New chair of Grid unveiled

Group Risk Development (Grid) has appointed Aviva UK Life managing director of group protection Steve Bridger as its new chair, replacing Ellipse CEO Lee Lovett who stepped down at the end of December.

Bridger says he will use his tenure in the role to drive an agenda of increasing access to workplace protection, building on Grid’s existing work across claims data, employer research, consultation responses and lobbying.

Lovett steps down after three years in the role.

Bridger says: “Grid is in great shape following Lee’s chairmanship and he has secured some great wins. We have a healthy increase in membership, have submitted responses to all relevant government consultations – securing derogations for group risk where needed, harmonised how the ABI and Grid report their claims statistics, launched a new website, and have had nearly 3,000 passes of the group risk qualification GR1. I’m looking to build on all of this.

“Having worked in protection for 28 years, I’ve seen first-hand the difference group risk protection can make to employees, their dependants and their employers. I want to continue to champion the value that such benefits add to society, benefits which have never been more needed.

“I’ll also be looking specifically for collaboration opportunities that strengthen our voice and our cause. And while we have great representation, there’s strength in numbers, so I’ll be looking to increase our membership. Our current members get great value from our work and we need to be less modest about that.”

Lovett says: “It’s been a privilege being Grid’s chair for the last three years, representing reinsurers, providers and advisers active in the group risk space. We have achieved a lot in this time but there is always more to do and I think Steve will do a great job in taking us to the next level.”