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Lloyd's of London to replace Inga Beale with former QBE boss John Neal

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The former head of one of Australia’s biggest companies is taking the top job at Lloyd's of London 14 years after leaving the 332-year-old insurance market. 
John Neal, who ran insurance giant QBE from 2012 until last year, beat 14 other external candidates for the chief executive role after current boss Inga Beale shocked the City by resigning in June. He will replace Ms Beale on Oct 15, meaning she will leave months before the end of her year-long notice period, and much earlier than initially anticipated. She became Lloyd's first female chief executive in 2014. Mr Neal started his career at Lloyd's in 1985 and spent almost two decades there before leaving to set up a car insurance firm. The company was later sold to QBE.

He became chief executive of QBE, one of the world's largest insurance firms, in 2012 until late last year after the company issued a profit warning. He also had his pay cut by A$550,000 (£340,000) after failing to notify QBE's board about an office romance. 

Lloyd's of London chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown, who has not worked with Mr Neal before, told The Telegraph that he set out finding a new chief with a list of six must-haves. 
He wanted someone from the insurance industry with international, business transformation and chief executive experience, as well as team building skills and "someone who wanted the job". "It's quite difficult to do and doesn't pay as well as other jobs, so you need a passion for the opportunity," he said.


Lloyd's has lost a number of senior staff in recent months, with Ms Beale resigning in June, its chief commercial officer Vincent Vandendael quitting last week and its finance head John Parry resigning in May. Mr Carnegie-Brown said: "It's always a moment of inflection when you change CEO, so other people think about their futures in that context. It's better that these things don't happen, but they can also bring opportunities [for others in the business]."  He said an immediate priority for Mr Neal will be overseeing the launch of Lloyd’s of London's post-Brexit hub in Brussels. He acknowledged that it was a "challenging time for the global insurance industry".Senior executives at Lloyd's missed out on a payout linked to its performance plan last year after it swung to a loss for the first time in six years. The fall came as the amount it paid out for claims more than doubled following a series of devastating storms. 

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