Lloyd's is likely to appoint a chief executive from outside the insurance industry after top managing agency bosses have been ruled out of consideration, Insurance Times has learned.

It is understood that the list of potential candidates has now been whittled down to a "medium list" of between five and 10 suitable contenders, prior to selecting a final short list.

A market source who has seen the list of candidates told Insurance Times that none of the chief executives of the major managing agencies was in contention.

This would rule out Amlin chief executive Charles Philipps and Hiscox chief executive Bronek Masojada who have been touted as a potential successors to Nick Prettejohn. Prettejohn stepped down at the end of last year to take up a position at Prudential.

The source also said that Charles Roxburgh, head of UK financial institutions practice at McKinsey, was on the initial list of potential candidates but had not made the cut. Last week, McKinsey confirmed Roxburgh was not in consideration.

But the source said the list still contained at least one senior Lloyd's corporation candidate. Although he did not reveal any names, Lloyd's director of worldwide markets Julian James is thought to be the leading internal candidate.

Rolf Tolle, Lloyd's franchise performance director, has also been suggested as a candidate.

The source said: "The appointment is being made in consultation with the top managing agents." He added that it was likely that the

candidate chosen by Lord Levene would be "an insurance outsider", although an internal Lloyd's candidate might be get the chief executive job by default if the top external candidates turned down an offer.

A non-insurance candidate would fit in with the style of Simon Hearn of Russell Reynolds Associates, one of the two headhunters retained by Lloyd's to find Prettejohn's replacement.

He is understood to favour bringing in skills from outside the insurance market.

Rating agencies and the Lloyd's market are understood to be keen for Prettejohn's replacement to be named as soon as possible.

Last week Lloyd's chairman Lord Levene said he hoped to be able to name a new chief executive by the end of March.

Lloyd's was unavailable for comment.