The Association of British Insurers has appointed Stephen Sklaroff as deputy director general replacing the outgoing Tony Baker.
He will also be taking up the position of head of public and international affairs at the ABI.
Sklaroff was previously a director in the Department of Trade and Industry's energy team and head of communications in the DTI for three successive secretaries of state Margaret Beckett, Peter Mandelson and Stephen Byers.
The Edinburgh University and University College London-educated Sklaroff believes challenging times lie ahead of the insurance sector in the areas of regulation, consumer relations and international trade.
He identifies the evolving regulatory environment in the UK and the increasing impact of the consumer agenda on policy as key concerns.
He also believes the international trade policy issues of market entry and the European regulatory environment need to be addressed if the sector is to have a healthy future.
Sklaroff says: “I'm coming to the industry very fresh but I can see that there are a number of challenges facing the sector and we need to be prepared to meet them.”
The trade body is also looking to fill three other senior posts including finding a replacement for the current head of life and pensions Richard Hobbs who is leaving this summer.