HSBC's Mark Tucker appointed chair of Discovery

Discovery's non-executive chairperson and director Monty Hilkowitz will be retiring, effective February 28, 2019, the company announced on Thursday.

He has served as a non-executive director of the company since April 2002 and has been chairperson since January 2008.

He will be succeeded by former AIA boss and chair of major European bank HSBC Mark Tucker, with effect from March 1.

Tucker has had a relationship with Discovery for over 13 years, Discovery said in a statement, which began during the joint venture with Prudential and continued through the first Vitality partnership with AIA.

Tucker has also been a member of Discovery's International Advisory Board since 2014. His succession was described as "critical and timely" given Discovery's global expansion into different markets.

"The Board believes that Mr Tucker's substantial global and institutional experience will be hugely valuable to the Group in this expansion," Discovery said.

Tucker is currently the non-executive Group Chairman of HSBC and was Group Chief Executive and President of AIA Group from 2010 to 2017. He was also Group Chief Executive of Prudential, served on the Court of the Bank of England as a non-executive Director 2009 to 2012, and was an independent non-executive Director of the Goldman Sachs Group 2012 to 2017.

He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Associate Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, as well as serving on the Asia Business Council and the Advisory Board of the Asia Global Institute.

There would be a controlled handover, Discovery said, with Hilkowitz continuing to serve as a non-executive director on the boards of certain UK subsidiaries, the statement added.

"During [Hilkowitz's] Chairmanship, Discovery has grown considerably, launching three new businesses, concluding five joint ventures and growing its client base from 2.5 million in three markets to 18 million members in 20 markets," the group said in a statement.

"Discovery wishes to thank Mr Hilkowitz for his invaluable contribution to the Group over the past 16 years."

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