Lloyds launches chairman hunt as Sir Win Bischoff seeks exit

 

The starting pistol was fired today on the race to find the next chairman of Lloyds Banking Group as current chairman Sir Win Bischoff said he wanted to retire no later than next year’s annual meeting.

Bischoff, who was drafted into the taxpayer-rescued bank in July 2009, formally took over from Sir Victor Blank in September of that year.

His successor will have the tricky task of returning Lloyds fully to the private sector, with the Government keen to sell the 39 per cent stake it took after the £20 billion bailout in 2009.

At the same time, senior banking sources said, the new chairman is almost certainly going to have to be someone with a strong banking or financial services background and the ability  to work with Government and regulators.

Immediately obvious candidates for the role are the deputy Governor of the Bank of England Paul Tucker and former JPMorgan banker and member of the Independent Commission on Banking Bill Winters.

But there is a strong chance the new chairman of Lloyds could be the first female at the top of a High Street UK bank.

Bischoff has been one of the strongest supporters of the 30 per cent Club, which aims to get more women on major companies boards and has appointed three to Lloyds’ 10-strong board. Female candidates could include Ann Godbehere, the formidable former finance director of Northern Rock immediately after its privatisation, and Anita Frew, the Scottish financier who is already a non-executive at Lloyds.

Bischoff, 72, has overseen a massive change at Lloyds, clearing out the entire board and almost every single senior executive.

He also took temporary charge of the bank when chief executive Antonio Horta-Osorio was off for two months with extreme exhaustion in late 2011.

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