20 February 2012
Steering a financial firm through a crisis: lessons learnt
Speaker: Charles Thomson, CEO, Equitable Life 2001-2009 and previously Scottish Widows
Charles Thomson became Chief Executive of Equitable Life in March 2001 when the mutual was close to collapsing. He has been key to creating stability which, at its peak, was a £26 billion business with 1.5 million policyholders. Equitable fell dramatically from grace after being unable to pay guaranteed annuities and was forced to close to new business in December 2000, resulting in up a million policyholders losing up to half of their savings. Since Charles took over, he has successfully lobbied for compensation to be paid by the government for losses, and sold key parts of the business to Canada Life and the Prudential. Having achieved his goals of stabilising the business, he left in 2009 and now runs his own advisory firm. Charles is the perfect person to advise us on how to steer a financial firm through a crisis.