Lloyd's boss to get back in the saddle?

Antonio Horta-Osorio took a leave of absence earlier this year due to exhaustion. Now chilled out and topped up on sleep, he wants to return. But is he fit to race?

by Rebecca Burn-Callander
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

When Antonio Horta-Osorio stepped down in November, the odds were against his ever returning. But today, the word on the street is that he’s itching to get back to the bank and resume his duties.  

Of course, wanting to return and actually returning are two very different things. The Lloyd's board is wary of Horta-Osorio now. He’ll have to undergo stringent health checks before he’s even allowed past the first post. This won’t just be a quick tap on the knee and ‘cough, please’. A specialist is charged with going through 15 years' worth of medical records to make sure that he is truly back in rude health.

Horta-Osorio must then face a grilling by management. He is to meet with each member of the board in turn and convince them individually that he is fit to take the reins once more. The interviews will probably centre on the lessons learned from the past year, and questions over his ability to delegate. Before he stepped down, the ex-Santander boss was a good fit for the taxpayer-owned bank - his ability is undeniable - but he needs to be in it for the long run to convince investors. 

Horta-Osorio has a lot to lose if these negotiations turn sour. While he is still owed a full year’s salary and bonus by Lloyd's should his leave of absence prove rather more permanent, he loses out on generous pension. The shares he received when he joined Lloyd's have also lost nearly half of their original £5m value. 

Will the man who ran away live to fight another day? BBC business editor Robert Peston says he’ll be back in the saddle by the new year. Let’s just hope he’ll have a little more help this time round.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

Reopening: Your duty is not to the economy, it’s to your staff

Managers are on shaky ground if they think they can decide for people what constitutes...

How COVID changes the world forever: A thought experiment

Silicon Valley ‘oracle’ Tim O’Reilly imagines how different sectors could emerge from the pandemic.

The CEO's guide to switching off

Too much hard work is counterproductive. Here four leaders share how they ease the pressure....

What Lego robots can teach us about motivating teams

People crave meaningful work, yet managers can so easily make it all seem futile.

What went wrong at Debenhams?

There are lessons in the high street store's sorry story.

How to find the right mentor or executive coach

One minute briefing: McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy.