‘The Pope’ of Lloyd’s passes away

Industry figure was the chairman of once the largest broker in the UK and the third biggest in the world

‘The Pope’ of Lloyd’s passes away

Insurance News

By Louie Bacani

Neil Mills, one of the greatest insurance brokers who was known as the “The Pope” at Lloyd’s of London, passed away on March 03. He was 93.
According to his obituary published over the weekend, Mills was considered an upstart at Lloyd’s who later showed “formidable drive and a forceful presence, which in his prime could be intimidating.”
“That, with his religious convictions, led him to be known at Lloyd’s as ‘The Pope’. Above all, he radiated integrity, embodying the doctrine that underpins the insurance market, uberrima fides: utmost good faith,” the obituary read, as published by The Times.

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Mills was known for his service at Bland Welch, a small insurance broker in London which he joined in 1948. He became the company chairman at the age of 42.
When he stepped down as chairman in 1985, the company had become Sedgwick Group, which was the largest broker in the UK at that time and the third biggest in the world with 9,000 employees.
“He had become a towering figure in the risk distribution industry and a key contributor to its shape and success,” the obituary read.
Mills’ proposals for change, such as allowing corporate rather than just individual membership of Lloyd’s, had been largely adopted, The Times noted.
He was also known for setting up a merger in 1977 with Marsh & McLennan, which would have created an Anglo-American giant in the market. The deal, however, was aborted.
“Mills’ great strength was his ability to get people to do things for him. The great disappointment of his career came on one of the few occasions he could not,” the obituary read.
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