Simon Lee steps up to lead RSA ahead of time

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N Lee, the well-regarded international head of insurance group Royal Sun Alliance, will step up to the post of group chief executive next Tuesday, two months earlier than originally announced.

Lee replaces Andy Haste, who has led RSA since 2003 and overseen a period of strong growth and profitability at the home and motor insurer. Haste was due to step down at the end of the year but with the handover complete will leave ahead of time.

Lee, 50, a former NatWest executive, has overseen rapid expansion of RSA’s Europe and Canada businesses, which now account for almost half of the group’s premium income.

His promotion has been planned for months and is expected to drive further overseas growth. RSA expects 70 per cent of premium to come from its global operations by 2016.