Sudden departure at Lloyd's

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The Independent Online
Lloyd's of London yesterday announced the abrupt departure of Rosalind Gilmore, one of its top regulatory executives. She is to resign her key position as director of regulatory services at the insurance market after barely one year in the job, suggesting a falling out with Lloyd's management.

Mrs Gilmore, 58, has been charged with revamping Lloyd's system of self- regulation. This has come in for strong criticism for failing to deal with the practices that helped push the market to the verge of collapse.

Mrs Gilmore's surprise departure reflects the fact that she has failed to make her mark with the new Lloyd's establishment, society insiders said. Hers will be the second recent senior executive departure from Lloyd's, following the earlier announcement that Heidi Hutter is to leave after completing the setting-up of the Equitas re-insurance business.

Mrs Gilmore came to Lloyd's in December 1994 with a formidable reputation as a high-flying civil servant, and was earlier this year one of the names widely tipped to take the job of deputy governor of the Bank of England after the sudden resignation of Rupert Pennant-Rea. But the regulatory job at Lloyd's appears to have been less satisfactory than initially expected, insiders said. The official reason given for Mrs Gilmore's departure is that, with her husband now retired, she wants to step down from a full- time executive role, and will be looking for some non-executive appointments. She is to stay on as a member of the Lloyd's Regulatory Board under Sir Alan Hardcastle.

David Gittings, currently director of the surveillance division of the Securities and Futures Authority, the City watchdog, is to join Lloyd's next month, and has been appointed director-designate of regulatory services.

Lloyd's status as a self-regulated market has come in for widespread criticism, reflecting general agreement that significant changes are required. The Treasury and Civil Service Committee earlier this year called for a full review, recommending that there should be an independent, external regulator for Lloyd's. Changes of this scale will require legislative revision of the 1982 Lloyd's Act, which is considered unlikely for the foreseeable future.

In an attempt to meet the criticism, Lloyd's has been working on finding ways of replicating as far as possible the idea of independent regulation within the current framework. Mrs Gilmore's review has concentrated on shifting de facto the power for regulation from the Lloyd's management council, where it lies under the Lloyd's Act, to the Regulatory Board.

The Treasury committee report, issued in May, said the massive losses sustained by the insurance market since the late Eighties were in part due to the society's inability to regulate itself, and condemned what it called the continued intimacy between the regulatory and management functions.