Neil Broadbent in new Asia role for Providence Life

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Providence Life, a Mauritius-regulated life company launched in 2009, said it has named Neil Broadbent to head up its Asia distribution efforts, as it looks to expand in the region.

The position is a new one, Providence Life said.

Broadbent has held a number of roles in the international life insurance industry previously, including several positions with Generali Worldwide, as regional director of Asia as well as regional director of its Middle East and Africa businesses. He will be based in Hong Kong, although Providence Life has no immediate plans to market its products there, the company said.

News of Broadbent’s appointment comes two weeks after the company revealed that it had hired Peter Drummond, formerly of Bahrain-based Legal & General Gulf, to the newly-created post of executive director, in charge of global strategy.

In his new role Broadbent will support Simon Littmoden, global business development director who joined Providence in January 2014, and Drummond, according to a statement announcing his appointment.

Austin Blair, a Dubai-based Brit from Belfast who founded Providence Life in 2009 and who continues to head it up as chief executive, said the company is “clear about our distribution objectives for Asia”, that Broadbent’s “wealth” of relevant experience would enable it to proceed through this “next chapter of our Asia strategic plan”.

New generation life company

Providence Life – or Providence, as it is in the process of re-branding itself – is seen as one of a new generation of tech-savvy companies in the international financial services space, which have sprung up in the last few years to compete with such large, established players as Zurich, Friends Provident International and Generali.

The company specialises in providing products for expatriates, including investment funds provided by such asset managers as Invesco, Fidelity, Franklin Templeton, Jupiter GAM and JP Morgan Asset Management. Its catchphrase, on the home page of its website, is: “Retirement and saving solutions for the modern-day explorer”.

Its products are distributed by financial advisers located throughout Africa, South East Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America.Because it is privately held, no data about its sales or assets under management is available.

Providence promotes itself as an agile alternative to the big life companies, and says its Mauritius domicile is a well-regulated as well as “neutral” domicile, which makes it attractive to expats and other multi-jurisdictional individuals of all nationalities.