Former QBE boss expected to be announced as new Lloyd's CEO

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John Neal is expected to take over from Inga Beale as CEO by the end of the year (Source: Getty)

The former head of Australian insurance giant QBE is expected to be named as Dame Inga Beale's replacement as chief executive of Lloyd's of London.

John Neal's appointment was reportedly approved at a Lloyd's council meeting yesterday.

This came after Neal was recommended by the Lloyd's Remuneration committee, spearheaded by chair and former RSA chief executive Andy Haste.

Neal is expected to return to the UK to take the helm at the underwriter before the end of the year, according to Re-insurance.com, which revealed the news.

Lloyd's declined to comment.

Neal served for five years as chief executive for QBE.

He stepped down from the role at the end of 2017, following profit warnings in October which provoked unease among QBE's shareholders.

Neal had attempted to simplify the company, which had been expanded significantly by a wave of acquisitions made by his long-standing predecessor Francis O'Halloran.

His writedown of the value of the firm's acquisitions led to a stock price crash in 2013.

However, it was reported that his experience in leading the turnaround of QBE during a difficult period had been a deciding factor in Lloyd's offering him the role.

At the time of his departure from QBE, chairman Marty Becker thanked Neal, saying he "led the business through a significant transformation and a challenging period in the insurance industry globally".

Re-insurance.com reported that Lloyd's chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown was seeking a leader with significant international experience and who had former experience at the UK insurer.

Neal had previously served as an underwriter at Lloyd's before moving to QBE, and has worked in the insurance industry across international markets for decades.