Lloyd's decision to hire Dr Richard Ward as its CEO
has been welcomed by reformers.

Dr Richard Ward, Lloyd's new CEO, is best known for establishing an electronic trading system at the International Petroleum Exchange, the second-largest energy market in the world where he served as chief executive officer. The 49-year-old from London, has been brought in with an understanding he will modernise the three-century-old insurance market, at a time where there are concerns that Bermuda has been taking business away from Lloyd's and reform is needed to keep competition at bay.

Ward began his career as a senior physicist, Lloyd's said in the statement. He later worked at BP, Europe's biggest oil company, where he served as head of business development and marketing from 1991 to 1994. Most recently, he ran the International Petroleum Exchange, which is now re-branded ICE Futures, from 1999 to 2005.

“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,” said Lord Levene, chairman of Lloyd's. “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.” Lord Levene, who also came from outside the insurance industry said Ward's key task was to “provide the market with an efficient, modern platform”.

In a statement Ward, who is not giving any interviews until he takes up his post on 24 April, said the market was 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,” he said. His appointment follows a lengthy search after Nick Prettejohn, 45, left in December following six years running Lloyd's to head the UK business of Prudential, the UK's second largest insurer.