RSA chairman Martin Scicluna is expected to step down from the UK insurance group next year, according to reports.

Martin Scicluna – RSA

It is understood the London-listed insurer has begun a search for a successor to Scicluna, who also chairs British supermarket group Sainsbury’s, according to Sky News, citing sources.

Former conservative trade minister Baroness Fairhead was seen as a strong contender to replace Scicluna, the sources said. Fairhead was recently named chair of the listed industrial group Electrocomponents.

However, the search process is at a relatively early stage, with an announcement not likely until next year, Sky News reported.

A former chairman of Deloitte, Scicluna was named chairman of RSA in January 2013.

He is a financial services veteran and has previously served as chair of Great Portland Estates Limited, senior independent director and audit committee chair of Worldpay Group plc, and non-executive director and chair of the audit committee at Lloyds Banking Group plc.

RSA has recently come under fire as one of the eight insurers involved in the UK Financial Conduct Authority’s High Court test case into disputed business interruption claims emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Shares in RSA were trading 0.5 percent higher at 432.05 pence per share shortly after Monday’s open.