* CEO Richard Brindle to retire on April 30
* Chief Underwriting Officer Alex Maloney to take over
* Maloney says co has had "good start" to the year
* Shares down as much as 5 pct
(Adds CEO, analyst comments; updates share movement)
April 16 Property and casualty insurer
Lancashire Holdings said head underwriting officer Alex
Maloney would take over as chief executive from Richard Brindle,
who founded the company in 2005.
The company's London-listed shares fell as much as 5 percent
after it said 51-year-old Brindle would retire as chief
executive and as a director on April 30.
"This shock announcement is likely to be taken negatively
initially, with Richard Brindle seen as the driving force behind
Lancashire," Espirito Santo analyst Sarah Lewandowski wrote in a
"However, there is a planned succession with Alex being
known to investors."
Maloney, 40, has held several roles at Lancashire since its
inception, the most recent being chief underwriting officer
while also heading the insurer's UK unit.
"We're not looking to change anything ... I think for us
it's pretty much business as usual," Maloney told Reuters.
"We have had a good start to 2014, and the acquisition of
Cathedral last year has bedded in well," he said.
Espirito's Lewandowski backed this up, saying the extra
underwriting strength from Lancashire's acquisition of Lloyd's
insurer Cathedral Capital last year would serve the company
well. She rates Lancashire's stock at 'buy'.
Paul Gregory, chief underwriter at Lancashire's UK division,
will become group chief underwriting officer, the insurer said.
Lancashire's stock, which also went ex-dividend on
Wednesday, was down 3.1 percent at 680.5 pence at 0925 GMT,
making it the second biggest percentage loser on the FTSE-250
(Reporting by Richa Naidu in Bangalore; Editing by Sunil Nair)