UPDATE 1-Dignity hands chairman role to top investor Phoenix's Channon

(Adds details from statement, background)

April 23 (Reuters) - Dignity Plc on Friday appointed top investor Phoenix Asset Management’s chief investment officer, Gary Channon, as chairman, replacing Clive Whiley who was ousted by shareholders a day earlier.

On Thursday, three independent directors of Dignity including interim Chief Financial Officer Dean Moore also resigned, following weeks of opposition by Phoenix over the handling of a strategic review.

However, Moore has agreed to serve as director for three months before he steps down, the company said, adding that a search will also begin for a non-executive chairman along with new independent non-executive directors.

Dignity’s new board would comprise a majority of independent directors, Channon said in a statement.

Phoenix, which had called for a shareholders vote in March over “very serious issues” in Dignity’s prepaid funerals business, said earlier this month it was not looking to control the company or its board. (Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)