March 7, 2014 / 1:33 PM / 3 years ago

RSA names new head of Irish unit after accounting scandal

* Previous CEO resigned saying he was "fall-guy"

* RSA issued series of profit warnings last year

DUBLIN, March 7 (Reuters) - British insurer RSA has appointed an experienced industry executive to head its Irish unit, it said on Friday, as it seeks to draw a line under an accounting scandal.

Ken Norgrove will replace Philip Smith, who resigned as chief executive of the Irish business in November, saying he had become the "fall-guy" in the investigation into allegations of accounting problems.

Norgrove, who most recently ran Zurich General Insurance Ireland and has more than 25 years experience in the industry in Britain and Ireland, will take over from June 1, subject to approval by the central bank.

RSA's difficulties emerged last year with a series of profit warnings related to extreme weather in its Canadian and European core markets and the uncovering of the accounting irregularities in Ireland.

The accounting scandal led to the departure of a number of senior figures including the resignations of Smith and the group Chief Executive Simon Lee and the firing of two other executives at the Irish unit, Rory O'Connor and Peter Burke.

Norgrove previously worked for RSA for 24 years until 2010, during which he held various underwriting rules and became head of renewable energy and of small and medium-sized enterprises. He has been at Zurich since April 2011.

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