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Hester takes over at troubled insurer RSA

STEPHEN HESTER, the former chief executive of Royal Bank of Scotland, has been hired to run RSA, after the troubled insurer discovered an accounting black hole in its Irish business.

He replaces Simon Lee, who left RSA following a series of profit warnings and the discovery of more than £70m in claims and accounting irregularities in its Ireland division.

PwC was called in to review the insurer’s financial controls and processes, while additional assurance testing by new auditors KPMG, and its internal audit division, found the irregularities to be “isolated” to Ireland.

Hester has joined RSA with immediate effect. Commenting on his appointment, Hester said the insurer had “not lived up to our stakeholders’ expectations and performed to our true potential”.

“We have an obligation to deliver shareholder value and excellent products and services that provide everyday protection for our customers,” Hester said.

“I look forward to getting started immediately and working closely with the board on the business review to ensure that we are able to deliver strength and value to all of our stakeholders and re-emerge as an attractive solidly performing group.”

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