An interview with Richard Ward, the chief executive officer of Lloyd’s.

A moderniser: When Dr Richard Ward became CEO of Lloyd’s in 2006, he was tasked with the job of bringing it into the 21st century – not an easy task at an institution which dislikes change, and whose fingers had been burnt by the multi-million pound failure of Kinnect.

It was Ward’s success at modernising and in bringing together many divergent market participants at the London-based International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), re-branded ICE Futures, that secured him the job at Lloyd’s and has stood him in good stead for the task ahead.

The 51-year-old has been hard at work on reform. When he arrived, claims procedures produced so much paper that until recently, Lloyd’s was transporting about four tons of paper every day from London to Kent, some 50 miles away. By the end of 2007, Lloyd’s had reached its ambitious target of processing 90% of its claims electronically.

Customer claim-processing time in some classes of business was reduced by more than half, meaning customers were getting their money 50% faster than they were under the traditional manual process.

Q. Choose four adjectives to describe yourself.

A. Competitive, determined, flexible and questioning.

Q. Which historical figure do you most admire and why?

A. Einstein. The simplicity of E=MC2 is pure genius.

Q. Who in this industry do you most admire and why?

A. Warren Buffett – for doing the Equitas deal.

Q. Outside of this industry, what issue are you most passionate


A. Education.

Q. What qualities do you most admire in other people?

A. Commitment, loyalty, intelligence and humour.

Q. What qualities do you most dislike?

A. Intolerance and inflexibility.

Q. What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started in this industry?

A. I wish I had understood all of the jargon. There is still far too much in the industry.

Q. What was the last thing that completely surprised you?

A. The price of a cup of coffee in Monte Carlo.

Q. How do you unwind at the end of the day?

A. I spend time with my family – reading to my four-year-old son.

Q. What motivates you on a Monday morning?

A. Coffee and the challenges of my job.

Q. Whose job would you most like to have and why?

A. Ben Ainslie who is just about to helm the UK’s yacht in the America’s Cup Challenge.

Q. What is your biggest regret?

A. Not having learned a musical instrument.

Q. What are you most proud of having achieved?

A. Getting my PhD.

Q. What factors have enabled you to get where you are today?

A. Luck, timing, preparation and the support of my family. I am also indebted to my professor at Exeter University, Alan Leadbetter, who inspired and supported me through my PhD.