Tony Baker, deputy director general of the ABI, has resigned from the association six months after failing to secure the top job of director general.

Baker, who has been deputy director general for the past six years and has been with the ABI and its predecessor organisation, the British Insurance Association, since 1971, will leave at the end of February.

He told Insurance Times that he had enjoyed an excellent working relationship with Mary Francis, the external candidate who beat him to the director generalship last year.

He added that he would have stayed on with the ABI had a new role been found that would have brought "a new challenge and excitement". However, he foresaw that the "next year or two would have been pretty much like the last year or two" in terms of the issues he dealt with. This was entirely due to the opportunities not existing within the ABI.

Looking to the future, he said he would make an announcement in due course. Francis declined to comment on whether she had explored creating a new role for Baker.

"Tony has made a major contribution to the industry and the association over very many years and his experience and enthusiasm will be greatly missed." A successor will be announced shortly, she added.