The American Club’s Dorothea Ioannou is to become the first woman chief executive in the 167-year history of protection and indemnity insurance.

She will replace Joe Hughes, who steps down as the longest-serving P&I club chief executive after 27 years at the head of the Shipowners Claims Bureau (SCB), manager of the American Club.

Top management positions at P&I clubs have been dominated by men, a situation that shows little sign of changing, despite Ioannou’s breakthrough appointment.