Former Lloyd’s CEO Dame Inga Beale has said efforts to end the Lloyd’s drinking culture will be difficult to achieve.
Speaking to City AM Beale said the London insurance market had failed to move with the times in times unlike banking and US financial institutions.
As the market’s first female CEO, Beale spent much of here five years at the helm not only looking to modernise the market’s processes but also its culture.
“If you go somewhere like Kings Cross, there is a tech cluster there,” she explained. “But they don’t have a pub culture at lunchtime. It is as though this [the London insurance market] is stuck in the past.”
She added: “Even by Canary Wharf where the banks are, it is just not happening anymore… and it is the same in Wall Street, times have moved on. But for some reason this little area has yet to see that revolution.”
When asked how it could be tackled Beale said: “I don’t really know the answer.”
Beale welcomed the publication of the results of Lloyd’s survey on market culture in which 500 respondents said they had witness sexual harassment in the past year. She said while it had long been bubbling under the surface the fact that it was now out in the open and being both discussed and addressed was a positive step.
However, she warned that if there was to be any effective change it would need buy in from all in the market, adding it had to be driven from the top.
“There are enough people who want to make a difference,” she explained. “There are some fantastic leaders out there, who really want to make a difference, but there are also some who just tick a box, and it’s not a genuine feeling that we need to do something.
“It’s got to be meant from the top.”
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