Lombard names ex-UBS exec as Europe CEO

Lombard International, the Luxembourg-based insurance product provider, today revealed it has named Axel Hörger as chief executive of Europe, succeeding John Van Der Wielen, who had been serving as interim CEO.

Hörger (pictured) comes to Lombard from UBS Deutschland, where he had also been chief executive, Lombard said in a statement. The appointment was effective as of the first of February.

At UBS, Hörger led the re-engineering of the UBS governance model in Germany and increased operational and front-line efficiency across all business lines, Lombard said, while also introducing new technology, overseeing a major IT and operational project, and generally positioning UBS’s German operations “for sustainable growth”.

Hörger’s pre-UBS experiences included various roles with Goldman Sachs Asset Management in the EMEA region.

Van Der Wielen will remain a non-executive director of the company, and Hörger will report to John Hillman, executive chairman of Lombard International, Lombard said.

Hörger’s appointment is the latest in a series of developments at Lombard, which has been undergoing a major stratetic reinvention ever since it was acquired by the US-based Blackstone private equity giant in October, 2014.

Last year Blackstone integrated the Lombard business with that of a Pennsylvania-based insurance company, Philadelphia Financial, which it acquired in July 2015, and in September, Lombard announced the launch of a new, global life insurance-based wealth management business.

Today Lombard International is run out of offices in both Luxembourg and Philadelphia, with a global staff of more than 500 overseeing assets under administration of more than US$75bn, according to the Lombard statement announcing Hörger’s appointment.

Blackstone is one of the world’s leading investment firms with over $330 billion in assets under management.

Prior to being acquired by Blackstone, a US$330bn-AUM company, Lombard International was a subsidiary of Friends Provident – later known as Friends Life – the UK-based life insurer. Lombard International was founded in 1991 by John Stone, who retired in 2012 and who now is a partner in Blevins Franks, the international financial advisory firm now based in London.

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