So Lloyd's has appointed its new CEO; every headline understandably goes for the 'first woman' angle and heralds this as the signifier of change. It is undoubtedly historic but the cynic in me might ask what took Lloyd's so long (324 years!) and why are there so few women in leading positions in the London Insurance market?
But those are questions for another day; we should be more interested in what Inga will actually do for the market. Lloyd's is at a critical point in its history and serious competitive pressures are piling in on a market that is still viewed as antiquated, opaque and hard to fathom to anyone outside (or even inside).
The fundamental question now is does Lloyd's have a future?
I would say there are three areas that Inga Beale should focus on;
I have worked a little with Inga and she is an impressive and savvy businesswoman, however to be successful in the Lloyd's job she must make change happen and that task cannot be underestimated. The biggest challenge of all is to address a staid and complacent market culture. The expertise and talent is there in London but to be successful it must be mobilised, re-energised, reconfigured and refocused to serve the customer, not its own interests.
Hold onto that thought and you will have a chance of making a success of this brilliant opportunity.
Good luck Inga.