Jardine Lloyd Thompson (JLT) has been unsuccessful in its bid to buy independent Lloyd’s broker First City.

The companies have been in talks, but it is understood that a deal could not be struck because a major stakeholder objected to the takeover.

Senior sources confirmed that the companies had met, but talks broke down because of a “problem” the share-holder had with the deal.

First City was expected to sell for around £20m – approximately the value of its annual brokerage.

First City chief executive Tim Watkins is understood to be looking to sell his stake and leave the company for personal reasons.

The collapse of the deal will also hit the 200 staff of First City who, under the company’s employee trust, would have been in line for a windfall in the event of a sale.

First City made a pre-tax loss of £735,000 in the year to 31 May 2006 on a brokerage of £21m. Holding company First City Insurance Group made a pre-tax loss of £1.8m on a brokerage of £21.7m.

JLT acquired Pavilion Insurance in April for £6.6m and Bermuda broker Park in July. JLT and First City declined to comment.

Risk rating tool launched

JLT has launched a risk evaluation tool which it claims offers the most accurate assessment of the risk of doing business in a foreign country.
The World Risk Rating Tool combines 1,773 different risk ratings to provide scores out of 10 for a country’s trading environment, investment environment and political violence levels.
Elizabeth Stephens, political risk analyst at JLT and visiting lecturer at Birmingham University, said: “We carefully selected data sources with the aim of eliminating the Western bias prevalent in other risk-rating tools.”