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Lloyds CEO Horta-Osorio Replaces Consumer, Insurance Chiefs

Lloyds Banking Group Plc s CEO Antonio Horta Osorio
Lloyds Banking Group Plc s Chief Executive Officer Antonio Horta Osorio. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s Chief Executive Officer, Antonio Horta-Osorio, replaced the British lender’s consumer banking and insurance chiefs less than 10 days after taking up the job.

Helen Weir, head of the retail division, will step down and insurance chief Archie Kane, 58, will retire, the lender said in a statement today. Antonio Lorenzo, 44, who moved from Banco Santander SA’s U.K. unit with Horta-Osorio, will take over the Lloyds’s consumer and marketing units.

The departures leave only finance director Tim Tookey and wholesale head Truett Tate as the last surviving executive directors from Lloyds’s takeover of mortgage lender HBOS Plc, which led to 13 billion pounds ($21 billion) of losses and left the taxpayer owning 41 percent of the bank. Eric Daniels stepped down as CEO last month.

“The axman cometh,” said Ian Gordon, an analyst at Exane BNP Paribas said in a note to clients today. Investors “may broadly welcome his clean break with the old regime.”

Four of the bank’s top eight executives are now former Santander employees. Horta-Osorio appointed Juan Colombas, his chief risk officer at Santander, to the same job at Lloyds. Matt Young also moved from Santander to become corporate affairs director and member of Lloyds’s group executive committee.

2011 Targets

Horta-Osorio is reviewing the lender’s operations after taking over as CEO on March 1. He joined a bank is trying to reduce its balance sheet by 200 billion pounds by 2014. Lloyds has sold assets and cut more than 22,000 jobs since its bailout.

“These changes to the group’s management team will enable us to focus on meeting our 2011 targets, whilst putting in place some of the foundations which will enable us to deliver on our longer-term plans following the conclusion of the strategic review,” Horta-Osorio, 47, said in the statement.

Weir, 48, joined Lloyds as finance director in 2004 from home-improvement retailer Kingfisher Plc, where she held the same role. She took over the running of Lloyds’s consumer unit in 2008 and oversaw the integration of HBOS Plc’s consumer operations after Lloyds acquired the mortgage lender.

Kane is a former chairman of the Association of British Insurers, the industry lobby group, and CEO of Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. He joined TSB, a predecessor company of Lloyds, in 1986 and has sat on the board since 2000.

The bank will split its insurance operation into a life, pensions and investments division run by Phil Loney and a general insurer run by Andy Briggs. Joy Griffiths will continue to head the Lloyds TSB and Bank of Scotland Community Bank and David Nicholson will continue to run the Halifax Community Bank, Lloyds said today.

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