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July 16, 2020

French watchdog urges insurers to separate role of chair and CEO

By Verdict Staff

The French financial watchdog, has reportedly asked the country’s insurers to separate the roles of chairman and CEO, the Financial Times has reported.

French Prudential Supervisory Authority (ACPR) stressed that splitting chair and CEO roles was a good governance practice increasingly followed by many large corporations globally.

The regulator said that it expects the split to become standard norm in listed companies and large insurance groups.

The splitting of the roles is aimed at improving governance and provide more oversight to reduce risk.

The French companies have come under increasing pressure from investors in the recent years for the separation of superior roles.

France’s largest insurer, Axa, has already split the roles, but they are still combined at Scor and Covéa, Financial Times report added.

Last year, the ACPR questioned Covéa whether its governance model gives the company’s chairman and CEO Thierry Derez too much power.

French reinsurer Scor is also reportedly facing pressure to split its chair and CEO roles from certain shareholder.

Meanwhile, large French companies including Utility Engie, carmaker Renault, food group Danone and aerospace supplier Safran have split the roles in recent years.

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