As part of a leadership restructure, Direct Line Group is creating a chief customer office led by the firm’s managing director of household, partnerships, data, pricing and underwriting, Kate Syred.
The office will focus on bringing together data and insight expertise to lead the brand and customer strategy across the group, and using its brands to deepen customer relationships.
The restructure comes as Direct Line Group’s longstanding managing director of marketing and digital, Mark Evans, announces his departure from the business in order to pursue a portfolio career.
Brands director Kerry Chilvers will take over as the group’s top marketer, reporting into Syred. Chilvers will lead on developing the business’s brands, customer communications and advertising, while Syred’s focus will be on deepening customer relationships using data, overseeing the customer experience and regulatory issues.
Chilvers has spent the last two decades at Direct Line Group, joining in 2000. She rose up the ranks, taking on the head of marketing role at the Direct Line brand in 2009, before becoming group brands director in 2013.
Alongside Direct Line’s current head of marketing Wendy Moore, Chilvers led on the launch of the brand’s ‘We’re On It’ campaign in 2020. The campaign took home the Grand Prix award at the Marketing Week Awards last year, after driving long- and short-term business impact and surpassing its previous, already highly effective brand platform, ‘The Fixer’.Inside the Grand Prix winning Direct Line campaign that delivered against all measures
Syred also joined Direct Line Group in 2000. Previously she was commercial and marketing director for Privilege, and launched Direct Line for Business in 2007. As managing director of household, partnerships, data, pricing and underwriting, she has been responsible for delivering the strategy for a number of the group’s businesses, including its partnerships division. Her title will remain the same as she takes on oversight of the new office.
Evans will remain with Direct Line group until the end of the year to ensure a smooth transition and support the embedding of marketing within the new structure.
“I am confident that DLG will go on to even bigger and better things and am glad to have contributed to setting the group up for future success,” he says.
“It is with a heavy heart that I am moving on, but it’s the right time for me to move on to the next chapter of my career.”