(Alliance News) - Direct Line Insurance Group PLC on Thursday announced several new appointments, which the company's chief executive officer hailed as "central to delivering our strategy to transform the group".

The Bromley-based insurance company announced three appointments to its executive committee, intended to "further strengthen its management capability and drive growth".

Craig Thornton will be appointed managing director of the Home & Growth division in October. Thornton joins Direct Line having spent the past ten years as general insurance, protection and investments director at Lloyds Banking Group PLC.

In October, Martin Milliner, formerly claims director at Allianz SE and director of claimant technical services at LV=, will join Direct Line as director of claims.

"[Milliner] will drive the Group's ambition to build a market leading claims function, delivering great service for customers and increasing operational efficiency", the company said.

Notably, Hugh Hessing will join the Direct Line board as chief operating officer in July.

Hessing previously served as COO and UK customer services director at Aviva PLC, as well as CEO of Aviva Ireland.

"All three appointments will report directly to the CEO and are subject to regulatory approval", Direct Line added.

CEO Adam Winslow said: "The new appointments I'm announcing today will be central to delivering our strategy to transform the group. The calibre of these appointments is a testament to the underlying strength and attractiveness of the business. The experience and expertise of these leaders will make a significant difference, not only in the areas they oversee, but also at ExCo where they will provide strategic leadership and drive to shape the future of our organisation."

Shares in Direct Line were down 0.6% at 181.90 pence each in London on Thursday.

By Hugh Cameron, Alliance News reporter

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