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Axa UK life integration elevates Friends’ CFO Bourke

Friends Provident CFO Evelyn Bourke continues her ascent at Resolution, the insurance and pensions vehicle, as it subsumes Axa UK’s life business and splits her role with Axa UK’s Andy Parsons.

Bourke, CFO at Friends since last November, has become executive director for strategy, capital and risk for Friends Provident Holdings, while Parsons becomes its executive director for finance on an interim basis. The group will shift its organisational structure for the newly combined business in order to “broaden the balance” of its top management – so it is likely that both roles may change again.

Parsons has been with Axa since 2001 and had been CFO at Axa UK. Of great interest to Friends and Resolution is his experience leading a series of transformation projects and heading up change management roles in the UK financial services industry, including at Allied Dunbar and Zurich Financial Services.

Resolution’s mandate is to buy up life and pensions operators while those markets undergo heavy consolidation, and the potential for constant upheaval as acquisitions are bolted on makes him a prime candidate to run the group’s finances.

Bourke, who Financial Director interviewed a few months into the CFO role at Friends, will now steer the complexities of merging and streamlining myriad risk management processes, she remains one of the top figureheads delivering on Clive Cowdery’s ambitious super-group strategy.

“There’s quite a bit of knitting together the corporate governance – making sure you have one joined-up set of delegated authorities so that on day one, people generally know what’s what and where to go,” she told Financial Director last year. “The most exciting part of the role is really driving the business performance, identifying where there might be synergies, market opportunities or opportunities to do deals that increase new business. It’s understanding what profitability you can deliver from this business.

“It’s at that strategic front-end where you can really measure how much you’re actually adding to the bottom line and driving the value through the balance sheet.”

Click to read our full profile of Evelyn Bourke

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