Breakaway council group says changes to Lloyd’s structure are being ‘steam-rollered’ through.
Lloyd’s chairman Lord Levene faces a rebellion from the market representatives on his own council, as he seeks an unprecedented third term in office and wide-ranging changes to the way the corporation is run.
The six representatives are believed to have formed a breakaway group, which plans to meet before and after official meetings to develop its own party line in a bid to challenge Levene and chief executive Richard Ward.
The group, which is in a minority on the 18-strong council governing Lloyd’s, has told Ward of its meetings.
They claim not to have been consulted on proposed changes to the Lloyd’s Act, which are now being worked on by a team in the Treasury.
The changes are expected to include: allowing Levene a third term as chairman; removing the requirement for the Governor of the Bank of England to approve nominations to the council; and changes to the way brokers and insurers work together.
The amendments to the Act will undergo public consultation and must then be ratified by Parliament. But the group believes that the market should have been consulted first.
There is also widespread opposition on the council and within the wider market to Levene serving a third term as chairman, which the council has asked him to do.
While it is generally acknowledged that he has been a good ambassador for Lloyd’s globally, he has not been a popular chairman. A source close to the council said: “I’m surprised he’s been invited back for a further three years. I think this has been steam-rollered through.”
The market representatives also complain of a combative atmosphere in council meetings. A source close to the council said: “Direction appears to come from Lloyd’s senior management with little input from council members before a final decision is reached.”
A Lloyd’s spokesperson said: “The proposed changes to the Lloyd’s Act were discussed at 10 separate council meetings and there have been specific discussions on the future chairmanship.
“Three sets of briefing papers detailing the proposed reforms were also circulated. Meetings of council and franchise board members are held outside of official meetings on a regular basis.
“This is not reflective of a mood of dissatisfaction,but of a desire for some council members and franchise board directors to better understand the background to issues that will be debated in official meetings.”