Annette Court

Mentor

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overview

Annette Court has extensive experience as a CEO of major insurers – Direct Line Group and Zurich FS. She has worked across Europe including Eastern Europe and has a strong technology background with a record of using e-commerce to drive commercial success. She has developed major brands with a strong consumer focus. She also has experience of M&A, partnerships, joint ventures and restructuring, although she has had most fun in growing businesses. Above all she enjoys working with people of varying backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

APPROACH

She has delivered competitive advantage in businesses using a strong focus on customers and developing teams that were able to achieve results that they didn’t realise were possible. She is a big believer in learning by doing, pragmatism and continuous personal learning.

CAREER HISTORY

Annette started her career at IBM as a systems engineer in the banking and insurance sectors. After 11 years she joined one of her clients, Direct Line. She helped shape this fast-growing business in changing the face of the insurance industry, eventually becoming CEO of Direct Line Group in 2001 at the age of 39. She also became a member of the RBS Group Executive Committee. She led the acquisition of Churchill insurance in 2003, forming RBS Insurance, with a workforce of around 18,000 people across the UK, Spain, Germany and Italy. Subsequently she joined Zurich FS as the CEO of their European general insurance business spanning 11 countries across Europe. She is now pursuing a portfolio career and is a non-executive director of Admiral Insurance, Jardine Lloyd Thomson group, Foxtons and a PE-backed software company, Workshare.

Leadership Moments

A Trap for Leaders: Don’t Let Your Team Delegate Their Thinking To You

“Sometimes leaders who have been given greater responsibility feel that the onus is on them to be more directive and to show how much knowledge they have about something, rather than encouraging their people to come up with ideas.”​

In her interview with Merryck’s Adam Bryant, Annette shares smart insights on the challenges she sees often in her work with leaders. Click here to read more.