- STM Group said it is very optimistic about the prospects for the group in 2014 and beyond.

"Intermediaries have struggled to find products that fit their clients' increasingly specific needs and, against this backdrop, we feel well positioned to benefit from our close relationships with this professional group," the company said in a statement.

It said the proposed changes in its board structure would allow the company to focus more specifically on the development of specialised products and distribution opportunities.

"This is client and intermediary led, giving us increased confidence in the market's appetite for these tailored solutions. Alan has excellent connections in the industry and, given his financial services experience, has a valuable insight into the needs of these client groups and how products can be designed to satisfy their needs," the company said.

"It remains that the European market has been slower than we would have liked however this is symptomatic of a slower return of confidence than we had anticipated.

At 8:16am: [LON:STM] STM Group PLC share price was 0p at 24p

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