Agnew leads Taylor by a length for the top job at Lloyd's

People & Business

So who will replace Sir David Rowland as chairman of Lloyd's of London? A puff of white smoke is expected from the Lloyd's Council meeting in Lime Street today and Jonathan Agnew, former head man at Kleinwort Benson, is widely tipped for the job. Which is not to say that Max Taylor, chief operations officer of Willis Corroon, is completely out of the running.

Sir David Rowland was appointed on 1 January 1993. The chairman of the insurance market usually serves for three years. A firm of headhunters was commissioned this year and ended up with a shortlist of three - Mr Agnew, Mr Taylor and Adam Broadbent, a former director of Schroders.

The shortlist has been handed to a panel set up by Lloyd's to select a new chairman, headed by Sir Jeremy Morse. This panel reports to Lloyd's main council today.

Apparently Mr Broadbent has dropped off the list and Mr Agnew is leading Mr Taylor by a length. Interesting that two of the candidates should be former corporate finance men. Mr Broadbent did much to build Schroders' department before he retired from the merchant bank two years ago.

He also played a huge role in making the Schroders' connection with Wertheim in New York work, and is looked upon in the City as "well-respected, active and energetic". He is a director of Carclo Engineering of Sheffield, a specialist maker of wire and cabling.

Mr Agnew is also a former corporate financier who reached the top at Kleinwort before it was swallowed by Dresdner Bank. An old boy of Eton, the Sorbonne and Trinity, Cambridge, Mr Agnew worked on The Economist, in Hill Samuel and in Morgan Stanley, as well as Kleinwort and his own financial consultancy, JGW Agnew.

Now Mr Agnew is chairman of Limit, the largest corporate investor in Lloyd's, which recently acquired two of Lloyd's largest managing agencies, Bankside and Janson Green. Which helps explain why he is the favourite for the Lloyd's chairmanship.

Skip this paragraph if you're squeamish. The national symbol of South Africa is the springbok, a deer-like animal. Tourist shops in South Africa sell springbok skins. Following last Saturday's Test series victory by the British Lions over the Springbok rugby team, visiting British fans have taken to buying springbok skins and wearing them as a symbol of triumph, I am told. Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "skinned alive".

Barclays Bank's investment banking arm, BZW, has promoted Graeme White from managing director, BZW Private Equity UK, to head of BZW Private Equity following the retirement of Errol Bishop.

Mr Bishop had his retirement bash on Monday, having been with the firm since 1981.

Mr White, 44, will take over responsibility for the operation world- wide, including France, Germany, Italy, Hong Kong and the US. BZW's specialist infrastructure team, which will establish an equity fund for investing in UK projects, will also report to him.

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