Russ Piper, Chief Executive at Sovereign Health Care, has today announced his intention to retire in March 2024 after 17 years’ dedicated service with the Bradford-based cash plan provider. Russ, who joined Sovereign in 2006 as Sales and Marketing Director becoming Chief Executive in 2009, has navigated the insurance company through challenging times providing steadfast leadership to aid its transformation to meet customer and regulatory demands, whilst remaining true to its values of helping people afford their everyday health care and supporting local communities.

Sovereign Health Care’s Board has now begun the process to find its new Chief Executive and is working with specialist executive search firm, Fletcher Jones, to appoint Russ’s successor.

Jan Fortune, Board Chair at Sovereign Health Care, said:

“Russ has been such a key part of Sovereign since he joined in 2006. The business has benefited from his many years’ financial services experience and his unique individual style means he will be a hard act to follow. His passion and dedication to the business have allowed us to evolve into a modern, caring and principled general insurance business, whilst at the same time continuing to respect our founding principle of supporting people when they need to access health care. Key to this has not only been achieving challenging business goals, but also ensuring fairness, customer care and integrity are at the heart of our business. As a carer in his own private life, Russ has also given our community program a different insight and he has championed the simple mantra of ‘positively touching peoples’ lives’, in the areas of health and wellbeing.

Choosing his successor is a key priority for the Board and our search has commenced early to enable us to find the best person and allow a thorough handover and knowledge transfer.”

Russ Piper, Chief Executive at Sovereign Health Care, said:

“I have been so proud to serve as Sovereign Health Care’s Chief Executive. When I joined the business in 2006, at the time, I expected to stay for around 5 years, but I quickly realised that Sovereign is a special place to work and the annual commitment to donate significant sums to local communities became a key driver for me when taking the business forward.

There have been some significant challenges along the way, notably changing our IT/policy administration system, recruiting a senior team to align with the business’s needs, the pandemic of course and, more recently, moving to our new office in Saltaire. But our commitment to our customers and communities has never wavered and continues to inspire us daily. It really has been a privilege to serve.

My time at Sovereign, alongside being a carer for my eldest son, has enabled me to learn so much about myself and allowed me to lead Sovereign to become a caring and responsible employer and health cash plan provider. After 17 years of commuting from North Yorkshire, it will no doubt take time to adjust to retirement, but I am looking forward to spending more time with my family and not having to get up at 5.30am every day.

In the meantime, I remain absolutely dedicated to Sovereign – there is still so much to do and, as ever, we have many key objectives to deliver in 2023, which includes us celebrating our 150th anniversary with a special community program event towards the end of the year.”

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