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Lloyd's of London appoints first ever female chief executive Inga Beale

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Lloyd's of London insurance has appointed its first ever female chief executive in its 325-year history, succeeding Richard Ward.

Inga Beale, an industry veteran who was previously head of privately-held insurance and reinsurance Canopius, will take up the role in January 2014.

Beale, who has also held senior roles at Converium and Zurich, follows in the footsteps of other high-profile female business leaders in the City including Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London, and Charlotte Hogg, chief operating officer at the Bank of England.

"Her CEO experience, underwriting background, international experience and operational skills, together with her knowledge of the Lloyd's market, make Inga the ideal Chief Executive for Lloyd's," said Lloyd's chairman John Nelson in a statement.

Outgoing boss Ward, who is leaving the City insurance institution at the end of the month, is set to join Brit Insurance in February next year.