Lloyd’s of London: Everything you need to know
Corporate address: 1 Lime St, London EC3M 7HA, United Kingdom
Number of syndicates: 76
Gross written premiums: £39.2 billion (2021)
Underwriting profit: £1.7 billion (2021)
Investment income: £948 million (2021)
Financial strength rating (2021): A (A.M. Best), A+ (Standard & Poor’s), AA- (Fitch Ratings), AA- (KBRA)
Lines of business breakdown by region: US and Canada (53%), rest of Europe (15%), UK (12%), Central Asia and Asia-Pacific (10%), other Americas (6%), rest of the world (4%)
Lloyd’s of London is a global specialist insurance market that does business through specialist syndicates, which price and underwrite risk via 200 registered Lloyd’s brokers and a global network of over 4,000 local coverholders.
Lloyd’s insures everything from national governments and multinational conglomerates to start-ups and small businesses in more than 200 countries and territories. Its lines of business include aviation, casualty, cyber, crime, political risk, terrorism, financial institutions, marine, and many more.
The market has been around since the late-17th century, but has recently faced a series of challenges, such as an alleged market-wide sexual harassment culture and 2018’s pre-tax loss of £1 billion. The global market has since announced plans to transform through what it called a “bold new strategy” aimed at reshaping the centuries-old exchange’s future.
Focused on delivering higher quality risk protection for customers as well as simplifying access to the global insurance market while lowering costs of doing business at Lloyd’s, the strategy features six ideas, including a next-generation claims service and a digital platform for the most difficult-to-cover risks.
Lloyd’s of London in the news
1688: Edward Lloyd’s Coffee House in Tower Street was referred to for the first time in an article in the London Gazette, which offered a reward for five stolen watches and encouraged anyone with information to contact Lloyd
1904: Underwriters at Lloyd’s become the first to offer car insurance
1911: Lloyd’s writes the first-ever aviation policy
1920s: Silent film star Ben Turpin buys an insurance policy with Lloyd’s, payable if his trademark crossed eyes ever uncross
1973: Liliana Archibald became the first female Lloyd’s broker
2006: Soccer superstar David Beckham insures his legs for £100 million
2008: Historic amendments are made to the Lloyd’s Act to update how the market would be governed
2019: Days after Bloomberg reported that sexual harassment is thriving in the “deeply backward-looking” market, Lloyd’s reveals it made a £1 billion loss for the second year running
2022: Lloyd's reveals its 2021 full-year financials, highlighting the best results in six years with overall profit reaching £2.3 billion, up from £0.9 billion in 2020
Key people as of 2022
John Neal – Chief executive officer
Neal assumed office in October 2018, bringing with him over three decades of insurance industry experience. The former QBE group chief executive first worked at Crowe Underwriting Agency prior to spending time at the likes of Bankside Managing Agency and Ensign.
In a recent interview with Insurance Business, Neal noted that the efforts Lloyd’s has placed on performance management has bolstered its future priorities. He also outlined the four key pillars underpinning Lloyd’s strategic framework in 2022 – performance, digitalisation, purpose, and culture.
“We’ve come through a financial crisis, we’ve come through a pandemic, people recognise the complications of climate change – and they’ve now got the horrors of war, playing out on their TV screens,” he said. “So, for the first time, I think risk is properly understood, systemic exposure is understood [and] insurance is being discussed at the board table. And therefore, what we do can make a difference to businesses and communities.”
“It’s absolutely critical that we think very differently about culture and talent in 2022 and beyond,” Neal added. “Yes, we put in place targets around leadership balance between women and men. Yes, we’ve thought about hiring targets for colleagues from black and minority ethnic backgrounds. But for me, we’ve got to move beyond the D into the I, and into a really deep conversation around inclusion and talent. So, we don’t underestimate the importance of culture when it sits [parallel to] performance, digitalisation, and purpose.”
While Beale left Lloyd’s in 2019, her mark on the market will be long-lasting. Beale joined Lloyd’s in January 2014. In line with industry transformation, she encouraged significant cultural change within the corporation, as well as the adoption of new technology that boosted the market’s capabilities. Meanwhile, the [email protected]’s initiative, which Beale founded in 2013 and is celebrated via the annual Dive In festival, has embedded diversity and inclusion as a business imperative across the global insurance sector.
In March 2019, Bloomberg Businessweek published a report that claimed sexual harassment is thriving at Lloyd’s. In response, the insurance market came up with what it described as a wide-ranging and robust plan of action that was developed in collaboration with and endorsed by Lloyd’s Board and Council, and by the Lloyd’s Market Association and the London & International Insurance Brokers’ Association.
The goal is to ensure a safe and inclusive working environment, after the article quoted industry head-hunter Barbara Schönhofer as saying that she does not know a single woman who has not been harassed in one way or another in the London market. One source said that Lloyd’s is “basically a meat market.”
To address these serious concerns, Lloyd’s has committed to hearing – in a safe and confidential space – the accounts of the 18 women who contributed to the damning report. At the same time, Fiona Luck and Vicky Carter of the Lloyd’s Board and Lloyd’s Council, respectively, have been tapped to join the Lloyd’s nominations committee, effective immediately. With an aim to increase diversity, which former leader Inga Beale has been outspoken about during and after her tenure at the market, the move will see the two succeed male counterparts Sir David Manning and Charles Franks.
The announced actions include a comprehensive review of policies and practices across the Lloyd’s market as well as the provision of an independently managed and confidential channel for reporting inappropriate behaviour. In addition, an autonomous and market-wide culture survey has been undertaken to identify the scale and scope of the issue, and related training has also been provided. Offenders faced sanctions, such as bans both from their own organisations and from Lloyd’s.
In 2021, as part of its continued commitment to building a solid foundation to create a diverse, inclusive, and high-performing culture across the market, Lloyd’s met its short-term target of female representation in the board and executive committees and further reduced the gender pay gap. It also kept the momentum to establish a diverse workforce by setting an ambition for one in three new hires in the market to come from an ethnic minority background. Lloyd’s has also continued its work on social mobility in 2021 and was recognised as a Top 75 employer in the latest UK Social Mobility Employer index.