Inga Beale first female Lloyd’s CEO

Inga Beale first female Lloyd’s CEO

The Council of Lloyd’s has announced that Inga Beale will be the next chief executive of Lloyd’s of London.

Beale will be the first woman chief executive of the London insurance market in its 325 years’ history.

She will move to the Lloyd’s job in January, leaving her current position as CEO of Lloyd’s market underwriter Canopius Group.

“Lloyd’s is already an international leader, but this unique market has an extraordinary opportunity to increase its footprint and to cement its position as the global hub for specialist insurance and reinsurance,” said Beale in a statement.

“I’m looking forward to working with the Lloyd’s team and the wider market to deliver a strategy for profitable and sustainable growth alongside Lloyd's robust market oversight,” she added.

Canopius announced that Michael Watson, the insurer and reinsurer's executive chairman, would take over the CEO role from Beale, pending necessary regulatory approvals.

“I congratulate Inga on her appointment and offer her our thanks for her valued contribution over the past two years and our best wishes for her new role. She leaves Canopius, which has just celebrated its tenth birthday, as a strong and successful business with an experienced management team and a clearly defined strategy for profitable growth,” said Watson.

Richard Ward, the previous CEO of Lloyd’s, resigned from the role in July this year. He joined Lloyd’s as CEO in 2006. It was announced earlier this month that he will take up the chairmanship role at Brit Insurance.

Ward’s departure sparked industry speculation about who might lead the London insurance market next. John Nelson became chairman of Lloyd’s in October 2011.

“I am absolutely delighted that we have appointed Inga as chief executive. She has 30 years’ experience in the insurance industry,” said Nelson, in a statement.

Before Canopius, Beale spent four years at Zurich Insurance, where she served as the insurer’s global chief underwriting officer. 

Beale started her career as an underwriter at Prudential, before spending 14 years in a variety of international roles for GE Insurance Solutions.

She was also CEO of Converium, another Swiss insurer which was acquired by Scor in 2007.

“Her CEO experience, underwriting background, international experience and operational skills, together with her knowledge of the Lloyd's market, make Inga the ideal chief executive for Lloyd's. I very much look forward to working with her,” said Nelson.

News of Beale’s appointment at Lloyd’s was accompanied by reports today that Canopius may be acquired by Sompo Japan Insurance. The Japanese firm is reportedly interested in buying Canopius outright, with 100bn yen ($969m) of Sompo’s own capital for the Lloyd’s insurer.

Canopius released a statement saying: “The attractions of Lloyd's as a platform for the transaction of global specialty insurance and reinsurance have rarely been more highly prized than they are currently.

“Against that background it is to be expected that Canopius would be the subject of potential acquisition interest, recognising the strength of our franchise and reputation, our scale, our position as one of a handful of privately owned Lloyd’s businesses and the ten year duration of our private equity backing.”

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