Annuities maker Challenger has announced a reshuffle in its executive ranks, prompted by head of distribution Paul Rogan’s decision to go part-time so he can pursue his own ‘fintech’ start-up.

A former chief financial officer at the $5.1 billion ASX-listed company, Rogan will remain in his current role of chief executive distribution marketing and research until February 1, 2017.

Rogan is stepping away from a full-time executive role “to pursue external interests”, according to a company statement released on Friday December 2, 2016. These will include a “fintech start-up”.

“Paul Rogan has made a significant contribution to Challenger over the past 11 years which has included building brand leadership, strong service capabilities and our annuity distribution footprint,” Challenger chief executive Brian Benari said.

Challenger Life chief executive Richard Howes will replace Rogan as chief executive, distribution, marketing and research. Howes will carry over his current responsibilities for life insurance products.

Rogan will continue to work with Challenger in a part-time consulting role throughout 2017 to smooth the transition for clients that distribute Challenger life insurance and annuity products.

In the past couple of years Challenger has inked a number of notable new distribution agreements, including with the retail adviser arm of AMP and super fund administrator Link Group. Super funds that now offer Challenger annuities to their members include CareSuper, Local Government Super, and Legal Super. The Commonwealth Bank’s retail wealth management arm Colonial First State is another client.

“Paul will remain with Challenger during 2017 to work with Richard as we expand our distribution relationships,” Benari said.

Challenger Life chief investment officer and principal executive officer Chris Plater will succeed Howes as Challenger Life chief executive.

Plater is already a member of the Challenger senior executive leadership team.

Challenger Life is the biggest division of Challenger Ltd, which also includes a wealth management division that encompasses the Fidante Partners boutiques.

An uptick in the group’s annuities business, and expected boom over the coming years as the government makes it compulsory for super funds to offer members a ‘comprehensive income product for retirement’, has driven a 26 per cent rise in Challenger’s share price over the past 12 months.

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