’s Retail Financial Services Practice for EMEA. Pat is a Non-Executive Director of Bank of Ireland and Hikma Pharmaceuticals plc. Pat is also partner of The Resolution Group which spans financial services restructuring, the Resolution think tank and Prospect magazine. Pat chairs Towergate’s Group Risk Committee.

Scot French
Non-Executive Director, HPS Investment Partners
Vahe Dombalagian
Non-Executive Director, Madison Dearborn Partners (MDP)