A replacement for Sian Fisher, the former managing director of Hiscox' FSA-regulated company, could be revealed within the next couple of months.

Sources close to the company said there was a "strong short list" and an announcement may be made as early as the autumn.

The source suggested that the replacement could come from a non-insurance background. "The net has been cast wide. Given Bronek's [Masojada, chief executive] background [as a management consultant] it wouldn't be illogical to look outside the insurance industry."

But the source added: "There is no pressure to fill the post until the right person is found."

Any replacement would be taking on a different role to that of Fisher. Since her departure, the Hiscox group has restructured to the effect that the appointee would be responsible for Hiscox's UK and European retail operation. Fisher was responsible for UK operations only.

Fisher resigned as managing director of Hiscox Insurance Company in February 2004. She has since emerged as head of operation at start-up company Oxygen.

Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada has been running Hiscox Insurance Company since Fisher's departure.

A spokeswoman for Hiscox said: "There are some strong candidates. We will make an announcement when the right person comes along."