Lloyd's news

Lloyd’s of London: Everything you need to know

Established: 1688

Syndicates: 99*

Headquarters: London, UK

Lines of business breakdown by region: 51% (US and Canada), UK (14%), Rest of Europe (13%), Other Americas (7%), Central Asia and Asia-Pacific (11%), Rest of the world (4%)

*As of December 2018

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 at the “deeply backward-looking” market, Lloyd’s reveals it made a £1 billion loss for the second year running

Key people as of 2019

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.

Inga Beale

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 Inclusion@Lloyd’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.

Culture

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 newly 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 behavior. In addition, an autonomous and market-wide culture survey will be undertaken to identify the scale and scope of the issue, and related training will also be provided. Offenders will face sanctions, such as bans both from their own organizations and from Lloyd’s.