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Former MI6 chief Sir Richard Dearlove joins Insurance Day Summit line-up

Non-executive chairman at Ascot Underwriting will discuss government-backed espionage and intrusive cyber activity during a rare industry speaking appearance on May 22.

Former chief of the secret intelligence service Sir Richard Dearlove KCMG OBE will give a keynote speech at this year’s Insurance Day Summit London.

Sir Richard, who is the master of Pembroke College, Cambridge, as well as the non-executive chairman of Ascot Underwriting, will speak about government-backed espionage including intrusive cyber activity during the two-day event, which takes place over May 21 and 22.

A recent report issued by the UK Cabinet Office said cyber crime cost companies £241 billion ($362.5 billion) worldwide during 2011, with £21 billion of this specific to businesses within the UK and Dearlove’s thoughts on this fast-emerging risk issue will no doubt be eagerly anticipated by summit delegates, given his extraordinary background.

He served as chief of the secret intelligence service, otherwise known as MI6, from August 1999 until his retirement in July 2004. Like all his predecessors since the agency’s founder, Captain Sir Mansfield Cumming, he was known in Whitehall simply as C and was only the second MI6 head to be named publicly at the time of his appointment.

His time in charge of MI6 coincided with a number of significant global events including the al-Qaeda attacks on the World Trade Center and the war in Iraq. A year after his appointment MI6’s headquarters on the south bank of the River Thames was hit by a rocket attack, which was blamed on dissident Irish republicans, although damage was slight.

For the five years before he headed MI6. Sir Richard was the service’s director of operations, a role he occupied at the time of the death of Princess Diana in a car crash in 1997. Eleven years later he appeared at the inquest into the death of Diana and Dodi Fayed to deny claims by Harrods boss, Mohammed Al Fayed, the intelligence service killed the princess and his son.

From 1998 he served as assistant chief of the service. As director of finance, administration and personnel he also oversaw the service’s move into its now-iconic headquarters in 1994.

A career intelligence officer of 38 years standing, Sir Richard has served in Nairobi, Prague, Paris, Geneva and Washington, as well as in a number of important London-based posts. He took up the position of master of Pembroke College after leaving MI6 and joined Ascot in 2006.

His keynote speech will open the second day of this year’s Summit (May 22), which takes place at Dexter House, Tower Hill in London.

Other speakers already confirmed to appear at the event include financial secretary to the Treasury, Greg Clark MP; RSA chief executive, Simon Lee; Lloyd’s chief executive, Richard Ward; and Beazley chief executive, Andrew Horton.

For the latest updates on the Insurance Day Summit London 2013 programme and speakers, as well as further information on either sponsoring or attending this event visit [link removed due to site no longer being available]. Alternatively call +44 (0)20 7017 7388.