Clive Bannister will replace Jonathan Moss as group chief executive of Phoenix Group, the specialist consolidator of closed life funds.
The Phoenix board says it has agreed with Moss this is the right time for a leadership change.
It has accepted his resignation as a director with immediate effect, though Moss will remain to help with the handover until 31 July 2011.
Bannister is the former group managing director of insurance and asset management at HSBC, where he led the global insurance business and its 8,500 employees.
He also led HSBC Global Asset Management with 2,000 employees and assets under management of $426bn as at 31 December 2009.
Ron Sandler, Phoenix chairman, says: "Clive has the leadership and strategic skills that are needed to realise the very considerable opportunities that we see for Phoenix Group, and to ensure that the interests of our six million customers are properly looked after."
Phoenix says it remains on track to deliver on all its 2010 financial targets.
It expects to benefit from further consolidation of the UK's closed life sector, which the company believes is inevitable given upcoming changes in the regulatory and capital requirements for banks and insurance companies.
Annuity market worth £4bn in 2017
For ‘distress’ caused
Oversees £30bn of advised and D2C assets
Less than a third of top paid employees are women
£1bn business since inception