IAG share price higher amid news of legal counsel's departure

There is some unexpected news from the ASX 200 insurance giant today.

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The Insurance Australia Group Ltd (ASX: IAG) share price is 2.53% higher at $6.07 on Wednesday.

The ASX 200 insurer is trading close to its 52-week high of $6.10 after a phenomenal year in which it delivered one of the biggest profit increases of any ASX 200 company.

Before the market open today, the insurer put out a statement announcing its Group General Counsel and Company Secretary, Peter Horton, is leaving the company with immediate effect.

IAG Managing Director and CEO Nick Hawkins said:

The company has concluded that Mr Horton's behaviour has fallen short of the expectations in IAG's employee Code of Ethics and Conduct. This includes the importance of being inclusive and respectful, and we will hold people to account if they fail to meet these expectations.

Horton joined IAG in 2019. The company said it will start a search for his replacement shortly.

What's happening with the IAG share price?

The IAG share price has risen by more than 30% in the year to date.

At the recent annual general meeting, IAG reaffirmed its earnings guidance for FY24.

The insurer expects low double-digit growth in gross written premiums (GWP) and a higher insurance profit margin in FY24.

IAG reported a 10.6% increase in GWP to $14.7 billion in FY23.

Its net profit after tax (NPAT) rose by 140% to $832 million.

The company expects to achieve a reported insurance margin of between 13.5% and 15.5% on an anticipated insurance profit of between $1.2 billion and $1.45 billion in FY24.

This compares to a reported FY23 margin of 9.6% on an insurance profit of $803 million.

At the AGM, IAG chair Tom Pockett said total shareholder returns amounted to 33% in FY23.

We recently took a look at which ASX financial share will pay the best dividend yield in FY24 based on consensus forecasts. IAG shares fell in the middle of the pack with a 27-cent annual dividend prediction.

Check out my colleague Tristan's recent article on the outlook for IAG shares in 2024.

Motley Fool contributor Bronwyn Allen has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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