Argo Group International, an underwriter of specialty insurance and reinsurance products, has appointed John Spencer as non-executive chairman of Argo Managing Agency, which conducts business under the trade name, Argo International.

He is currently a non-executive director of the Argo International board and will replace David Spiller as non-executive chairman.

Spencer’s appointment, which is effective immediately, is pending approval from the FSA and Lloyd’s.

Spiller has agreed to stay on as a non-executive director while a search is conducted for a new director.

Spencer has served as a non-executive director of the Argo International board since 2008. He also sits on the boards of Ultimate Risk Solutions and Newline Underwriting Management and is an advisory director of SFRi.

Previously, he was CEO of BMS Group, the specialist insurance and reinsurance broker.

Spiller said since joining the board in 2008, John has played a vital role and we’ve always envisioned that he would eventually step into the chairman role.

"He takes on this leadership position at an exciting time and will continue to provide strong support for the management team," Spiller said.

Argo Group president and CEO Mark Watson said as non-executive chairman, David was instrumental in charting the strategic direction of Argo’s Syndicate at Lloyd’s.