Wednesday 12 June 2019 9:08 am

End of the Saga: Chief executive Batchelor hangs up his lance

The chief executive of over 50s travel and insurance group Saga will retire next year, the company said today.

Lance Batchelor will retire at the end of the financial year in January 2020 after six years with the business.

The recruitment of his successor is underway.

In April Saga shares sank 40 per cent after it warned Brexit uncertainty was hitting its travel business and price comparison sites were eating into its insurance margins.

It also announced the introduction of a three-year fixed price home and motor insurance product as it tried to revitalise its insurance business and move away from cheap introductory offers.

Yesterday Saga announced a tie-up with Goldman Sachs, with plans to offer its customers savings products with Goldman’s retail banking arm Marcus.

On 5 July the company will launch its new cruise ship, the Spirit of Discovery.

Saga chair Patrick O’Sullivan said: “Lance has led Saga with a resolute focus on reinvestment and rebuilding a truly customer centric organisation. On behalf of the board, we are grateful for his contribution and wish him every success for the future.”

Batchelor said: “It has been a huge privilege to lead Saga. I am very proud of the journey we have taken to modernise the business and refocus it on customers. We now have enhanced products and the infrastructure needed for a sustainable and healthy future.

“Over the coming months, I look forward to continuing to execute the new strategy in our insurance business and seeing the launch of Spirit of Discovery in a few weeks.”

Batchelor joined Saga in 2014, after stints at Tesco Mobile and Domino’s Pizza, and led the company through its listing that year.

Its shares floated at 185p but closed yesterday at 42p.

Shares fell 1.65 per cent to 39p this morning.