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It has been confirmed that the search for the replacement for Jon Hancock, the head of Lloyd’s Performance Management Directorate, who departed at the beginning of this month to take up a role at AIG, has been delayed by COVID-19 and a change in the planned role.

 

Lloyd’s CEO John Neal will continue to operate as interim Performance Management Director until September to oversee the 2021 business planning process.

As previously reported, the appointee will serve in a broader role to Hancock’s, which we now learn will be entitled ‘Chief of Markets’.

In a letter to the market, Neal explained that: “The departure of Lloyd’s Performance Management Director Jon Hancock has presented us with an opportunity to rethink this role, specifically to create a new senior position of Chief of Markets. The Chief of Markets will be responsible for the overall wellbeing of the Lloyd’s platform, from customer and distribution through to underwriting businesses. This person will lead Lloyd’s market oversight activities as well as managing the relationship with distribution partners and running Lloyd’s global network.”

In explaining the cause for the delay in the recruitment of Hancock’s successor, Neal commented: “This is a critical role for Lloyd’s and whilst we were clear at the outset that it would take time to identify the right candidate, the COVID-19 pandemic has created additional complexities and delays. Market performance remains front and centre of everything that we do at Lloyd’s, and is important that we do not interrupt or create distractions to the crucial 2021 business planning cycle that is about to commence.”

In the same letter Neal confirmed that it is the intention to reopen the trading floor on September 1st whilst adhering to all the relevant Government guidelines.

Alpha comment:  this latest update confirms unofficial suggestions that Jon Hancock’s successor will not be in place to scrutinise of syndicates’ 2021 business plans this summer, an exercise which instead will be overseen by John Neal. We are comforted that “ Market performance remains front and centre of everything we do at Lloyd’s” and we understand that the overall market will not be allowed to grow for 2021, in spite of the improving market conditions, suggesting a consistency of approach post Hancock’s departure. We note that the position of ‘Chief of Markets’ appears to include responsibility for managing relations with the broking community, in addition to the pre-existing remit of driving improvement in syndicates’ underwriting standards. Though these two facets are inextricably linked, bridging these competing interests will require a deft touch. We quite understand the rationale for postponing the search for the right candidate to fulfil this demanding role as improved market performance is vital and await further news later this year with great interest.