’To those who fear Lloyd’s has lost sight of its historical roots or its place in time and space, fear not,’ says chairman

Lloyd’s of London chairman Bruce Carnegie-Brown has promised that changes to the underwriting room will not see ”humans giving way to robots” after a report claimed that underwriter attendance was becoming a “point of contention for brokers”.

The space is currently undergoing refurbishment and will remain closed until mid-September this year.

Prior to the closure at the start of July, the London and International Insurance Brokers Association (Liiba) noted in a report published in June that underwriters had reduced their time at the box to only Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday mornings.

It also found that insurers’ attendance rotas, which tend to be circulated to brokers on Sundays, were often left unfulfilled.

As a result, Liiba found brokers were reluctant to bring clients to visit the underwriting room.

However, ahead of it reopening, Carnegie-Brown said Lloyd’s was using the closure to introduce some “much needed improvements”.

“To those who fear Lloyd’s has lost sight of its historical roots or its place in time and space, fear not,” he said in a post on the Lloyd’s website yesterday (10 August 2023).

”This is merely the next iteration of our market’s journey to underwrite the world’s risks.

”That journey has taken us from a coffee shop on Tower Street to our current home on Lime Street – with a few stops in between – each step dictated by the changing needs of our customers and the persistent growth of our market.”


While the underwriting room will see digital enhancements, Carnegie-Brown stressed that it would not replace face-to-face contact.

Liiba found that out of more than 50 brokers across four workshops, some 97% said they wanted their working life to comprise of at least 50% face-to-face trading with underwriters.

In terms of trading-type allocation, brokers felt half of London market business was suitable for face-to-face interaction.

“Contrary to what some might believe, and to current debates around technology, these changes will not see old giving way to new – nor humans giving way to robots in some dystopian digital future,” Carnegie-Brown said.

”Instead, it’s a handshake between the time-tested models of the past and the brave possibilities of the future. A clearer definition of where people, places, technology and data can add value to make better use of our collective time, energy and resources.

“That means identifying where technology can simplify and improve our processes, while freeing brokers and underwriters to provide the expert advice and counsel our customers need in uncertain times.”