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Clark UK announces new CEO as founder steps down

Bristol-based specialist insurance company Clark UK has appointed its chief operating officer Joshua Sargent as CEO following the departure of founder Matt Edwards, who is stepping down.

Matt, who founded the company as E-finity Leads 11 years ago, is returning home to New Zealand after 15 years in the UK.

He led the firm’s transition to Candid in 2019, as well as the latest strategic move to join Clark Group in June this year to trade as Clark UK.

Joshua, who has been with the company for seven years, has worked hand in hand with Edwards to drive the strategic realignment of the business.

Clark UK is the the fastest-growing life and protection business in the UK with triple-digit year-on-year growth.  It offers life and protection products to parents, protecting over 100,000 mums and dads every year under the brands Polly, and Tom.

“Over the last five years we have proven that even the oldest and most well-established industries can be disrupted. We have built one of the UK’s largest protection distributors within the space of a short few years, protected thousands of families and changed the face of protection forever. I am very proud of this achievement,” said Matt.

“I am pleased to leave Clark UK in the capable hands of Joshua, who I know will continue to represent our values and ethos through our trusted, market-leading brands.”

Joshua said: “I’m fortunate to have forged a robust and collaborative partnership with Matt over the last seven years, and I’m committed to maintaining the firm’s strategy to grow our consumer brands and continue to strengthen our position in the UK protection market.”

Joshua takes on responsibility for managing the UK businesses within Clark Group – including consumer brands Polly, Tom, Winston and Anorak – working closely with CLARK Group’s CEO, Christopher Oster.

Sargent will also join the Clark executive committee, contributing to the overarching strategic direction and decision-making process across the wider group.

Clark UK has also announced the promotion of the current head of distribution, Richard Kerton, to the role of chief distribution officer and director.

Richard, who has been with the firm for three years, will take on responsibility for product distribution and development of B2B partnerships in line with his expertise.

In addition, Clark UK will be welcoming a new managing director later this year who will be tasked with leading the strategic growth and development of the firm’s UK mobile application business and ultimately creating a sub-business within Clark UK as part of the wider growth strategy.

“Our commitment to innovation and growth remains unwavering. We will continue to invest in our people and our products, allowing us to further explore and develop our mobile applications and associated products to ensure we provide the best possible experience for our customers,” said Joshua.

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