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Saga chairman Andrew Goodsell, who led its flotation on London Stock Exchange, to step down after 26 years

By Chris Price

The man who led the flotation of over-50s specialist Saga on the London Stock Exchange is to retire from the business after 26 years.

Andrew Goodsell notified the board of the Folkestone-based company he intends to leave next year, after 14 years as chairman.

Senior independent director Orna NiChionna has already kicked off the process of finding a successor, giving time for a handover period before Mr Goodsell steps down, likely by the end of May.

Saga chairman Andrew Goodsell has announced he is stepping down
Saga chairman Andrew Goodsell has announced he is stepping down

Saga’s shares were flat at 192.6p in early trading following the announcement.

Mr Goodsell joined the company in 1992 when it was owned by the De Haan family, who founded the business as an over-50s travel firm in 1951.

He became chairman in 2004 after Roger De Hann, son of founder Sidney, decided to sell the company to private equity firm Charterhouse.

He maintained the role as Charterhouse joined forces with CVC Capital Partners and Permira in 2007 to form parent company Acromas Holdings, which also owned the AA.

He later oversaw “a period of very fast growth and change” which led to the flotation of Saga on the London Stock Exchange in 2014, valuing the business at £2.1 billion.

Mr Goodsell became non-executive chairman in 2015, transfering over responsibilities to the company’s chief executive Lance Batchelor.

Saga say the redundancies are to make the business more efficient
Saga say the redundancies are to make the business more efficient

Today, the business includes many divisions besides its travel origins, including insurance, personal finance and healthcare.

It employs about 5,000 people across six UK call centres, four of which are based in Folkestone at Middelburg Square, Enbrook Park, Cheriton Park and Ross Way.

A fifth is at the Eurokent business park in Ramsgate and the sixth in Hastings.

Mr Goodsell said: “I have enjoyed my time at Saga immensely and am extremely proud of what we have achieved as a company.

“I have decided to step down as Chairman four years after flotation in the knowledge that Saga has a very strong management team and board which will take the business forward.”

Mr Batchelor said: “Andrew has played a key role in Saga for many years. I would like to thank him personally for his invaluable support and counsel since I joined the company in 2014.”

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