Any organisation, or indeed market, that makes £3.7bn profit in a year is obviously doing something right. Lloyd’s has done just that in 2006, but has also benefited from a benign hurricane season and a lack of other disasters.

Any organisation, or indeed market, that makes £3.7bn profit in a year is obviously doing something right. Lloyd’s has done just that in 2006, but has also benefited from a benign hurricane season and a lack of other disasters.

It is not surprising therefore, that the Lloyd’s chief executive Richard Ward, who has only been in his post over a year, considers himself to be a lucky man (page 10). When you consider the baptisms of fire and various debacles (think Kinnect) his predecessors have had to endure Ward has had it easy. So far.

Ward is clearly well trained when it comes to presenting a good story. His amiable manner and his ability to present a good sound bite are good strengths, and make him a better public facing CEO than his predecessor Nick Prettejohn. Whether Ward is just a good mouthpiece for Lloyd’s or a good leader as well, only time will tell. The test will be how a he reacts in the time of a crisis.

Discipline, of sorts, has finally entered the market with contact certainty targets not just reached but exceeded. But again, this is work of Ward’s predecessors, so he can hardly take the credit.

Ward has also benefited from having a strong team behind him in Rolf Tolle and Luke Savage who, market insiders are always keen to stress are the silent rocks in propelling Lloyd’s through difficult times. So while Ward shows good qualities, the making of the man will only come when testing times hit the market.

The ability to come through crises of various types has been Lloyd’s strengths; it hasn’t existed for 319 years for nothing. One of the more embarrassing episodes in recent times has been the demise of the Lloyd’s Names. But the prediction of their demise has been considerably exaggerated, at least it would seem. Not so long ago it seemed only the foolhardy or the blindly optimistic would have suggested that private capital really had any future at Lloyd’s.

But for the first time in years significant sums are being invested by new Names, keen to put their capital to good use in what is once more seen as a promising opportunity after so long being viewed as simply a bottomless pit in which to throw money (page 6).

And like Ward, David Gittings the new chief executive of the Lloyd’s Market Association has his own challenges ahead. Certain quarters of the market have accused the LMA in the past of being “vacuous”.

Some even go so far as to say that it is time for the LMA to work out what its agenda is so the market can take back the lead from Lloyd’s in shaping change. Gittings is keen to point out that to achieve what everyone wants to achieve – a profitable and well regulated marketplace – then the responsibility of reform lies on everyone’s shoulders (page 27). But Ward could argue that. Isn’t this a case of passing the buck?

The reality is this is the dilemma of working within this unique of all markets. Visions of change often come in varied even conflicting forms.