Challenger Ltd (ASX: CGF) announced at its AGM that it is appointing a new CEO with Brian Benari retiring.
Challenger is Australia’s largest provider of annuities to retirees.
Mr Benari has been with Challenger since 2003 and has been its CEO & Managing Director since February 2012. However, he has decided to retire from Challenger.
Challenger Chairman Peter Polson attributed the company’s emergence as a leader of retirement incomes to Mr Benari:
“Brian has led Challenger through an immensely successful period of growth, establishing the company as the clear leader in retirement incomes and developing one of the fastest growing active fund managers in the country.”
The new CEO will be the current head of Distribution, Product and Marketing, Richard Howes. Mr Howes has also been Chief Executive of Challenger’s Life business and Chief Investment Officer.
Mr Polson commented on Mr Howes’ appointment, “Richard has delivered outstanding results in each of the divisions he has led and has the ideal experience and skills to lead Challenger through its next phase of growth.”
The company also gave a guidance update at its AGM.
Challenger reaffirmed that it is targeting growth of normalised profit before tax of between 8% to 12% compared to the result in the 2018 financial year.
Beyond this year the company is aiming to return to a pre-tax normalised return on equity (ROE) of 18%.
In the FY18 report it revealed a 6% growth of net profit to $406 million. The Challenger share price is down around 20% over the past year according to Google Finance.
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