Victor Blake has been appointed the new executive chairman of the London Underwriting Centre (LUC).

The LUC founder chairman takes over from Ken Haddon, who retired on 1 January 2002.

Blake helped create the LUC and persuaded 24 companies to back it when it first opened in 1993. Today the LUC market building is at the heart of the Company Market and accounts for an estimated $8bn (£5.5bn) premium income.

Blake said: "Returning to the LUC as chairman is a proud moment for me.

"Since it opened, the LUC has more than proved its worth as a central hub of the London insurance market."

LUC managing director John Sprawson said: "We are delighted to welcome Victor. He played a hugely important part, from the beginning, in establishing the LUC as the successful and dynamic international centre that it is today."

Blake began working in insurance in 1963. He launched CNA Re International with initial capital of $5m (£3.5m) and later led the initial public offering of LaSalle Re on the NASDAQ in 1995.

The LUC currently houses 35 insurance and reinsurance companies in 300,000sqft of office space.