Lloyd’s Chairman Urges Expansion into European Union

May 23, 2003

Lloyd’s Chairman, Lord Peter Levene, told more than 250 senior brokers at the first Lloyd’s European Symposium, held at the Grange City Hotel in London, that now is the time for Lloyd’s to take whatever steps are necessary to make sure that the London market shares in the expansion of the European Union.

“This conference is therefore just one of a number of steps that we at Lloyd’s are taking to try and become more accessible to European brokers,” Levene told attendees. “So, I am delighted that so many of you are able to join us. I hope also that we will see even more of you and your colleagues in the coming months and years, because Lloyd’s must be at the centre of Europe. For 50 years the British insurance industry has hesitated over Europe to its detriment, and now, he said, is the time for Lloyd’s to be open, creative and willing to take bold decisions.”

Levene pointed out that the European market is in the process of being transformed, both from the inside with more risks moving into the private sector, and from the outside with increased exposures to and rising claims from natural catastrophes-conditions that have created capitalization and capacity problems for many in the industry. He also observed that, although “the wall that divided Europe has now been removed, barriers still exist, even if they cannot be seen, such as linguistic and cultural barriers. Our objective is to remove those barriers.

“Throughout history,” he continued, “Lloyd’s has always been a trail blazer, covering the risks others feared to touch. Combined with a new focus on performance and profit, I believe we are stronger and better placed than ever before to meet the needs and requirements of our European brokers and their clients. We are happy to lead the way in Europe.”

Lord Levene stated: “By 2004, The EU will consist of 25 nations. I can’t begin to imagine what a GDP of $30 trillion actually feels like, but it means that Europe will soon represent the world’s largest commercial market – and its power can only grow.” He stressed that underwriting performance and the flexibility to respond to the new and complex and creative discipline is vital to the success of the European insurance industry.

“Today’s changing business culture, evolving investor attitudes, social and political trends, governance trends and technological change all require creative risk solutions. Our approach must be flexible enough to handle all the challenges that emerge, and we must be innovative enough to be able to anticipate and respond to these demands,” he concluded.

The full text of Lord Levene’s address is available on Lloyd’s Web site at: www.lloyds.com.

The citations (I and 2) in the text refer to the following sources:
1)Charles Tannock, MEP, as quoted in press release “Enlargement will make Europe a better place” 09/04/03
2) FCO website, viewed 16/05/03

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