Lloyd's strategic review sets sights on global march

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the message Lloyd’s is largely giving in its strategic review. There are some interesting elements such as the push into emerging markets and the onus on helping brokers who work within the Lloyd’s environment.

Sean McGovern, director and general counsel, recognises that the emerging market push can only be achieved through promoting the brand, and conducting research, in places such as Brazil, India and Russia.

He says: “Getting out into those markets and promoting the Lloyd’s market more is important, because as those markets grow we need to make sure that Lloyd’s is seen as a market that can offer these insurers and clients solutions.”

Perhaps that is Lloyd’s greatest selling point – it’s a strong brand. It has a reputation for excellence in service and claims settlement, and has recovered so strongly from the asbestos names’ crisis that nearly sunk the market in the mid-90s.

Despite this global outlook, Lloyd’s recognises that most business comes through London brokers and it will need to continue to support those brokers.

The report hints at more help for London market brokers over the next couple of years.

McGovern says: “Our role is to understand what differing brokers have as strategies and we can align those as much as possible with the Lloyd’s strategy. That brokers understand the benefits of using Lloyds as insurance market versus other markets.”

Interestingly, he gives the message that Lloyd’s is comfortable with the fact that no regional brokers have applied for Lloyd’s accredited status since the doors were thrown open last year.

“The real barrier to new brokers doing biz with Lloyd’s syndicates, wherever their from, around the globe regionally or in the UK, the real barrier is not that there’s no desire on the part of Lloyd’s or managing agents to deal with those brokers, the real barrier is interfacing with our back office. So it brings us right back in the need to modernise and re-engineer our processes.”

The rest of the review revolves around sticking to its current model: a subscription-based market, conservative investment strategies and promotion of electronic reform.

The report may not be particularly exciting - ‘evolution, not revolution’ says chief executive Richard Ward cashing in on a favourite business cliché - but then why would he change a success story.