News & Media Centre

We’re delighted to announce three new appointments to our leadership team.

Ben Tomasetti has joined as Chief Commercial Officer. He will shape the insurer’s digital and retail pricing programmes, as well as focusing on broader areas of strategic change.

He brings a wealth of experience from his long career in product development, marketing, insurance retail and underwriting with organisations such as BGL, Castle Cover and, most recently, Hastings Direct.

Ben will be based at our West Sussex office and will report directly to Michael Lee, First Central Group’s CEO.
He replaces Andy James in the role, who has left the company to pursue new opportunities following seven years of dedicated service. The business is extremely grateful for Andy’s contribution and wishes him the very best for the future.

Elsewhere, Gareth Howell has joined as Chief Underwriting Officer and will lead the technical functions of the group to help maintain its market-leading capabilities.

Gareth started his career in pricing and underwriting at Zurich, where he worked for 11 years, before moving to AXA in 2012. Over the past four years he has been operating at executive level with end-to-end responsibility for AXA’s personal lines businesses (both AXA Direct and AXA Intermediary). 

Meanwhile, Paul Priestley has been appointed as Counter Fraud Director and brings extensive knowledge and experience of the fraud market from Hastings Direct. Paul will focus on bringing his proven expertise on the best tools, techniques and strategies to build on our existing fraud prevention credentials. 

Michael Lee, Group CEO, said: “This is an exciting time for the insurance sector, with a rapidly evolving landscape to consider, and it’s important we adapt and position ourselves for success, developing new technologies to drive growth.

“Ben, Gareth and Paul are key additions to our senior team. I’m looking forward to working with them all closely, as we continue to build upon the success of the business.”

Find out more about our leadership team

Pictured left to right: Ben Tomasetti, Gareth Howell and Paul Priestley.