Guardian has recruited Hilary Banks (pictured), current divisional director at Vitality, to the role of sales director, reporting to CEO Katya MacLean.

The protection challenger has also appointed Jacqui Gillies, marketing and proposition director, to its executive committee, also reporting to MacLean.

Both roles take effect when Andy Peters, distribution director, leaves the business later this year.

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Peters is moving on in December after more than four years with Guardian, leading the distribution, sales and marketing team.

Banks will join Guardian on 1 December having spent almost 11 years in protection at Vitality.

As sales director, she will be responsible for maximising the sales opportunities presented by the strategic agreements already in place, to take the challenger into its next phase of growth.

Gillies was recruited by Peters in 2016, and has overseen development of the challenger’s brand and marketing presence, and took over responsibility for proposition last year.

The promotion will see Gillies continue to drive the challenger’s marketing and proposition through its next phase of development.

MacLean said: “First, I want to thank Andy for all he’s done for Guardian.

“He’s been with us since the outset, and his unparalleled knowledge and insight gave us the formidable kick-start we’ve enjoyed.

“Not many new entrants can claim the distribution success and the calibre of team we’ve built under Andy.

“He’s an empowering leader. His focus on doing the right things by our customers and our people has been key to our success.

“We’ll miss him, but we always knew it was his intention to move on when we were fully established. We wish him well for the future.

“Upon Andy’s departure, I have great pleasure in announcing that Guardian’s new sales director will be Hilary Banks, former divisional director at Vitality.

“Hilary brings with her a wealth of experience and demonstrable success in driving growth, most recently supporting the success of another great insurance brand at Vitality.

“She has the perfect skillset to grow on our current success.

“We also look forward to welcoming our own Jacqui Gillies to the executive committee as marketing and proposition director.

“Jacqui’s been responsible for building our brand since she joined in 2016.

“With her proven track record of success and experience of supporting advisers to grow their protection sales, she was the obvious choice to lead our marketing and proposition development at board level.”

Banks said: “I’m extremely excited by the growth opportunity at Guardian.

“Andy’s built a strong, capable team and an impressive number of strategic agreements and panel positions in such a short time since launch.

“I’m really looking forward to building on these impressive foundations to take Guardian into its next phase of growth.”

Gillies said: “I’m delighted to be joining our ExCo. I’ve loved every minute of bringing this incredible brand back to life.

“Not many people get the opportunity to set up a new protection business for the second time, especially with such a high-quality proposition and more USPs than you could ever wish for.

“I’m enthusiastic about our future and look forward to bringing more propositions to market that will help drive our business forward.”