Lloyd’s has selected Richard Ward, former head of the London-based International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) as its new CEO.
Announcing the appointment, Lloyd’s Chairman Lord Peter Levene commented: “I am delighted that Richard has agreed to join Lloyd’s at such a critical time for the market. Lloyd’s has made huge progress in recent years and is in good shape but we are clear there is still much to do to improve the market’s efficiency and move to the next level. In Richard we will have a strong leader with deep first-hand understanding of financial markets, and the proven skill to drive and deliver change.
“At the IPE, he won consensus among market participants with often divergent interests. Those skills will be invaluable in his new role, where the key task is to provide the market with an efficient, modern platform. Senior market executives were centrally involved in the recruitment process, and have no doubt that Richard will make a significant positive impact on Lloyd’s.”
Lloyd’s began the search for a new CEO following the resignation of Nick Prettejohn last December, when he left to take over Aviva’s U.K. operations. Although Ward’s expertise would not seem to include any actual insurance experience he has a strong financial background and proven leadership skills.
The appointment of an outsider doesn’t come as too great a surprise either, as Lord Levene, who likewise had no background in insurance when he became Chairman, has indicated that he preferred someone from outside Lloyd’s to take over as CEO. A report last week in the Daily Telegraph had singled out Ward as the leading candidate and confirmed Levene’s desire for a non-Lloyd’s candidate as CEO.
In his six years as CEO of IPE, which has been re-branded as ICE Futures, in advance of the parent company listing on the NYSE in November 2005, Ward successfully “led it through a period of radical development designed to improve efficiency and profitability,” said the bulletin.
Commenting on his appointment, Ward stated: “Having spent many years running a financial market in the City of London, I am acutely aware that Lloyd’s is one of the great global brands and has made significant strides forward, overcoming major challenges. The market is in a strong financial position but is ambitious to move forward to the next stage. I am delighted to have the opportunity to lead Lloyd’s on that journey, and I look forward to working with such a highly-regarded market.”
Bronek Masojada, deputy chairman of Lloyd’s and chief executive of Hiscox plc welcomed Ward to his new post. “Lloyd’s task is to create a compelling platform for insurers, in the face of increasing competition for the business. That needs skilled and determined leadership,” he noted. “Richard has proved he has the skills to get complicated things done in a complex financial market. He is clearly someone not easily satisfied with the status quo, but with the proven ability to lead from the front to achieve necessary change.”
Charles Philipps, a member of Lloyd’s Council and chief executive of Amlin plc commented: “Richard has the drive and vision to grip the task of providing Lloyd’s franchisees with an outstanding platform, while looking to the future. That is no small task: it means making sure the Corporation of Lloyd’s raises its game, to deliver an excellent service to franchisees, with complete openness and transparency.”
Lloyd’s also explained that the “appointment is subject to his formal appointment to the Council of Lloyd’s as a Nominated member and confirmation of that appointment by the Governor of the Bank of England. Such confirmation has been received from the Governor. The appointment is also subject to approval by the Financial Services Authority.”
Assuming those formalities are completed, Ward will begin his new job on Monday, April 24.
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