The London Market & Lloyd’s

London Market and Lloyd's

The London market is something we hear a lot about, and one of the more revered insurance destinations for YIPs from Australia and New Zealand who may be contemplating working overseas at some point in their careers.

Lloyd's in particular is steeped in history and it's good to know why.*

Towards the end of the 17th Century, London's growing importance as a centre for trade increased demand for marine insurance.

In 1688, Edward Lloyd opened a coffee house in Tower Street, London. It became a popular haunt of ship owners, merchants and ships' captains and, consequently, a reliable source of the latest shipping news.

The coffee house was “spacious, well-built and inhabited by able tradesmen", according to a contemporary publication.

Later, in 1691, it was transferred to 16 Lombard Street, which was very close to the centre of English maritime trade. It was from this coffee house, in 1696, that Edward Lloyd launched his 'Lloyd's List', which was filled with information on ship arrivals and departures, and included some intelligence on conditions abroad and at sea. This list was eventually enlarged to provide daily news on stock prices, foreign markets, high­ water times at London Bridge, and reports of accidents and sinkings.

In 1771, seventy-nine of the underwriters who did business at Lloyd's subscribed £100 each and joined together in the Society of Lloyd's; an unincorporated group of individual entrepreneurs operating under a self-regulated code of behaviour. These were the original Members of Lloyd's. Later, members came to be known as 'Names'.

It was from this coffee house at 16 Lombard Street that Lloyd's of London was established and eventually became the world-renowned institution it is today.

Lloyd's Today

As well as being a pretty impressive building on Lime Street in London, Lloyd's is a major international insurance hub; possibly one of the best known in the world.

Insurance is written and issued by the various syndicates which comprise the Lloyd's market (Lloyd's is not a company).  Historically, some of these syndicates were wealthy individuals (the Names), but these days, syndicates are usually corporate entities in their own right.  Some are even part of or backed by other insurers.

Lloyd's has a particular interest in writing unusual or hard-to-place risks including oil rigs, sky scraper buildings, ships, aircraft, satellites, mining equipment, and major construction and infrastructure projects anywhere on the planet.  Its risk appetite is vast and, we're told, almost limitless.

Lloyd's syndicates are subject to vigorous audit and compliance regime to ensure their sustainability, and sufficient capital.  Especially in this post-GFC era.

Even today, Lloyd's still has its traditions.

The Lutine Bell sits prominently in the centre of the building and is rung on any occasion which will affect the market - historically, when an insured ship sank.  The last time it was rung (as at August 2015), was when the news of the Queen Mother's death was announced.

As a tribute to its maritime origins, there is a large register which is updated daily with any relevant maritime disaster.  Across from it, in a glass case, is the register open at page for the same day, 100 years before.

Lloyd's got its first ever female CEO in 2015, Inga Beale and its Representative in Australia and New Zealand is Chris MacKinnon.

Lloyd's also runs programmes and scholarships for young insurance professionals which might be relevant to YIPs who work or are thinking of working in London.

You can read more about Lloyd's on its wikipedia page or check out YIPs' pics of Lloyd's below.

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*Reproduced from '‘IT MAY HAPPEN TO ME! The Essential Guide to General Insurance’ (Second Edition) by Dr Allan Manning, with permission from the LMI Group.

 

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