Lloyd’s of London has suspended a senior broker at Guy Carpenter & Co. for sending colleagues a sexually suggestive email about a female employee and is planning to take similar action against a second person who forwarded the message outside the firm, according to a person with knowledge of the decision.
Guy Carpenter suspended both employees earlier this month. The Lloyd’s action restricts the email writer’s access to the exchange pending the outcome of the firm’s investigation.
The male broker, a senior vice president, sent an email earlier this month to multiple colleagues saying that he had brought in birthday doughnuts and that a female employee, mentioned by name, “enjoys a glazed ring.”
She responded: “This is absolutely unacceptable… There are limits to ‘jokes’ you can send at work copying in all colleagues — this is extremely rude and offensive. Please note that this will be forwarded to HR — HAPPY BIRTHDAY.”
Ed Dixon, a spokesman for Guy Carpenter, said the firm’s investigation of the matter hasn’t been completed.
Lloyd’s of London, the 331-year-old insurance exchange where companies like Guy Carpenter operate, is taking a tough line on bad behavior after a Bloomberg Businessweek article about endemic sexual misconduct in the market. The incident at Guy Carpenter, a unit of Marsh & McLennan Cos., happened the same day Bloomberg published an article about two executives at a separate Lloyd’s agent, Tokio Marine Kiln Group Ltd., who resigned following allegations of sexual harassment.
“At Lloyd’s we have been very clear on the standard of behaviors we expect and the actions we will take to ensure that our market, and all of those who work in it, operate to the highest standards,” said a Lloyd’s spokesman. “We are supportive of the actions taken by Guy Carpenter in dealing with this issue with all the urgency, determination and action that this serious matter deserves. We will ensure Lloyd’s takes appropriate action once the investigation on this matter is complete.”
Lloyd’s suspended another person from the market for an unrelated incident involving inappropriate comments, the Sunday Times reported earlier.
The Bank of England’s director of insurance supervision Anna Sweeney last week called for Lloyd’s of London to demonstrate progress in tackling the culture of sexual harassment.
“No one should have to tolerate such actions or work in the kind of environment suggested by these allegations,” Sweeney said in prepared remarks to an Insurance Insider event. “We and the FCA will be monitoring progress closely and talking to Lloyd’s to see demonstrable progress.”
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