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The showdown for the disgraced LV boss Mark Hartigan is imminent

Showdown for LV boss looming: Angry members call for no vote of confidence in failed mutual’s fat-cat boss Mark Hartigan

  • John Higgins, customer of 50 years, urges colleagues to oust Hartigan
  • Angry policyholders have flooded our offices with messages of support
  • More than 1,000 of our readers have written to demand a vote of no confidence

The ailing LV boss is facing a barrage of demands from his members after his failed attempt to sell the mutual to a US private equity firm.

More than 1,000 readers have written to The Mail on Sunday and Daily Mail calling for a vote of no confidence in Chief Executive Mark Hartigan at the annual meeting.

John Higgins, a loyal LV customer for 50 years, is urging his colleagues to support his campaign to remove Hartigan from his £1million-a-year job.

Demand: More than 1,000 readers have written to us asking for a vote of no confidence in CEO Mark Hartigan at the annual meeting

This target has already been slightly exceeded as disgruntled policyholders flooded our offices with messages of support.

Now LV management is headed for an embarrassing showdown with its customers who jointly own the company.

Hartigan was the architect of an expensive and ill-fated plan to sell LV to US private equity firm Bain Capital that failed to garner support from members.

Despite this debacle, Hartigan remains in his lucrative post. He was paid more than £1million last year, including a £511,000 bonus which the board was still paying out.

Higgins, 86, whose wife is a former LV staffer, said: “I’m committed to seeing this through to the end.”

A former Procter & Gamble salesman with two daughters who lives in Ayrshire added: “I want Hartigan to go and the board to go too.” Looking through the stack of messages sent to our offices by members said Higgins, who has become the face of customer rebellion: “It’s incredible. It just shows how angry the members are at Hartigan. How does he think he can go on?’

Former LV chairman Alan Cook resigned in February, but the insurer has yet to name a permanent replacement. Seamus Creedon, a director, stepped in.

Influential MPs support the revolt. Conservative Kevin Hollinrake, who sits on Parliament’s Finance Committee, said: “It’s high time Mark Hartigan left the company. Every day he stays he earns more of the members’ money and any delay is only in his best interest.’

Labor MP Gareth Thomas, leader of the all-party parliamentary group on mutuals, said: “Mark Hartigan and Alan Cook have squandered an amazing amount of money from LV owners on their vanity project, which could have been reinvested in business and better benefits for members. It’s time for Mark Hartigan to go.’

Members of the insurer, formerly known as Liverpool Victoria, are irritated that it has still not confirmed the date for its annual general meeting, which is expected in the autumn.

LV was founded in 1843 to help the poor of Liverpool pay for a decent funeral. Because of its common structure, it is run for the benefit of clients rather than a profit-hungry investor.

Revolt: John Higgins with messages of support

Revolt: John Higgins with messages of support

After Hartigan and Cook revealed their plan to sell LV to Bain, members feared the private equity firm would milk LV for cash, cutting services and raising prices.

They declined to back the deal in sufficient numbers for it to go through, but not before £33million of their money was spent on advisers.

Their outrage meant Cook, who had spearheaded the attempt to sell LV, was forced out of the company.

Higgins said, “The directors all jumped on the Bain bandwagon last year and then did a screeching about-face when it failed.”

Members are concerned because they have heard little about LV’s plans for the future since.

Before the vote, Cook and Hartigan insisted the deal was the only way for LV to survive. After their defeat, they changed course, arguing that the insurer could do well as an independent insurer.

Creedon has supported Hartigan, saying “I have great faith in him and his team.”

But Higgins, along with the army of members who contacted the Mail on Sunday, disagree. They want a new top team that will take LV forward.

LV declined to comment.

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The showdown for the disgraced LV boss Mark Hartigan is imminent

Source link The showdown for the disgraced LV boss Mark Hartigan is imminent

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