The former head of the International Petroleum Exchange, Richard Ward, is to take over as chief executive of the UK insurance market Lloyd's of London.

Mr Ward has no previous experience of the insurance industry, and takes up his role at the specialist insurance market in April 2006. He replaces the previous incumbent Nick Prettejohn. Mr Prettejohn left Lloyd’s to join life insurer Prudential.

It will be the first time in the market’s history that both its chief executive and chairman, Lord Levene, will come from a non-insurance background.