Centuries-old insurer Lloyd′s of London′s first female CEO to step down | News | DW | 29.06.2018
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Centuries-old insurer Lloyd's of London's first female CEO to step down

Inga Beale's departure comes as the 332-year-old insurance entity struggles to retain market share and stem losses despite a modernization drive. Beale leaves in 2019, but the search for a successor is already underway.

Lloyd's of London's chief executive, Inga Beale, will step down in 2019, after having led the centuries-old global insurance market for five years.

Lloyd's said that the exact date of Beale's departure had not yet been decided and that the search for her successor was underway.

Beale's exit comes as the 332-year-old insurance market faces competition from rival centers such as Singapore and Bermuda and struggles to stem losses despite a modernization drive under the outgoing CEO's stewardship.

"The decision to leave has been a tough one and when the time comes I will miss the energy, innovative spirit and expertise that I come across every working day," Beale said in a statement announcing her exit.

Beale, the first woman to head Lloyd's, has striven hard to promote diversity in the white, male-dominated market, which is made up of more than 80 insurance syndicates.

"In her five years at Lloyd's, Inga has set in motion a series of changes aimed at modernizing the market and making it more efficient and inclusive," Lloyd's chairman, Bruce Carnegie-Brown, said. "Her boldness and persistence have generated the momentum required to bring about real change."

Earlier this year, Lloyd's posted its first annual loss in six years after a string of devastating hurricanes and other natural disasters in North America and the Caribbean.

Beale's Brexit plans

Beale's departure comes as Lloyd's — which focuses on specialized insurance risks, from oil rigs to footballers' legs — prepares for life after Brexit with the opening of a Brussels unit in early 2019.

It was under Beale's leadership that Lloyd's decided last year to open a European subsidiary in Brussels after the triggering of Britain's EU Brexit departure.

"The decision to actually set up a subsidiary was not the difficult decision, because we have to do that," Beale said in an interview. "We would no longer be able to provide insurance for our customers in the EU. Only the location was a difficult decision."

ap/jm (Reuters, AFP)

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