Reg Brown has announced he is to stand down as managing director of Markel Syndicate Management after winning Insurance Personality of the Year at the Insurance Industry Awards.

Brown, who was due to retire in 18 months' time, said: “I have completed the first phase of the agency's plans to be one of the most profitable operations at Lloyd's and have achieved this in a much shorter timescale than I had envisaged.

“As I am nearing retirement, I believe this is a timely opportunity to pass the baton.”

Brown said the date for his departure had yet to be agreed. He said: “We are going to be discussing this matter over the next week or so.”

He said that the timing of his departure was unconnected with AM Best's recent decision to downgrade Markel's credit rating from A to A-.

Andreas Loucaides, active underwriter at Markel Syndicate 702, said: “Over the last 16 years Reg Brown has built 702 into the successful syndicate it is today.”