Lloyd’s has confirmed that Inga Beale will step down in 2019 after five years as CEO as it begins a search for her successor.

Beale’s departure comes following months of speculation about her position in the wake of one of the market’s largest ever losses last year.

The exec took home £1.3mn ($1.8mn) in 2017 despite missing out on a potential £200,000 bonus related to the market’s overall profitability.

In a statement, Lloyd’s said Beale would leave the Corporation with a “strengthened reputation as one of the most respected and trusted insurance brands in the world”.

Beale said: “The decision to leave has been a tough one and when the time comes I will miss the energy, innovative spirit and expertise that I come across every working day.”

“Leading Lloyd’s is an honour and I am proud to have played a part in ensuring that it remains relevant and fit for purpose for the future.”

Lloyd’s chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown said: “In her five years at Lloyd’s, Inga has set in motion a series of changes aimed at modernising the market and making it more efficient and inclusive.”

“Her boldness and persistence have generated the momentum required to bring about real change.”

“I have very much enjoyed working with Inga, and I am grateful for the support she has given me in my first year as chairman.”

Lloyd’s was heavily scarred by the catastrophe losses of last year, which hit the Lloyd’s market with a £2bn pre-tax loss for 2017, a severe deterioration from the £2.1bn profit it reported for the previous year as the venerable institution’s combined ratio swelled to a hefty 114 percent.

Before becoming chief exec of the Corporation Beale was previously group chief executive of Canopius.

Prior to that she spent four years with Zurich Insurance Group as global chief underwriting officer.

Beale has also held senior roles at Swiss reinsurer Converium and GE Insurance Solutions, having started her career at Prudential.