Barton goes in surprise move at Lloyd's insurer

Faraday chief executive Nigel Barton has quit after a difference of opinion with Joseph Brandon, chief executive of Faraday's owner General Re.

Stunned staff were told on Monday that Barton is to be replaced by Milan Vukelic, manager of General Re's alternative solutions business.

Barton said: "There's been a difference of approach for a while.

"It was so stark in some respects that it was better for me to step down.

"I want nothing but the best for Faraday.

"If by my leaving, General Re changes some of its views, that would be great.

"If I'm the grit in the Vaseline, then it's better that I should go."

Barton, 44, said he was "jumping into thin air".

He had no plans for the future and was in discussion over the duration of a likely period of gardening leave.

But he remains chairman of Lloyd's market reform group and said he was "not going to let grass grow under my feet".

After 18 years at the Lloyd's insurer, he admitted it was difficult to clear his desk.

"It's been my baby," he said.

General Re controls 99.4% of Faraday's Syndicate 435 and plans to buy the rest.

Hans-Peter Gerhardt, chairman of Faraday and executive vice president of General Re, will act as chief executive until Vukelic takes the helm in January.

Brandon credited Barton with building Faraday into the "first class organisation that is today".

He said: "We are delighted that we most likely will be providing 100% of Faraday's capacity in 2003."