CEO search for LifeSearch

Harmonic was chosen to assist Tom Baigrie, the Founder of LifeSearch, in his transition from CEO to Chair. Our specific mandate was to find a seasoned executive capable of guiding LifeSearch through its transformation into a modern, data-driven 'Insurtech' business.

The Client

Founded in 1998, LifeSearch has solidified its reputation as a household name in the protection market and stands as the United Kingdom's largest and most influential protection broker. Much like Harmonic, they are an organisation deeply rooted in their core values. Embracing a non-corporate and inclusive work culture, LifeSearch secured a place within the top three of the 2019 Sunday Times Top 100 Companies to Work For list.

The Role

In 2021, Tom Baigrie, the Founder and former CEO with an impressive 23-year tenure at the helm of LifeSearch, made a pivotal decision to transition from CEO to Chairman. Following a competitive pitching process, Harmonic was tasked with finding LifeSearch's new Chief Executive Officer.

Finding a candidate who aligned with LifeSearch’s culture was of particular importance. Despite its substantial workforce of around 450 employees, LifeSearch has managed to preserve its close-knit, familial atmosphere, a unique attribute that required careful consideration throughout our search.

What we did

Harmonic created a shortlist that resonated with the internal commitment to diversity championed by LifeSearch. We made a dedicated effort to engage with candidates from diverse backgrounds in terms of gender and ethnicity. Comprehensive insights, including specific statistics and details, were documented in a comprehensive search report presented as part of the shortlist.

Understanding LifeSearch's ambition to evolve into an 'insurtech' powerhouse, Harmonic tailored our search across a wide spectrum of industries, covering insurance, fintech, financial services, e-commerce, retail, and price comparison, among others. Within these sub-sectors, we strategically targeted executives renowned for their pivotal roles in implementing transformative policies and driving growth initiatives. This strategy allowed us to consider a broad spectrum of candidates, from new and fast-growing companies to well-established leaders in the insurance industry in the UK.

The Outcome

Our search process narrowed down the candidate pool to a shortlist of ten individuals. Following a thorough interview process, LifeSearch ultimately extended an offer to a highly capable CEO who has an impressive career behind them, marked by their leadership roles in shaping protection propositions at esteemed organisations like AXA and Capita. Their enthusiasm for technology, evident throughout the shortlisting process, was most notably exemplified during their tenure at a life insurance business, where they led on a successful digital transformation initiative.

During their tenure at LifeSearch, the placed CEO has played a pivotal role in crucial C-Suite appointments, including the Chief Marketing Officer, Chief Growth Officer, and Chief Digital/Data Officer - which Harmonic collaborated closely on.

In 2023, LifeSearch announced a partnership with the digital personal pension provider PensionBee and an exclusive advisory alliance with Neilson Financial Services. As LifeSearch continues its impressive trajectory of growth, Harmonic is excited to continue working together.

The Results

Initial approaches
People shortlisted

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