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Lloyds Banking’s Finance Director Quits to Join Friends

Lloyds Banking Group Plc Finance Director Tim Tookey will leave the U.K.’s largest mortgage lender to join Friends Life, the insurer being built by Resolution Ltd., Clive Cowdery’s acquisition firm.


Tookey, who joined Lloyds in April 2006, will continue in his current role until February, the London-based bank said in a statement today. He will join Friends Life as chief financial officer, Resolution said in a separate statement. He’s the second Lloyds executive to be hired by Cowdery’s firm this year after Andy Briggs quit Scottish Widows, the bank’s life-insurance division, to become chief executive officer of Friends Life. Tookey, 49, previously worked with Briggs at Prudential Plc.

“Tookey did not seem to complement Horta-Osório’s style and it is thought he did not agree with the aggressive targets set for 2014,” Mediobanca SpA said in a note today. “The fact that Tookey is thought to have begun discussions with Friends Life just last week, it does suggest the divisions were quite deep,” the note said. “There’s been absolutely no disagreement on strategy between Antonio and I,” Tookey said during a call with reporters today. “I’ve greatly enjoyed developing the strategy with Antonio, bringing it to the market at the end of June and being part of the team that’s now focused on delivering it.”

‘Obvious Candidate’

Antonio Lorenzo, former finance director of Banco Santander U.K. Plc, who joined Lloyds as director of wealth and international on March 1, is the “obvious candidate” to replace Tookey, Ian Gordon, an analyst at Evolution Securities, wrote in a note to investors today.

Lloyds dropped 5.8 percent to 33.72 pence at 9:04 a.m. in London trading, valuing the bank at about 23.2 billion pounds ($36.5 billion). Resolution fell 2.3 percent to 246.5 pence for a market value of 3.5 billion pounds. Resolution, led by former Financial Services Authority CEO John Tiner, plans to sell Friends Life to a trade buyer or in an initial public offering by 2014. The firm is a combination of Friends Provident, Axa SA’s U.K. life insurance division and Bupa Health Assurance Ltd.

“We wanted a CFO with significant transaction and capital- markets experience,” Briggs said on the call. “Tim clearly has that. I can’t think of many CFOs in the U.K. market with more capital market and investor relations experience over the last three years.”

Sandy Leitch will step down as chairman of Scottish Widows at the end of this year, Lloyds said in a separate statement.

Source: Bloomberg