In his new role, Watkins will lead Pru’s campaign to help investment advisers incorporate protection into their sales processes.

Watkins is a veteran who has spent the last 30 years at Friends Provident, which included a three-year stint as director of its UK individual protection businesses.

Meanwhile, as a measure of developing the provider’s relationships with wealth management intermediaries, PruProtect has a new team of 20 business consultants who are specifically recruited from wealth and investment backgrounds.

The move has led to expanding PruProtect’s account management team to 160 people.

Commenting on the move, distribution and marketing director Justin Taurog said: "Many advisers are re­assessing their holistic offerings as part of their business review in light of the RDR. At PruProtect we believe protection is a fundamental part of any financial planning toolkit. We have invested in a new team with a specific skillset, primed to assist wealth advisers looking to integrate protection into their advice portfolio."