Insurance and reinsurance market Lloyd’s of London has said that its chief executive Richard Ward will resign by the end of 2013 after serving the company for almost eight years.

Ward said, "This has not been an easy decision to make but, as Lloyd’s longest-serving CEO, I believe it is now right to hand over the reins to someone else to take Lloyd’s into its next chapter."

The Council of Lloyd’s and Franchise Board will now conduct a process to appoint a successor before the end of the year.

Richard Ward joined Lloyd’s as CEO in April 2006 and prior to this worked as both CEO and vice-chairman at the International Petroleum Exchange (IPE), which is re-branded as ICE Futures.

He held a range of senior positions at BP and is a board member of the Geneva Association, The Insurance Information Institute and a Council Member of the Heart of the City charity.

In 2013, 89 syndicates are underwriting insurance at Lloyd’s, covering all classes of business from more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.