Kirsty Cooper has been appointed the insurance and pensions champion for the government's expanded dormant assets scheme.
Cooper, who is general counsel and company secretary at Aviva, will take on the role in a bid to reunite financial services customers with their money.
The scheme has previously focussed on returning dormant assets from bank and building society accounts to customers, but the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is now seeking to expand it to other products, including insurance, stocks and shares, and pensions.
Cooper will be tasked with working the industry to improve reunification processes, develop appropriate definitions of ‘dormancy', and consider the practicalities of expanding the scheme in their sector.
Dormant products are generally classed as those where there has been no contact with customers for at least seven years after a policy has ended or, where there is no contractual end date, seven years after the customer has either reached old age or died.
If 15 years pass, the assets are then distributed for good causes, with Cooper also seeking improved pathways for this.
She said: "This is an opportunity to put unclaimed money to work for good causes. Since 2011, dormant assets schemes have already distributed hundreds of millions of pounds from unused bank and building society accounts to benefit the most vulnerable people in our society.
"With appropriate safeguards in place for consumers, we should be able to expand the scheme to other assets such as life and pensions policies."
Cooper joins three other industry champions: Lloyds Banking Group managing director of consumer banking Simon Kenyon for banking; M&G strategic adviser William Nott for investment and wealth management; and Tesco group company secretary Robert Welch for securities.
The four champions will report to ministers in DCMS and HM Treasury.
Sport and civil society minister Tracey Crouch said the scheme had already proven beneficial.
"The dormant assets scheme has made a real difference to people's lives across the country, with half a billion pounds already unlocked for good causes since 2011," she said. "I look forward to working alongside these four experts to see how more unclaimed assets can be used to help communities in the future."
Economic secretary to the Treasury John Glen added: "I'm delighted that these highly-experience business leaders have agreed to be our new industry champions. Their expertise will be vital as we look at ways to expand the scheme, and I look forward to working with them to reach even more people."
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