Lloyd’s of London Names Nelson Chairman to Replace Levene

Lloyd’s of London, the world’s oldest insurance market, named John Nelson chairman, replacing Peter Levene, who is stepping down after nine years.

Nelson, chairman of property investment trust Hammerson Plc (HMSO), will take up the position when Levene’s term ends in October, Lloyd’s said in a statement today. Nelson, 63, will step down later this year as deputy chairman of Kingfisher Plc, Europe’s largest home-improvement retailer.

Lloyd’s insurers were hurt last year by earthquakes in Chile and New Zealand, flooding in Australia, as well as the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion, which caused a spill of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Full-year profit dropped 44 percent on catastrophe-related claims, Lloyd’s said last month.

“Events in Japan, New Zealand and Australia remind us of the vital role Lloyd’s and other insurers play in helping communities and businesses rebuild after disaster,” Nelson said in today’s statement.

Nelson worked at Lazard Ltd. for 13 years before becoming chairman of Credit Suisse First Boston’s European arm in 1999. He retired three years later. He will remain chairman of Hammerson after taking up the position at Lloyd’s.

Levene, 69, joined Lloyd’s in 2002 when the market was reeling from record losses after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York. He oversaw the creation of a so-called Franchise Board, which monitors underwriting data on a day-to-day basis and aims to limit insurers accumulating excessive risk. Last year, he started NBNK Investments Plc to buy U.K. bank assets.

Nelson will receive an annual salary of 525,000 pounds ($854,000) from Lloyd’s. Levene earned 816,000 pounds as Lloyd’s chairman in 2009, including a salary of 632,000 pounds, according to the market’s annual report.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kevin Crowley in London at kcrowley1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net

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