Ten boss James Sharp to retire


Sharp, the last of the AR network's founders remaining in an executive position, will be succeeded by Dawn Derbyshire.

Ten Insurance Services boss James Sharp is set to retire from the business at the end of this month, Insurance Age can reveal.

Sharp, who is the last of the company’s three founders to have remained in an executive position, will be succeeded by Dawn Derbyshire, who has been with the business for 11 years.

Derbyshire has already been managing director of Ten for nearly three years, while Sharp has held the position of MD of its holding company, Ten Operations Services and Holdings (Tosh).

In a message to the network’s appointed representatives (AR), seen by Insurance Age, Sharp wrote: “I know this is short notice, but I could not risk nominations for a Lifetime Achievement Award, which I have long regarded as the harbinger of imminent demotion, or medium-term demise.”

He added: “I am sure everybody will do very well with Dawn Derbyshire and what will ultimately become a much younger management team; and the company will only go from strength to strength.”

The business further detailed that Sharp will dispose of his shareholding to the Ten Employee Ownership Trust (Tent) over a number of years. Tent already owns around 70% of the business.

“The reason we restructured the ownership of the company in 2014 in the way that we did, was to allow the business to continue, even after all the old folk had shuffled off,” Sharp continued.

He further explained that he had originally planned to retire from the business at the end of next May and highlighted that the decision to leave earlier had nothing to do with his health.

Sharp ruled out remaining with the business as a non-executive director and stated he did not have any current plans to work anywhere else.

“But, if offered a non-exec role that intrigues me, then I may consider it. Or, if a bright new idea pops into my head, I might pursue it,” Sharp added.

He concluded: “Finally, whilst I would argue that Ten will not reach its 15th birthday until next February’s anniversary of the website opening, for me it has been a project for considerably longer than that. 

“Strangely, I don’t think I will miss it, because it feels very much like I have played my part, done my tour of duty and this is the right time to move along. I will miss the people of course; colleagues and ARs in equal measure.”

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